Historic Structures

Brick House Ruins, Edisto Island South Carolina

Date added: November 29, 2015 Categories: South Carolina House Mansion Plantations & Farms

The date of the erection of the house has never been determined. Some writers believe it to be seventeenth century, but it dates probably from about 1725. The first reference to it seems to be in an indenture dated February 3, 1746, between Paul Hamilton and John MacLeod. This indenture recites that the land was granted to Thomas Sacheverel by the Lords Proprietors of the Province about May 10, 1703. As a house is referred to in this indenture it is sure that such was on the site by 1746. The architectural elements would point to date of about 1725, which would be confirmed by the architectural style of Crowfield, built about 1730. In 1793 the Brick House became the property of the Jenkins family. It was burned in 1929, but the walls were stabilized and are preserved.

An Indenture dated 1746, records that on or about the "Tenth Day of May Anno Domini 1703," the Lords Proprietors granted unto Thomas Sacheverell, of Colleton County, "all that Tract of Land containing Four Hundred and Thirty Acres English Measure," now known as Brick House Plantation.

Sacheverell sold the tract to Paul Hamilton who according to tradition built Brick House. No record can be found bearing date of erection of edifice, but architects and authorities agree that the mansion was Dutch Colonial of the Georgian Period, and was probably built between 1715 and 1720.

Paul Hamilton died in 1735, and left his estate to his son Paul Hamilton, Jr., who in 1746 sold it to John McLood, for the "Sum of Three Thousand Pounds Current Money."

The property again changed hands in 1769 when Paul Hamilton, acting as executor of the estate of John McLeod, sold it to William Maxwell for L 3,750. William Maxwell left the property to his son James Rivers Maxwell,

In 1798 Joseph Jenkins of Beaufort County bought Brick House from James kivers Maxwell and Harriet Elliot Maxwell, his wife, for L 750. From that date until the night when it was destroyed by fire, January 29, 1929, it remained in the hands of the Jenkins family.

Description

Walls and chimneys now standing. Brick; two stories; formerly covered by hipped roof; facade five bays, center door; side elevation and rear three bays. Exterior is noted for its fine brickwork and plastered decoration. The walls throughout are laid in Flemish bond, and quoins are blocked out at main corners of the building and plastered to represent stone. Window openings were also treated with quoining, but this was small in scale, merely applied, and most of it has now disappeared. Windows had plastered bibs and flat arches with keystones. The arches over the upper windows had disappeared before the fire, but probably originally existed. The central feature of the end elevations is an arched panel on the first floor, with a blind window set in a rusticated field above. The keystone of the lower niche was modeled with a siask. On the rear elevation the central feature is a great arched window which occurred at the staircase landing. This was set in a plastered field, with arch stones incised in the plaster work at the head. The window is flanked by rusticated piers, and the whole motif is capped by a plastered cornice.

All exterior woodwork has now perished, and the sash and blinds before the fire were apparently modern. The original cornice and porch remained. The former was fully moulded, without modillions or dentils, and the latter was pedimented with fluted Doric piers, the cornice enriched with triglyphs.

In plan the front of the house was divided into two unequal rooms, the front door entering the end of the larger. There was a central stair hall in the rear flanked by two smaller rooms. The interior contained much fine paneling.