Ashland celebrates suffrage with special tours in August


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by offering the Women’s Voices tour every Wednesday at 4 p.m. during the month of August 2020.

This guided tour focuses on nine women of Ashland whose lives span a century of social, cultural, and political evolution.

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Congress ratified the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920, which granted women the right to vote. The road to women’s suffrage was long and difficult and was made possible by tireless reformers and generations of women who helped the movement inch along.

As tourists visit the rooms that the women of Ashland inhabited, they will hear their voices–the causes they championed, the challenges they faced, and the heartache they suffered.

It also explores the changing role of women from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century.

The tour concludes at the exhibit, “Never a Braver Spirit,” a temporary exhibit on the life of Madeline McDowell Breckinridge. Madeline was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Kentucky.

Married to Desha Breckinridge, editor of the Lexington Herald, which also advocated for women’s rights, she lived to see the women of Kentucky vote for the first time in the presidential election of 1920. View the Madeline McDowell Breckinridge Video at

Tour tickets are available at To adhere to Coronavirus restrictions, Ashland also offers private tours for small, familial groups. Private tours may be booked by contacting Manager of Tours and Education, Cameron Walpole at or (859) 266-8581 x205.

Ashland maintains a strong presence in our community and beyond as the world adjusts to a new way of living, working and socializing.

The grounds of the estate remain open and offer abundant space for guests to enjoy the property in a low-contact environment, while providing an opportunity for students of all ages to engage in civics and history lessons by reading the interpretive markers and State historic markers. The outdoor Smokehouse and Carriage exhibits remain open.

Newly developed online initiatives provide the public, especially students, an opportunity for connection, interaction and learning, while also providing long-term benefits to people who cannot visit the estate in person.

Over 3,000 students visited Ashland during 2019, representing nearly 23 percent of all visitors. Jim Clark, Executive Director notes, “This public health crisis has pushed Ashland into the 21st century as we continue to serve our constituents, especially students. Just because we are a historic site doesn’t mean that we are stuck in the past – we will use whatever communication tools we can to remain accessible.”

Making History Today: Our Kentucky Families is a new addition to the Blog page and can be found at The public is invited to select an artifact from their own home that tells a story about their family. Once they submit an image along with a brief description, Ashland Curator Eric Brooks will respond by sharing a similar object from the collection and the story behind it.

Wake Up with Ashland is a series of virtual tours sponsored by Dupree Mutual Funds offered at 9:00 a.m. Thursdays. Manager of Tours & Education, Cameron Walpole, will lead tours lasting 15-20 minutes via Facebook Live ( and explore different rooms of the mansion, the outbuildings and the grounds.

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate is located at 120 Sycamore Road in Lexington and is Kentucky’s first National Historic Landmark. The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation was established in 1926 as a private, nonprofit organization.