What and where is Plancentia?
Plancentia was the home of John and Anna Fister. It was built in 1815 intended for a large family. Originally, it had 12 rooms on two floors, a large oval main room with a dome ceiling, two octagonal twin parlors, fan windows identical to the doorway at the Hunt Morgan house. The Marquis LaFayette purportedly stayed at Plancentia in 1824 while visiting the US to raise money for a French revolution. Around 1825, it became The Sign of the Golden Eagle tavern and inn. Henry Clay made a famous political speech at Plancentia on July 27, 1827.
Plancentia on 84 acres was sold by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Downing to Anna Grosser Fister in 1882. It sat across from the Hillenmeyer Nurseries at Sandersville Road on the Georgetown Road, near Citation Blvd. The surrounding lands were purchased by John Nicolas Fister and later transferred to Anna so that she was the sole owner of Plancentia and the surrounding lands until her death.
In her will, Anna left the property to her husband, only for his life. Upon his death, her children inherited the property, share and share alike, " it being my great desire that all of my children shall live together with their father at the home place....and shall always have a home during the life of their father," (from the will of Anna Mary Grosser.) After John's death, Fister properties were divided among his children and Plancentia remained a Fister "home place" for the William Marion Fister family until the 1986 death of Elizabeth Decker Fister (widow of William Marion Fister.)
Plancentia's Federalist style was considered architecturally important for Lexington. When John and Anna lived at Plancentia, it was considered to be "out in the country." The recent completion of Citation Blvd. as the northern beltway, placed the property well within the Lexington urban area. That position is likely a major reason for Plancentia's demise. Despite efforts to have it saved for historic preservation, Plancentia was razed on January 17, 2002.
The following poems were penned as Plancentia faced demolition.