Nunnlea was constructed sometime after 1854, though it was not known as “Nunnlea” until the 1930s. By that point, it had passed through several hands and was owned by Mrs. Virginia Eady, née Virginia Nunn. The house is significant for its architecture. Its entrance features floor-length windows and woodwork done in a Greek Revival motif. The house contains crystal chandeliers, herringbone oak floors, and its original mantles. Also on the property are a smokehouse and slave quarters. Today, Nunnlea is open for tours and events, both public and private.
Backstory and Context
Between 1792 and 1793, Jacob Funk purchased almost 300 acres from Peyton Short. Funk’s sons John and Jacob inherited the property form their father. John’s son Peter became the sole owner. In 1813, Peter Funk married Harriet Hite. The couple then built a home, called Cherry Spring, on the land. In 1854, the Funks’ daughter, also called Harriet, married Alfred H. Hise. They gifted her 100 acres of the property that would later become the site of the Nunnlea House. Four years Hise’s death, Harriet sold their acreage to Samuel Wharton in 1867.
The Wharton family kept the property until selling half in 1887. The parcel of land that included Nunnlea was purchased by William Hunsinger, who kept it in his family until 1928. That year, it was sold to Jacob M. Owen, who sold it seven years later to Virginia and George Eady. Mrs. Eady’s maiden name, Nunn, served as the inspiration for the house’s name. Developer R. F. McMahan, Sr. acquired the land in 1961 and sold parts of it, including the house to the Beautification League of Louisville and Jefferson County, Inc. in 1962.
The Beautification League has continued to maintain the Nunnlea House. Recent projects include refinishing the oak floors, fixing the drainage, and removing damaged trees. For its upkeep, the house hosts craft and bridal shows, large parties, and educational programs. The league meets at the home each month and welcomes members of the public. Tours are also available at select times.
Nunnlea House. The Woman's Club of St. Mathew's. Accessed April 25, 2019. http://wcsm.org/nunnlea-house/.
About. Nunnlea House. Accessed April 25, 2019. http://nunnlea.org/about-us.