..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Abbeville, SC

Stan and I took his mother with us to Abbeville, SC in May. We really enjoyed our trip. I made a picnic and we ate in the town square.

The square has a beautiful Civil War Monument.

Here is the Abbeville Courthouse.

Here is a monument to John C. Calhoun whose offices were nearby. I did not know that he was a native of Abbeville. John C. Calhoun was born near Abbeville, South Carolina. Calhoun became a congressman, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and vice president of the United States. He was the first vice-president born as a United States citizen. Calhoun served as the seventh Vice President of the United States, first under John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and then under Andrew Jackson (1829-1832), but resigned the Vice Presidency to enter the United States Senate, where he had more power. He also served in the United States House of Representatives (1810-1817) and was both Secretary of War (1817-1824) and Secretary of State (1844-1845). He is buried in the graveyard of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Here is the lovely Abbeville Opera House.

At the turn of the century there were many "road companies" producing shows in New York City. Once the production was assembled, the show traveled throughout the country. One of the more popular tours went from New York to Richmond to Atlanta. For a number of years, Abbeville was an overnight stop for the entire touring company. On October 1, 1908, what was then the Abbeville District dedicated a new Abbeville County Courthouse and City Hall. The grand old theatre now known as the Abbeville Opera House was a part of that splendid pair of buildings. The theatre operates year round. The 218 refurbished seats face a 7,800-square-foot stage. The balcony has 92 seats and the turn of the century boxes seat up to 6 people in each of the four box seats.

Nicely restored Abbeville Livery Stable.

The building housing Courtyard Creations was built in 1865.

The historic Belmont Inn was opened as the Eureka Inn in 1903. It was built to house the travelers of the textile trade known as "drummers". The Abbeville Opera House was opened in 1908 so the next door inn was convenient for the players and visitors of the Opera House. It cost $30,000 to build and opened under the management of W.T. McFall with 34 rooms and several public bathrooms. It is of Spanish architecture, and with its broad and extended verandas, its wide spreading roof, reaching some six or eight feet beyond the outer walls of the building, makes it highly suggestive of restfulness, ease and comfort. It continued until it closed in 1972. It was restored and reopened in 1983. Part of that renovation was transcending it to twenty-five rooms with private en-suite baths and all modern conveniences. In June of 1996, the present owners, Alan and Audrey Peterson purchased the Belmont and remodeled again. It is said that the Belmont Inn is haunted by 2 males ghosts.

Stan in front of a slot car business in Abbeville, SC.

There are some beautiful historic churches. First is the First Baptist Church of Abbeville, SC. The Abbeville Baptist Church was organized on January 15, 1871. The Rev. Crawford H. Toy, a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Greenville, SC was the organizing pastor. There were two charter members and the services over the next year were led by Dr. Toy and Dr. James C. Furman of Furman University. The first services were held at the Female Academy at the corner of North Main and Wardlaw Streets. The church was organized under the name of the Abbeville Baptist Church. Ground was broken on April 23, 1873 for the initial church building at the Southwest corner of Pinckney and Church Streets. The lot was purchased for $200. The church entered its building program with five members of which four were women. The cost for the new building was $4,000. The cornerstone was laid several months later. Inside the cornerstone was placed a small Bible, a glass jar holding some documents, and a few coins. Five months later a thief picked the cornerstone from the wall believing there was a large sum of money stored there. The thief stole the $4 or $5 that was there and left the Bible and documents. The first baptism by immersion in Abbeville took place in August of 1874. The stream below the Seaboard trestle was dammed, creating a pool deep enough for the first baptism by immersion of the Abbeville Baptist Church. A little more than five years after its organization the building was dedicated on February 13, 1876. In 1910, the church pledged to start a building program. The church had outgrown the building that had served it for thirty-four years and the 235 total members, of which 135 were active members, embarked on a venture of faith that would relocate the Abbeville Baptist Church to the corner of North Main and Ellis Streets (its present location). The present building and a parsonage were erected in 1911 and was dedicated on December 31, 1911. The overall cost of the building was $30,000, not including the pipe organ. Interestingly enough, millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie contributed $1000 toward the $5000 cost of the Pilcher pipe organ.

