Anderson-Smith House

Also known as: Whitehaven, Kentucky Welcome Center
Lone Oak Rd., Paducah, Kentucky

Restored Civil War Era mansion now serving as a welcome center/rest area


By Smallbones - Own work, Public Domain, Link




You've never been to a rest area/welcome center like this one! Even Iowa, with its magnificent rest areas, hasn't got one like Whitehaven!

The Anderson Mansion, as it was known when it was built, was constructed in the 1860s and remained in the family until 1903. It was sold to a family that remodeled the mansion significantly and named it Whitehaven. It was sold again to the mayor of Paducah and successful merchant, James P. Smith in 1908. He renamed it Bide-A-Wee and it remained in the Smith family until 1968.

Abandoned and unloved, the house was feared to be in the way of Interstate 24, but remained in place. Close to demolition because of vandalism and disrepair, the house was saved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The property was extensively restored and remodeled to serve as the Kentucky Welcome Center and Rest Area.

The majestic house is the pride of Paducah and a welcome spot (pun intended) for travelers.

On the property is a pair of Kentucky Coffeetrees. The name is derived from the beans that were used to make coffee when the real article was not available. The trees are male and female and devoid of foliage for most of the year, although the bean pods hang on well into the fall.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 1, 1984
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3

Update Log 

  • November 24, 2017: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status and Added Photos
  • July 17, 2017: New photo from Bill Eichelberger