South Hill - Rolley Blue House

346 S Upper, Lexington, KY 40507

Rolla (Rolley) Blue was still enslaved when he purchased property through acting trustee Bob Scott. In 1812, Blue bought a 50x140 square foot lot on the waters of the Elkhorn near Mulberry Street in Lexington. In April of 1818, he advertised that he had opened a blacksmith shop on this property. As a blacksmith, Blue crafted and repaired iron implements for businesses, farms, and households. His skill forming horseshoes was in much demand because of Lexington's interest in the sport of horseracing. The 1820 consensus listed Blue, his wife Rachel, and their son George as free blacks. Rolley and Rachel were legally married in December 1825 by London Ferrill, a free Black minister of the First African Baptist Church, where Blue was a trustee. In 1829, the couple purchased this home which was built in 1816. He invested in real estate and purchased the freedom of several family members during his lifetime. In his will, Rolley directed his executor to liquidate his assets and purchase the freedom of his remaining relatives.

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