Historic Structures

Milford Mansion - Governor John Manning Plantation, Pinewood South Carolina

Date added: February 15, 2016 Categories: South Carolina Plantations & Farms Mansion House Greek Revival

John Lawrence Manning was governor of South Carolina from 1852 to 1854; following in the footsteps of his father, Richard I. Manning, who had been governor from 1824 to 1826. Manning as the fourth of six governors of South Carolina in his family. He married Susannah Hampton, daughter of Major general Wade Hampton. After her death, he married Sarah Bland Clarke of Virginia. Their children were Douglas Gordon, Ellen Clarke, and John Clarke. It is not known who the second owner of the house, Mrs. Williams, was; but since it has been reported that she inherited the house, perhaps she was Ellen Clarke Manning. The house is sometimes known as "Manning's Folly," because of its great expense. The Georgian Period (Vol. 1, pp. 248-250) says, "Nowhere in the South is there a country seat more strikingly individual than the Manning House" and "Certainly few plantation houses were ever built with more care or cost."

Cost to build was reputed to be $100,000. Two second-floor "wash rooms" (now bathrooms) were originally supplied with running water supplied through lead pipe from an elevated water tank nearby (the tower-like support still stands). The tank was supplied from the spring house by a hydraulic ram. The materials for the residence, including Rhode Island granite, were "brought up from Charleston on the Santee River, then overland to the house. The brick for the house was burned on the site. The house was centrally heated from the time of its construction.

Floor plans: Rectangular central pavilion with portico at front and apse at rear (curving stair in apse). First floor-center hall, front to "back; double living room on left (east) and library and dining room with curved end wall on right (west). Second floor-center hall front to back, two rooms on each side with original bathrooms between; modern bath added over porch on southwest. Third floor-center hall, front to back, three rooms on each side. Covered piazza leads to side pavilions, which are two-story service buildings (west side is kitchen; east side is laundry).

The Grand curving stair in apse has open string with fancy carved scrolls, pine steps with the original carpeting. The scroll-like heavy newel is in the Empire style; the simple balusters and railing are of mahogany. There are separate service stairs, first through third floor, and a ladder-like flight to roof scuttle.