In 1991, The Filson learned that Thomas Bullitt designated The Filson as one of several beneficiaries in his
will. Through the years, The Filson has studied the various uses of the Oxmoor property and its potential
benefit to The Filson. The following information is presented to help our members understand more fully
what this opportunity represents.
Did The Filson play any role in the development plan for Oxmoor that
was recently announced?
No. A Maryland design firm called LDR International designed the
concept for the farm at the request of the Oxmoor Trust.
What buildings located on the site will be under The Filsonís control?
The main house, slave quarters, spring house,
hemp/managerís house, ice house, smokehouse, kitchen, farm
managerís house, barn, and garage.
How much money is The Filson receiving now from the Oxmoor
A grant supports the work of one archivist, who is processing the Bullitt
family papers, which are owned by the Oxmoor Trust.
Will The Filson eventually move its entire operations from Old Louisville
No. The Filson has maintained its headquarters in downtown/Old Louisville since
its founding in 1884. The Filson is committed to remaining in
Old Louisville, as reflected in its recent restoration of the Ferguson Mansion.
Since The Filson never holds title to property associated with Oxmoor and
a preservation easement protects the 79-acre site from new construction,
The Filson would not exercise good stewardship of the site or its own
resources by building on the site.
Why would The Filson be interested in managing the preservation easement at
Oxmoor if The Filson never owns land, buildings, Oxmoor-associated
collections, or trust principal?
The site represents over two hundred years of family occupation in
a single place. The buildings, family papers, objects, and landscape
associated with Oxmoor Farm and the Bullitt family offer a tremendous
resource for scholarship and learning about life in Louisville, Kentucky, and
the Ohio Valley region from the 1780s until the present.
How will The Filson use Oxmoor Farm?
Leading scholars from across the nation have been involved in planning
for Filson programs on the 79-acre preservation easement consisting of the
main house, outbuildings, and grounds. The planning is ongoing.
When will the Oxmoor land and Bullitt Trust money become available?
Not until the trust agreement begins at the death of Mrs. Thomas
Bullitt. The Filson Board has six months to accept or reject the terms of
What does The Filson receive as one of the trustís beneficiaries?
The Filson will never own the land, buildings, collections, or trust principal
associated with the 79-acre preservation easement. The Filson does
have the right to use the easement for programs in perpetuity. The Filson also
receives an annual payment of one-sixth of the overall trust income as
designated in the will of Thomas Bullitt for approximately twenty-five
years after the trust agreement begins, after which time The Filson will receive
no additional funding from the trust.
Does the Bullitt Trust agreement represent additional income for The
Only at the Oxmoor site. The Filson cannot use trust income to
support its core functions as a historical society and research library
in Old Louisville or to enlarge its present endowment. Trust funds can
only be used for operations and programs at oxmoor. If the trust were
to begin this year, approximately $400,000 in interest income would be
available to The Filson for Oxmoor expenses. At this time, approximately
$200,000 per year is spent by the trust for the maintenance and operation of
the 79-acre site. Since trust payments will end in approximately twenty-five
years, a portion of the income remaining after maintenance costs
could be used to create a separate trust-controlled endowment for future
Oxmoor operations, but this
endowment would not be owned by The Filson. After maintenance and
endowment outlays, The Filson could easily end up with $100,000 or less
annually to operate the 79-acre site in the short term.