Exclusive Access: Karbelle Mansion

Karbelle Mansion

The largest house in Glasgow is the Grande Italianate Villa built by James S. and Elizabeth Thomson in 1875. In 1845 Thomson was an elected city councilman and a partner in the Thomson and Sunnica Bank. His initials are etched into the window over the two 10 ft wooden ornate double entrance doors. The house was acquired by Floyd and Mary Perkins before being re-established by current owner Kimberly Reckner as Karbelle Mansion, in 2014.

The 10,000 sq ft mansion is made up of 29 rooms with over 100 openings between the windows and doors.

Upon entrance into Karbelle Mansion, you will notice striped walnut and oak hardwood floors through the lobby and into the dining room and accentuating the grand staircase that curves onto the second floor.

These contrasting woods continue in the dining room and accentuate the grand staircase.

Rooms on the first and second floors have 12-foot ceilings and the rooms in the full basement have 8-foot ceilings.  The hall opens into two formal parlors, a sitting room, dining room, and the rear Hall. Upstairs are four bedrooms and a “Rose room” named for the red tinted glass partitions that separate it from the hall. There is a tower at the top of the house that serves as a sort of lighthouse in the area.

Karbelle Mansion is arranged to provide two separate living areas. The rooms that opened off the central hall in the front part of the house were for the family. Originally, the kitchen was in the basement and the dumb waiter carried dishes up to the dining room. The servant’s quarters at the rear have a separate entrance, staircase and hall. While the Mansion was built post-civil war, and while it did not have slaves and was not a plantation home, Thomson did employ servants that lived in the house. In fact, it is know that James Thomson was banished by many in the town of Glasgow because he helped both sides during the Civil War (Glasgow was said to be a blend of people and a line of battle).

FUN Fact: During the Battle of Glasgow, Elizabeth Thomson hid gold bars for the bank when Bloody Bill Anderson and his gang came and kidnapped Colonel Lewis. She paid ransom for the town to get him back, only to have him die a short time later.

Excerpts from: Vol. 15 no. 2 — Summer 2016 Boone’s Lick Heritage Quarterly, Boone’s Lick Historical Society Periodical Guided Tour of Historic Glasgow Book–A Picturesque River Town, 1983

Karbelle Mansion