Historic Structures

The DeBruhl House, Columbia South Carolina

Date added: February 16, 2016 Categories: South Carolina House

This house was erected in 1820 and is locally attributed to Robert Mills. While it has a good many of Mill's characteristics, it does not have quite the scale in details that would identify it as such. So far as the known records indicate, there is no basis to attribute the work to Mills.

The house was built for the DeBruhl family, a family long prominent in South Carolina political life, and the date of erection suggests it might have been built for Jesse DeBruhl, Jesse was very active in the public life of the city, and during the Harrison vs Van Buren presidential campaign was the leader of The Democrats in Richland County. The DeBruhl family intermarried with another prominent local family named Marshall, and the house has for years been known as the DeBruhl-Marshall house. In the early pert of the 20th century the property was purchased by James H. Sams, for years a prominent Columbia architect. Sams died about 1938. The house was operated as a rooming house until 1947 and had gotten in a very poor state of repair.

In 1947 the property was purchased by Mrs. George H. Rhodes and restored as a residence. Mrs. Rhodes made so many interior changes that little remains of the original plan except the center hall and major rooms. The stair, which was originally in a room at the rear of the house, is now in the center hall.

Mr. DeBruhl was twice married. His widow married a Mr. Wylie, and Mrs. E. G. Coker, of Columbia, says that during Mrs. Wylie's lifetime, between 1885 and 1895, the following changes were made: the small rear porch was removed and the present rear porches added; the bath was removed from the first floor to the basement; a window bay was added to the rear of the east room of the first floor; the stairs were removed from what is now the kitchen to their present position in the main hall.

Mrs. Wylie died in 1905, ana Quitman Marshall, Esq., who next owned the house, added electricity and one bath.

The Confederate general, James A. Johnston, made the residence his headquarters in 1865.