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