Here are some great information on some of the historic homes in Summerville. The Summerville Historic Homes and Flowers Walking Tour is also a great way to spend the afternoon. Check out the map or download the brochure. You can park at Azalea Park near the tennis courts and start walking down West 6th South Street to Sumter, to Charleston St to Rutherford and back down S Main to the park. Take your time and enjoy all the beautiful homes on your walk!!
Summerville Historic Home #1 on the Walking Tour is the Middleton-Minott Cottage at 104 W. 6th South St. It was built around 1886 and reconstructed near the site of the larger home that was built for Henry A. Middleton. Sadly the large home was destroyed in the earthquake of 1886. The cottage was built for Harriott Minoff, granddaughter of Middleton to whom he willed the property along with Newington Plantation.
Summerville Historic Home #2 on the Walking Tour is the Kracke House at 102 Rutherford Street. The property was purchased by the Kracke family in June 1885 for $400 and sold in 1887 for $2,500, so it was likely built around 1886. It is not known if it was built before or after the earthquake.
Summerville Historic Home #3 on the Walking Tour is the Carrington House at 108 Rutherford Street. This house was built around 1871 by William Carrington, a merchant from Charleston. The land was part of a 34-acre tract purchased by A.W. Taylor in 1862. Rutherford Street was named Taylor Street at that time. This style of house is representative of early Summerville.
Summerville Historic Home #4 on the Walking Tour is the Oliver House at 114 Rutherford Street. This lovely Victorian home was built by Henry Oliver who succeeded Henry L Cade as builder of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Charleston. The land, formerly part of the Taylor tract, was bought by Oliver from Carrington in 1887.
Blake Washington House
Summerville Historic Home #5 on the Walking Tour is the Blake Washington House at 304 S. Hampton Street. This plantation-style home was saved from deterioration and neglect by extensive restoration in 1970. The house was built on land whose titles go back to an 18th-century land grant: Fenwick-Hawks.
Summerville Historic Home #6 on the Walking Tour is the Brailsford-Browning House at 408 Sumter Avenue. Typical of early Summerville architecture, the home was built high off the ground and open underneath, but the lower floor was closed in after 1915. The house was occupied by Dr. W.M. Brailsford in 1838 when it was one of only 29 houses in the village. The exact date of construction and original ownership is uncertain as the land was formerly a part of Colleton County, whose records burned in the 1860s.
Gelzer Brothers House
Summerville Historic Home #7 on the Walking Tour is the Gelzer Brothers House at 413 Sumter Avenue. This home and several others on this end of Sumter Avenue were built to face a street that is no longer in existence. From Sumter Avenue, you view the former back entrance.
Summerville Historic Home #8 on the Walking Tour is the Buckheit House at 317 Sumter Avenue. This land was purchased by Philip Bucheit Sr, a baker from Charleston, in 1862. Records indicate the house was built around 1884 and was occupied by the Steders another bakery family, until 1966.
Summerville Historic Home #9 on the Walking Tour is the Disher House at 303 Sumter Avenue. Deeds for this property go back to 1862 when Robert W. Disher purchased two acres from A.W. Taylor. The street running east of the property (Charleston Street) was formerly named Disher Street.
William Prioleau House
Summerville Historic Home #10 on the Walking Tour is the William Prioleau House at 317 Sumter Avenue. It was built by Dr. William H. Prioleau, a druggist who moved from Charleston for the healthy climate and its distinctive Victorian architecture in the Queen Anne style. The Bolen family has occupied the house since 1925.
Summerville Historic Home #11 on the Walking Tour is the Brownfield House at 230 Sumter Avenue. Originally the residence of the Brownfield family and site of Brownfield Academy, a boarding school advertised in 1893 as “particularly desirable for Northern young ladies with impaired health who would probably be successful in their studies in this healthy climate.” The congregation of what is now St John the Beloved Catholic Church held services in a chapel on the premises. The home is currently undergoing an extensive renovation. The smaller house is a cottage in the back.
Summerville Historic Home #12 on the Walking Tour is the Kinloch House at 223 Sumter Avenue. It was built for Henry W. Kinloch around 1861. The property was purchased on June 4, 1861 from Rev Philip Gadsden, the first Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Summerville, and whose family were large landowners.
Summerville Historic Home #13 on the Walking Tour is the Purcell House at 224 Sumter Avenue. The deeds date this house between 1811 and 1828. The architecture is typical of very early hunting lodges or summer homes erected by nearby planters.
Charles Boyle House
Summerville Historic Home #14 on the Walking Tour is the Charles Boyle House at 220 Sumter Avenue. It was built by Charles Boyle, an attorney. The land, including the lot to the rear of the house, was purchased from Margaret C. Purcell. At that time the Colleton and Berkeley County lines ran through the property.
Summerville Historic Home #15 on the Walking Tour is a home called the Preference at 223 Sumter Avenue. The architecture of this home is West Indian in character. The exact date of construction is difficult to pinpoint, but it is felt that it was built for Mary Webb around 1885.
Samuel Prioleau House
Summerville Historic Home #16 on the Walking Tour is the Samuel Prioleau House at 217 Sumter Avenue. This home, as well as the first Summerville infirmary, were named for owner Samuel Prioleau. The land was given to his wife, Marianna Rhett Prioleau by her mother Mrs. Benjamin Rhett, who lived next door.
Summerville Historic Home #17 on the Walking Tour is the Rhett House at 205 Sumter Avenue. It was built by Dr. Benjamin Rhett, a surgeon in the Confederacy who later practiced medicine and served on the Board of Health in Summerville. Land titles go back to Gadsden land, with the largest portion being purchased from the SC Canal and Railroad Company.
Samuel Lord / Elizabeth Arden House
Summerville Historic Home #18 on the Walking Tour is the Samuel Lord / Elizabeth Arden House at 208 Sumter Avenue. This handsome Victorian house built for Samuel Lord by the same contractor who built the Old Pine Forest Inn. It is three stories tall with double piazzas, it is more representative of Charleston homes. The home was purchased by Elizabeth Arden, cosmetic firm executive, in 1938 as a winter residence, and remained in her possession until 1954. Current owners have kept the famous red door.
Summerville Historic Home #19 on the Walking Tour is the Teacherage at 127 West 5th Street. Records show this 2-acre property was purchased in December 1881 by Mrs. Pauline B Rhett for $300. The house features unusual interior architecture with an octagonal room and medallion skylight extending to 18 feet high. The house was purchased in 1944 by the Summerville School District to board teachers. It was then sold to author Paul Hyde Bonner in 1954.
Summerville Historic Home #20 on the Walking Tour is Squirrel Inn at 116 West 5th South Street. Last but not least on the Summerville Historic Homes and Flowers Walking Tour, the Inn was built by Miss Raven Leis during Summerville’s days as a winter resort and continued to be a noted Inn with fine cuisine until 1966, under the ownership of Jeanne and Eugene Sutter. The building was renovated for condominiums in 1979.
And that’s the Summerville Historic Homes and Flowers Walking Tour! Let me know your thoughts!
For other things to do in Summerville, check out other blog articles here. Or visit The Visitors Center here.