Grafton Graham House / Goodloetown

The African-American population in Lexington more than doubled between 1860 and 1870. This was due largely to recently freed people migrating from rural areas to more urban areas. In response to this influx, landowners and developers created urban clusters through subdivision. This housing trend was readily apparent in the East End, where communities such as Kinkeadtown and Gunntown arose.

Another enclave — Goodloetown — expanded from the 1870s onwards as David S. Goodloe and his son, Dr. David S. Goodloe, sold numerous parcels between Constitution Street and Third Street. David Goodloe Sr. had arrived in Lexington in 1845 and operated several retail stores as a bookseller and merchant. Although he enslaved at least six individuals in the 1860s, he was an ardent supporter of the Union and was even appointed as a federal revenue agent. By 1870, he had amassed $25,000 in personal property and $40,000 worth of real estate holdings. Prior to his death in 1881, he also served as treasurer of Kentucky University.

Goodloe Sr. acquired the lot at 527 Goodloe in 1869 and, one year later, conveyed it to Reverend Grafton Graham. Born in Maryland, Graham was dispatched to Lexington from Cincinnati in 1866 to preach at St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal Church. He likely built this simple brick house in running bond around 1870 and rented it out, as he was also listed as a Louisville resident during this decade. Graham maintained possession of the parcel until 1896. Subsequent owners included insurer Asa Dodge and Buckner McElroy, a storekeeper and “gauger” who collected alcohol taxes.

Dr. David S. Goodloe continued his father’s practice of selling lots in the Goodletown and Cadentown areas. He was himself a resident of the East End and lived in a house at 372 E. Third (later 544) from the 1890s until his death in 1925. A relative who inherited the property then conveyed it to the city, which redeveloped the land to create a second park for its African-American population. Today, this is the site of the National Register-listed Charles Young Park and Community Center.



527 Goodloe Street