Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

August 21, 2013

Chasing the mysteries of the Bagby mansion

Aug. 21, 2013 — The Grayson area is an old community filled with history, mystery and deep family ties.

All three of these can be found in an old mansion off Main Street christened after one of the area’s oldest family names – Bagby.

The three-story mansion has more than 15,000 square feet of floor space and contains much of the original architecture, including walnut trim, cedar-lined closets and oak hardwood floors inlaid with walnut in the ballroom which is now considered the “community room” for RECC.

George Littlejohn Bagby, a famous concert pianist born in Grayson, built the house in 1927 for his mother, Mary Bagby, who died of natural causes just before it was completed.

Not letting it go to waste, George made the mansion his personal home. Always on the road performing and with no wife or children to share the house, it was mostly vacant, according to neighbors contacted Marsha Thacker and Don Combs, self-proclaimed historians of Grayson RECC.

Thacker and Combs were curious about the history of the house after the utility company acquired it for their main office.

Working as a team, they sought out old acquaintances of the Bagbys still in Grayson, reached out to living relatives and took out subscriptions to genealogy websites like Roots.com and Ancestry.com.

Though they’ve been working on the project for two years, their search has produced little information about the mansion or Bagby himself.

Combs said Bagby’s neighbor recalled him periodically returning to Grayson after long trips but rarely hosting visitors or parties.

What they do know about Bagby is that he was reserved, polite, artistic— a musician and painter—and alone.

Combs and Thacker believe Bagby became depressed after he crushed his hand in a New York car crash, complicating his piano performances.

When Grayson RECC acquired the property in the 1950s, they renovated most of the first and second floors into office spaces.

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