Two upper middle class farm families, the Farnsleys and, later, the Moremens, brought the Riverside property to life by cultivating the fields and trading on the river. In the 19th century, the Ohio River served as one of America’s superhighways and the families who lived at Riverside took advantage of their location. From around 1820 until 1890, an active riverboat landing on this property allowed people traveling by river to stop to trade goods, to take on boilerwood for fuel, or to rest. In addition, a ferry operated out of Riverside carrying people and goods back and forth between Indiana and Kentucky. Gabriel Farnsley built the impressive two-story brick “I” house with its full-height Greek Revival portico by 1837. Farnsley had purchased the 200 acres, upon which the house is built, with a business partner in 1826. By 1828, Farnsley bought out his business partner to become the sole owner of the property. Farnsley prospered at his Ohio River farm located 13 miles downriver from Louisville. By 1849, the year of his death, Farnsley had increased his land holdings to 400 acres.
Alanson and Rachel Moremen purchased the original 200-acre tract in 1862. They acquired additional surrounding properties bringing the size of the farm to 1,500 acres, the largest farm in Jefferson County, Kentucky, at the time. By the 1880s, the aging Alanson began legally dividing the farm among his heirs. Moremen family descendants owned the property until 1988 when they sold the house and remaining acreage to Jefferson County.
Today, visitors to Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing can tour the historic house and grounds which include:
- the reconstructed 19th century detached kitchen,
- on-going archaeological excavations (seasonal), and
- the kitchen garden where volunteers grow many of the same vegetables and herbs that would have been part of meals served during the period.
A modern Visitors Center houses an auditorium, museum exhibits and a museum store.