This is Trinty Episcopal Church in Abbeville. Trinity Episcopal Church was founded in 1842. Thomas Parker is considered the founder. The congregation worshiped in the Court House until a small white clapboard building in 1843 on the site of the present building. In 1858, members of the vestry, whose names appear on the pews they occupied, felt the growing and affluent congregation needed a larger building. George Walker, a Columbia archietect, was chosen and he designed the building in the French Gothic Revival style which was appropriate as Abbeville was named for Abbeville, France. The total cost, including the organ, was $15,665.00. The cornerstone was laid in 1859.On November 4, 1860, not quite three weeks before the fateful Secession meeting was held in Abbeville, the service of consecration was held. On November 22, the Secession meeting was held and the old South was gone forever. The large chancel window was a gift from a "Greenville church" and was ordered from England to be placed at the time of consecration. Unfortunately, the window did not arrive until 1863, having run the blockade in Charleston harbor. It was not the Trinity window ordered for this church and the story is that it was to have been sent to a northern church. Since it was wartime, the window was kept and the wall altered to fit. The bell in the steeple was given by J. Foster Marshall, an early member of the Trinity congregation. During the War Between the States, the Confederate government wanted the bell for war materials, but it was found to be made of unsuitable metal and will peal out again when repairs are made to the tower. The steeple is 120 feet tall with a gold cross on top.

This is the Abbeville Presbyterian Church. The Abbeville Presbyterian Church was organized on April 19, 1868 with fifty-nine charter members. Our present membership is about 225. The Sanctuary and adjacent rooms were built in 1888 at a cost just under $14,000.00. The 1959 Austin pipe organ was removed and completely refurbished in 2004.

Some of the historic homes in Abbeville, SC.

We visited the historic Barksdale-Bundy-McGowan House. It's not in the best of condition but it is stabilized and they are taking care of it. Hopefully it can be fully restored one day. It is so worth it!

This 1888 Queen Anne house was the home of Gen. Samuel McGowan (1819-1897) until his death. McGowan, a lawyer, Confederate general, and jurist born in Laurens Co., had moved to Abbeville in 1841. He was an officer during the Mexican War and in the S.C. militia after it. During the Civil War he commanded the 14th S.C. Infantry 1862-63 and commanded a S.C. brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia 1863-65. He was a Brigadier General leading McGowan's Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia of the Confederate Army. In 1879, he became an Associate Justice of the S.C. Supreme Court, a position he held until 1893. Upon retirement from the bench. McGowan spent his last years in this house, surrounded by family and friends. He died at home on August 9, 1897, and is buried in Long Cane Cemetery. Stan is a member of the General Samuel McGowan Camp of the Son's of the Confederate Veterans in Laurens, SC. After 1865 McGowan bought a house on this lot. Built by Col. James Perrin in 1860, it burned in 1867; this house was built on the old foundation. McGowan served as a justice on the S.C. Supreme Court 1879-93. The Barksdale family bought the house in 1905, and WWII Gen. W.E. Barksdale was the last to live here. In 1898 his nephew J.D. Bundy gave it to the Abbeville County Historical Society as its headquarters. After General McGowan's death, his son and daughter-in-law, William Campbell McGowan and Clelia Peronneau Mathewes, lived in the house until William McGowan's death in 1898. It was William who oversaw the construction of the house. After William's death, Clelia moved to Charleston where she became the first female member of the Charleston City Council (1923). During her life, she also served as president of the South Carolina United Daughters of the Confederacy (1897-1899).

It was designed by Atlanta architect G.L. Norman and is an excellent example of the Queen Anne style, characterized by towers, turrets, multi-faceted roofs, the utilization of windows in different sizes and shapes and the use of various textures in exterior materials. The outside of the house is painted with the Victorian multi-colors originally used, as determined by scientific paint analysis. The construction of the existing house was completed in 1888, as noted in the chimney display on the right side of the house. The house has 4 levels, (1) the basement level which houses 8 rooms where various domestic activities took place; (2) the main floor which consists of a large living hall, a library, a parlor, and a dining room; (3) the upstairs level which includes 4 bedrooms radiating from a central hall; (4) the commodious attic. Many interesting architectural features can be found throughout the house such as built-in-furniture, pocket windows, a coffered ceiling, and windows of multi-colored glass. The influence of the 19th century English architect, Charles Locke Eastlake is seen in the abundant use of solid woods and in the simple and rectangular style of the woodwork.

The entrance hall included an open stairway and a fireplace with beautiful ceramic tiles. The woodwork is extensive even to a coffered ceiling. There are stained glass panes over the door and in the windows up the stairway.

To the right was a wonderful library. The woodwork in this house is fantastic. How I would love to have a library like this. The round reading nook held a piano.

Windows that went all the way to the floor were made that way so they could be used as doorways to the porch.

You walked from the library directly into the dining room.

Back to the entrance hall and to the left is a feminine parlor.

This back parlor was a completely round room.

Going up the open stairway.

A nice wide staircase

Upstairs, the staircase ends on a large hallway. They currently have an exhibit of Abbeville native, Jenny Prince's wedding gowns. She was a NY coutourier and clothing designer.

Of the 4 large bedrooms, 3 of them are used for exhibits. One is an exhibit of pharmaceutical supplies; another was an exhibit of town and the house history; and the last was an exhibit of war memorabilia.

