Built around 1903 by J. T. Christian, a produce merchant and manager of the Lexington Cold Storage Company, this unusual house is composed of rough-hewn sandstone blocks. Subsequent owners included K. C. Kirtley, an occasional saloon keeper and movie house operator who speculated in land sales around the Loudon Park subdivision.
Yet the house’s most famous resident was undoubtedly Courtney Mathews (1868-1940), who began working for jockey Lucian Lynn’s family at the age of sixteen. He quickly grew into an adept trainer and was hired by the owner of Ashland Stud, Thomas Clay McDowell, in 1897. He conditioned horses for McDowell and was the overseer of Ashland Stud for the next thirty-eight years. Articles in the local papers regularly attested to his skill in dealing with the mares and the foals at the farm. Mathews acquired the house at 547 Breckenridge in 1923 and lived there with his wife, Louisa, until his death in 1940.
Electric streetcars ran along Breckenridge until 1933, which accounts for its inordinate width.
Taken in 1884, the last photo shows Triton, a horse belonging to Ashland Stud. For more information on Mathews and his home, please follow this link to the National Register of Historic Places form.