On October 13, 1949, Meadowthorpe Subdivision, Section 1, consisting of 158 lots, was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. And, over the years, Meadowthorpe grew. Today, Meadowthorpe consists of 498 properties: 454 single-family; 29 duplex and 15 multi-family. A close-knit and active neighborhood, we maintain the special events and traditions developed over the years. We gather for ice cream socials and fall festivals in our neighborhood park and holiday potlucks in our community center. MNA sponsors the annual spring yard sale and neighborhood cleanup. Voluntary dues contributions enable us to place luminaries on the curb in front of every residence on holidays and American flags on the Fourth of July. MNA volunteers developed and maintain the garden and median at the head of Boiling Springs Drive. This principal entry to the neighborhood, directly across from Meadowthorpe Manor Shopping Center, was once Lexington’s first air strip. A historical marker tells the story of Charles Lindberg’s landing there one day in 1928.
The Meadowthorpe Neighborhood
Meadowthorpe consists of 498 properties: 454 single-family; 29 duplex and 15 multi-family homes. After the death of the Meadowthorpe farm owner in 1886, the farm was sold to William H. Cheppu. A story in the Lexington Transcript, 1891, referred to him as a well-known bookmaker. On April 28, 1892, in order to pay off an overdraft of $32,000, the farm was sold it to Col. James E. Pepper, owner of the Pepper Distillery. At that time there were 222 acres on the north side of Leestown Pike. The price of $275 per acre was the highest that had ever been received for a bluegrass farm. Construction and laying of streets began in 1949, with attention being given to the principle that good housing should be back some distance from the highway. Trees were preserved as far as possible, and more planted from Hillenmeyer’s Nursery.
The Sharkey family-owned land on all sides of the present Leestown-New Circle Road, including the land now occupied by Meadowthorpe Elementary School. Barns were on the site of the present house at 281 Taylor Drive. Curtis Willmott’s, Boiling Springs Farm adjoined Meadowthorpe Farm and extended all the way to Greendale Road. The farm was later sold to his brothers, John and George Willmott. When Hugh Taylor bought John’s acreage, there was a pond at what is now the intersection of Forbes and Boiling Springs. When the subdivision was established. The first house, built from stones of Meadowthorpe Farm’s fences, is at 212 Boiling Springs Drive. The second house, at 220 Boiling Springs, went to Frank Pieratt. The third house, 208, was built in 1950 and sold to O.H. “Shine” and Maureen Mauser. Kitty and James W. “Bud” Thornton, who was Hugh Taylor’s bookkeeper, moved into 245 Boiling Springs that same year. In 1951, the second street Hillsboro, was opened. Hillsboro actually was a hill. The 300 block was graded off to make it less steep.
A number of the other streets were named for associates of Hugh Taylor; Forbes for Kermith Forbes, his partner; Burke for County Commissioner Dudley J. Burke. Pepper Drive was named for Col. James E. Pepper. One of Mr. Taylor’s favorite actors, Wallace Beery, was buried in Glendale Cemetery in California the day the streets were being named, so “Glendale” was selected for one of them. Larch Lane was named for the larch trees in the area. Taylor Drive was opened in 1951, Forbes and Burke in 1952, and Leestown, Meadowthorpe Ave. was opened in 1953. The Lexington City Directory listed Boiling Springs, Glendale, Hillsboro, Meadowthorpe, and Taylor, with many addresses given as under construction. The 1953 Directory shows one address (the Meadowthorpe Sales Office) on Burke nothing on Forbes. Forbes Road extended only from Boiling Springs to just beyond Taylor. Townley Drive, the last street opened, had the first house built in 1954. The early residents on Townley had to walk to Boiling Springs to pick up their mail from rural roadside boxes.
The name ‘Meadowthorpe’ was the name of a well-known stock farm owned by Jacob Hostetter. He built a two-story Greek revival house was built on the property around 1849 and the driveway later became Pelican Lane in the early 1990’s, after the last piece of the farm was sold to a developer. Photos of the Meadowthorpe Farm house can now be found on display in our local McDonald’s on Leestown Road.