The fourth bedroom

Next we visited the Burt-Stark House.
The Burt-Stark Mansion was built after the style of a Hudson River estate admired by the first owner's northern wife. It's in the Greek Revival style. Local folklore tells of David Lesley, the first owner, sending his slave and master carpenter, Cubic, to New York to study. Over the next ten years, Cubic and many other skilled artisans and craftsman (who were probably all slaves) built this antebellum estate. David Lesley was a planter, lawyer and Abbeville District judge.

In 1860, a meeting to discuss the secession of South Carolina was held in Abbeville. The first public reading of the secession papers was done from the upstairs balcony over the front door of the Burt-Stark House.

On May 2, 1865, less than a month after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the war council of the Confederate forces met with President Jefferson Davis. He desperately wanted to continue the War. Present at this meeting were cabinet members Benjamin, Mallory, Reagan and Breckinridge and five Brigade Commanders, Ferguson, Dibrell, Vaughn, Duke and Breckinridge. It was at this meeting that President Davis was convinced by his generals and Cabinet that the Southern resources were exhausted had that to continue the battle would only bring more misery to the region. Nearing collapse they helped him upstairs to a bed where he laid to compose himself. This bed is still at the Burt-Stark House. When he came back downstairs, President Davis finally admitted, "All is indeed lost" and disbanded the armies. He left just missing his wife who joined him forthwith and they were soon captured.

The house is a two-story white frame structure with four square columns supporting the pediment front portico, two stories height and extending across the central section of the house. There are ornamental supports to give the house a more gracious feel. Beneath the pediment is a small second=story balcony with wooden latticework. There is a floor-height window opening onto the main portico on either side of the front door.

The main entrance is a central great hall with an Adam fanlight. A drawing room opens on each side of the entrance where the wide double door to each of these rooms could be opened permitting the use of the entire front area a s a ballroom.

Upstairs the most significant bedroom was the one located in the northeast and the northwest corners of the house which were used by President Davis in 1865.

Today it is furnished with Southern antiques, including furniture, silver, crystal, rugs and paintings. The dining room with its plantation hunt board shows the hospitality for which the home was always known.

A first floor bedroom and four upstairs bedrooms are furnished in the early 19th century mode with marble-topped dressers, hand-carved chests, and tester beds with hand-made coverings. The desk of the home’s first owner stand in the upstairs hall.

In the large entrance hall is a beautiful fan shaped window over the doorway from the entrance to the staircase hall.

Originally the staircase was centered in the hall and at the landing it branched into 2 staircases to the upstairs. But when they added an upstairs bathroom, they had to move the staircase to one side.

To the left and to the right are equally beautiful parlors.

Both parlors had these beautiful empire mirrors with matching window valances. It was designed like this so that the wide doors could be opened to create a ballroom from the entire front area. The left drawing room would be where Jefferson Davis would hold his final war council.

Jefferson Davis' wife, Varina Davis, had met Armistead Burt when Jefferson Davis first entered the United States Congress in December 1845. Burt invited Varina Davis and her children to his house, as Varina was sent away from Richmond, Virginia for her protection. Varina pointed out to Burt that Yankees might eventually burn his house for harboring her, but in Southern gallantry, he said if his house was burnt it would have no greater cause. Varina moved to the Mansion on April 17. Days later, after Varina had left to go further South, Davis came to the house where he disbanded the armies. After her left, he met back up with Varina before they were captured.

The dining room of the Burt-Stark House

A view from the dining room into the Butler's Pantry that leads to the add-on kitchen.

There are 2 downstairs summer bedrooms

Notice the wide door onto the back porch.

The upstairs bedrooms were very feminine.

The old detached kitchen

The property has had seven owners. The original owner, David Lesley, owned it until his death in 1855. He had hired a man named Johnson, an English landscaper, to organize the property. The next owner was a Presbyterian pastor named Thomas A. Hoyt, who owned it until 1859 when he was sent to another church in Louisville, Kentucky. A banker from Charleston, South Carolina, Andrew Simonds, bought it from Hoyt, and in 1862 sold it to Armistead Burt, who owned it when Jefferson Davis used the building. After the war, in 1868 Burt had to sell the house due to bankruptcy. A local planter, James R. Norwood, bought it; when he died in 1875, his widow and daughter inherited it. James Samuel Stark bought it from them in 1900, and with his wife restored the building. On their death, their daughter Mary Stark Davis inherited it. After Davis died in the Fall of 1987, Abbeville Historic Preservation Commission was given control of the house. Mary and her sister lived in the house all their lives. It was Mary who wanted the house preserved. It was her request that all her belongings remain as they were when she died so it still feels like the home that she lived in.

We ended our day by stopping by Park's Seeds, 2 Parkton Avenue, Hodges, SC (outside of Greenwood) .

My Most Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

Contact Me

To contact me, email me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com