The James Harrod Trust

Preserving Harrodsburg & Mercer County

Located in the center of Kentucky, in the famed Bluegrass Region, Harrodsburg and Mercer County have a unique heritage.

Why Here?

As the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains and the birthplace of Western Expansion beyond the original colonies, it would be difficult to find a better setting to interpret the evolution of American architectural style.

Every major American architectural movement is represented in this area by 15th and 16th Century Dutch and English-Style timer frame and mud construction, round and hewed log structures, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival with attendant slave quarters, Victorian sketch book, Queen Anne and Prarie-Craftsman style. 

Each of these movements is colored by historically significant personages and ideologies that play strongly on the American cultural stage.

Our Beginnings...

In 2000, a group of fifteen Mercer County citizens who were concerned by the recent destruction, deterioration, and abandonment of local landmarks joined forces. Together, they formed the James Harrod Trust, Inc., named for the founder of Kentucky's first settlement.

The Trust is a non-profit advocate for historic preservation.

A mandate of the Trust is to protect and promote the cultural natural, historical, architectural, and archaeological heritage of Harrodsburg and Mercer Count to enhance the quality of life for this and future generations.



We encourage the participation and support of every person who values history, architecture, and the education of future generations. Find out how you can donate your time or your financial resources.



Meet the Board

Jerry Sampson, Chair

Jerry Sampson is the owner of J. Sampson Antiques, Books, and Appraisals on Harrodsburg's Main Street. A Harrodsburg native, he has been collecting, writing about, selling, and appraising antiques/collectibles for 20+ years. He has been an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) in the American Society of Appraisers since 2009. Jerry served as President of the Harrodsburg Historical Society, is a founding board member of the JHT, and co-chairs the Harrodsburg Architectural Preservation Commission. Jerry has a lifelong curiosity for history, preservation, books, reading, and antiques.

Helen Dedman, Vice Chair

A Native of Rock Hill, SC, Helen is a graduate of Centre College. She and husband Chuck Dedman have two children, Dixon and Becky, and 5 grandchildren.
She retired when she and her husband sold the family-owned Beaumont Inn, which has operated in the 1855 building for 102 years, to another generation of the Dedman family. A founding member of the James Harrod Trust, she served as a Kentucky advisor to National Trust, on the board of Preservation Kentucky. and now serves on the Kentucky Heritage Council and Perryville Battlefield Commission.

Nancy Ross-Stallings, Secretary

Born and raised on the Eastern Colorado Plains, Nancy Ross-Stallings is a professional archaeologist and human biologist. She works for an Environment and Infrastructure Engineering Firm in Louisville, KY, and for the federal government as a Forensic Anthropologist for the National Disaster Medical System under U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Amalie Preston, Treasurer

A lifelong resident of Mercer County, she is a founding member of the James Harrod Trust and a history buff (with family branches reaching back to the settlement of Mercer County, our state, and our nation). Graduated from Lindsey Wilson College and retired as the financial officer for the West Bluegrass District, Mercer County, and Anderson County Health Departments.  Coordinated the restoration of the Old Mud Meetinghouse as a member of the Harrodsburg Historical Society. Is a member of the Jane McAfee Chapter of DAR and the Bluegrass Energy Nominating Committee. Serves as Treasurer of the JHT and her church. Enjoys gardening.

Carolyn Cole

Harrodsburg native, Carolyn Cole, lives in Fair Oaks (built 1840). She purchased this historic home in 2010 and spent two years restoring it before moving in. At that time, the JHT was looking for a new board member and she wanted to help. She says, "JHT is dedicated to saving local history through the preservation of historic homes and properties in the area. Once an historic property is torn down, it's gone forever. We want to preserve the history of our community for the future and we revere the architecture that reflects, preserves, and displays that history."

Bill Huston

A native of Harrodsburg who values the historical and cultural values of Harrodsburg and Mercer Co. Married to Linda and proud parents of five children. Professional careers in Higher Education Administration 42 years and Captain in the USCG 32 years. Currently serving on five nonprofit boards. Member of the St. Andrew Church family.

Pat Linton

Pat is a lifelong citizen of Harrodsburg.  She attended West Lane Elementary School, in one of the last classes to attend the African American School before it was closed and merged with the Harrodsburg Independent School system. She graduated from Harrodsburg High School in 1973. She retired from the healthcare system in 2022. Pat was the co-chair, with Kandie Atkinson, of the very successful  James Harrod Trust African American Oral History project. Pat has been an advocate for the documentation and collecting of African American Harrodsburg history.

She has one son, Lamont, four grandsons and 14 great grandchildren.

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly is a native Kentuckian and a resident of Mercer County since 2002.  Since moving to Mercer County Kelly, retired president of Columbia Gas of Kentucky, and his wife Ruth have been actively involved in raising cattle on their Mercer County farm.  A lifelong student of history, Kelly is an avid supporter of historic preservation. 

Rosalind Turner

A native of Owsley County and resident of Harrodsburg since 1983, Rosalind Turner is a Communications Program Specialist and Advisor with the Kentucky Department of Education. She is a former editor of The Harrodsburg Herald, communications director at the Legislative Research Commission and grants manager at the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University.

Miss Turner is a founding member of the James Harrod Trust and editor of James Harrod Trust’s “The Women of Mercer County” and the “The Men of Mercer County” books.