From the 1800s until 1978, the Langeford family owned the 1500 acres of land, which was a working cattle farm. The farm was known as Bull’s Hell because some of the prize bulls fell off the hillsides into the Kentucky River. After purchasing the farm, Mr. Florence changed the name from Bull’s Hell to Big Bend Farm (named for the bend in the river). It was there that Mr. Florence had a boarding/breeding thoroughbred operation, and lot owners could have horses there as well. An average of 250 horses could be seen inside the 7.5 mile black fence that ran parallel to Avawam Road.
Living in Garrard County, Kentucky, in a home overlooking the Kentucky River’s palisades, he decided the development at Boone’s Trace would be perfect to build homes in similar surroundings. That vision was expressed in the original Covenants and Protective Restrictions written on November 2, 1978. Mr. and Mrs. Florence built their home at 380 Avawam Drive. The name Avawam is from a city in eastern Kentucky. The original 12 houses were spaced on Avawam Road, which was known as the farm road in the beginning, to guarantee that utilities would be placed around the entire property. The homes can be recognized by their limestone exteriors. The limestone came from the many stone fences that crisscrossed the farm.
There was a plan to build a marina so people living in Boone’s Trace would be able to launch their boats into the Kentucky River but it never came to fruition. The marina would have been where the sewer treatment plant is presently located. Interestingly enough, there are seven marked cemeteries (five on private property) in Boone’s Trace along with some unmarked Native American cemeteries.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Florence sold Boone’s Trace to Mr. Elmer Whitaker, who did no further development for the next 15 years. Boone’s Trace was auctioned for approximately $1.2 million in the late nineties after being appraised for some $4 million. The Boone’s Trace Property Owners Association, Inc. was formed in March of 1998. The Bull golf course was built in the Boone’s Trace neighborhood in 1999. It was later renamed Boone’s Trace National Golf Club. The course is open to the public.
***Arline Florence, the widow of Al Florence, the original developer of Boone’s Trace, was the first speaker at the newly formed Boone’s Trace Ladies Club (BTLC) in 2007, and she is the one who shared the history with us.