Murphy House Lot and Murphy Memorial Garden
At one point Murphy was the highest-paid jockey in the United States and had the best win percentage in thoroughred-racing history. This is the site of his home, no longer standing, but documented as a two story, approximately 1850-built red brick house. Murphy’s success as a jockey enabled him, with his wife Lucy Carr, to purchase the large 10 room home which became a center for social events. The house featured a roof observatory that offered a view of the nearby Kentucky Association racetrack.
After Murphy died in 1896, Lucy moved away and sold the house, which later in the 1930s was demolished. Today there are no known photos of the house and its exact location is not certain.
Archaeological investigations, however, have revealed the home’s foundation, a section of which has been preserved and incorporated in the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden located at East Third Street and Midland Avenue. The park is linked by the Legacy Trail to the Kentucky Horse Park, where Murphy is buried--the only jockey so honored.
Murphy’s fame in racing history earned coverage of his funeral in The New York Times (11-18-1896). As reported in the Times, his funeral service took place in the house on East Third Street, and his funeral procession was one of the longest in Lexington.