It’s not often you see a giant goose perched on top of a house. People have been flocking to Hazard since before it was completed to take a gander at the unique structure, built 1935–40 by George Stacy.
Stacy, a railroad worker, built the home for his wife, Ollie, as a labor of love. It features eight egg-shaped windows, head with eyes made out of headlights and a goose’s tail as an awning over the back door.
Manager Sherry Spradlin, shown above left, with Ragean Francis, leased the property last fall, restoring it to 1940s charm and operating it as a bed and breakfast. The Mother Goose Inn Art & Gift Shop has three bedrooms with a private bath that sleeps four and rents for $125 per night for a room or $275 for the house.
The gift shop represents the work of about 30 local artists—paintings, quilts, woodwork and various goose-related items.
“Stacy was a marketing genius,” says Spradlin. “He built the ‘nest’, which was a gas station and little dairy bar; he sold produce out of the garage,” to travelers along Route 476. Eventually, he built another building and opened a restaurant and the Mother Goose Supermarket (where the North Main Diner now operates).
People never really had an opportunity to see the inside of the house, as it was always occupied, so Spradlin is excited to offer tours for $5 per person, “which goes back in to help perserve the goose for many years to come,” she says.
“Everyone wants to see the attic, because you can actually see how the house is built,” Spradlin says. “It’s like the hull of a ship, turned upside down. … Each board was laid in manually to give it that round shape. Then the head and tail were added. The tail serves as a awning over the back door.”
Ragean dresses in 1940s clothes and gives tours, celebrating the home’s 80th year. Her grandmother, Alice McIntosh, great-niece of Stacy, owns the house.