The Painted Lady of Gallatin

It is a large two and one-half story Victorian dwelling that attracts the immediate interest of all those who recognize its Queen Anne Revival style. Other than the Daviess County courthouse, the home, historically known as the A. Taylor Ray House, is the only residence in the county to receive designation in the National Register of Historic Places.

It is a large two and one-half story Victorian dwelling that attracts the immediate interest of all those who recognize its Queen Anne Revival style. Other than the Daviess County courthouse, the home, historically known as the A. Taylor Ray House, is the only residence in the county to receive designation in the National Register of Historic Places.

The house was built in 1897 by Mr. and Mrs. A. Taylor Ray with a family member, George Tuggle, as architect. The Queen Anne style was an architectural smorgasbord of that era. The octagon tower, for example, is just for looks and the ornate porch is lavishly decorated with spindles, pendant brackets and Doric pillars.

Other features include hand-blown curved glass bow windows to add light and style. Fireplaces warmed each room, 18 from the basement to the attic), many carrying out a particular theme. one is adorned with wood-carved gargoyles taken form Greek mythology, meant to protect the house from harm —  and evil demons. The staircase is a prime example of the woodworkers’ art, as is the woodwork and trim through-out.

There are stained glass windows in the entry and on the stairway and colorful ceramic tiles here and there.  In keeping with the Victorian thinking of the time, the home has a parlor and sitting room and even a stairway for servants.

The house is also known as the “Old Tuggle Place” since Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Tuggle acquired the house around 1950 following the deaths of the Rays. The two families were related.

While owned by Mr. and Mrs. Due during the 1990s, the “Painted Lady” benefitted from an extensive enhancement program  in keeping with National Register guidelines.

The house is located one block south of the site of the once nationally famous McDonald Tea Room, at 212 West Van Buren.