The Story of Sleepy Hollow, Prospect, Kentucky

The Story of Sleepy Hollow, Prospect, Kentucky

The Story of Sleepy Hollow, Prospect, Kentucky

Establish in the 1920s Sleepy Hollow was once an exclusive hunting & fishing club for the wealthy families of Louisville. Containing roughly over 3,000 acres, the club was located about 15 miles northeast of downtown Louisville. Their membership was limited to 150 people. The families who became members included bankers, lawyers, doctors and prominent business men.

The land was purchased from Mrs. Ophelia Hardin with some additional land leased from local farmers.

A dam was built on the south branch of Harrods Creek for $26,000.00 to create a small lake. A clubhouse was also built on the banks of the newly created lake just yards from the dam for about $15,000.00.

A total of 31 lots were leased to members on the hillside overlooking the lake. 23 of those lots eventually saw the construction of summer cottages.

The lake was stocked with fish plus pheasants and quail were raised for hunting. The club also offered swimming and boating on the private lake for members only.

The 3 story clubhouse with its 2 kitchens and ballroom was the scene for many private parties and events.

In 1929 the Great Depression hit and wiped out the fortunes of some of the Sleepy Hollow land owners. By January 1933 only 24 families were still members of the club. Later that year the club went bankrupt for the $10,500.00 owed to the bank plus money owed to local farmers.

Later The Sleepy Hollow Club was sold at the county courthouse steps to 18 of the former members of the club for $11,132.00. Those members formed Sleepy Hollow, Inc. which still exists today.

As the United States was dragged into WWII the military opened a glider training base at the top of the hill. Word has it that several of the officers rented cottages and soldiers went swimming in the lake each morning.

After the war, housing was scarce and many of the members returned to Sleepy Hollow to use their summer homes as a full-time residence. By the early 1950s housing became more available and the Sleepy Hollow residents began moving out for more contemporary homes.

As they moved out, vandals began moving in. Many of the cottages mysteriously burned during this period as the former resort became a frequent hangout for teenagers and vagrants. The clubhouse was a target for vandals and became so dangerous that Sleep Hollow, Inc. had the structure burned to the ground in the 1970 s to prevent injuries to trespassers and to protect the company from lawsuits.

In 2023 the lake is becoming a victim of natural pollution and has been filling up with silt over the past 60 years. There are valves at the bottom of the dam to allow the silt to pass through but they have been broken since the 1950s. The lake was about 20 feet deep when first built but due to the silt and sediment over the years, it’s probably only about 5 or 6 feet deep near the dam and will continue to shrink in size as the years go by.

In 2023 there are about 6 or 7 homes in Sleepy Hollow which is now down to about 90 acres in size and is all private property.

GPS Location: 38º20’56.6″N 85º33’18.5″W