Blair, South Carolina – Clanmore Plantation is one amazing antebellum home with so much history! When I saw that Preservation South Carolina was having an open house last week, I couldn’t wait! The house just sold, so it was a great chance to explore the house and meet the new owner.
Warning: this post is longer than usual! Lots to share here. Clanmore Plantation was built for Mr John Feaster around 1850. Many sources have an 1845 build date, but recently discovered papers indicate 1850. Everything was made on site. The bricks were fired here, the heart pine floors came from trees on the property, and the woodwork in the house is hand carved. Clanmore is SOLID – the walls are brick, not wood framed.
The house was built with a ballroom upstairs – it’s on the left and runs the length of the house. Imagine the entertaining that must have gone on here back in the day.
Clanmore Plantation and Lula’s Dresses
First let’s get to the Civil War story about the house. Mr. Feaster’s 17 year-old niece was staying at the house when Sherman’s army came through the area in February 1865.
The story (from “A Fairfield Sketchbook”, 1963):
“They came one afternoon and took possession, searching the house for food and valuables….the officer conducting the search found two new homespun dresses on the back of the door in the small guest room downstairs. He took them down and slit them into strips with his sword, then threw them on the floor and walked over them. He then went in the hall and lit a fire on the second triangular step of the staircase…”
Well, that made Lula good and mad! She waited and went and put the fire out with some water. And the burned spot is still there!
Even more amazing, when they later saw the house wasn’t on fire, they came back and set another one upstairs. Again, Lula waited and put it out. I just loved hearing this story!
The Faucette Family
The house was purchased between 1866-1868 (sources vary) by Charles W. Faucette Sr. His home in Fairfield County had been burned, and the family moved here. They decided to name the home Clanmore Plantation. The Faucette family owned this property until just 2 weeks ago.
Looking at the 1940s photo – that square piano? It’s a Nunns and Clark’s piano, very rare and museum quality.
In the dining room I had to stop and ponder the fireplace. The left and ride “legs” of the mantel are different sizes. It’s an unusual feature repeated throughout the house. I was expecting symmetry everywhere. Clanmore had surprises for me!
Now let’s head upstairs – bad news on the ballroom, it’s no more. It’s been converted into two bedrooms. How do we know? The walls are beadboard. In the rest of the house, there’s brick behind the plaster.
The house is remarkably strong walking around it. Entering the house, I expected the floors to creak. Later on the tour I realized the floors were super solid.
The stucco on the outside is not original to the house. There are many theories on why it was stuccoed – some say it suffered damage in an 1886 cyclone, others say the brick might have deteriorated. The fun thing about old houses – they always present us with mysteries!
What’s Next for Clanmore?
The house had just been sold by Preservation SC, and I had an opportunity to meet the new owner (and dog named Boo!). It’s exciting to hear that restoration will be very sensitive on this historic home!
One More Clanmore Mystery
I arrived early and met Elaine Gillespie, who represented Presrvation SC on this sale. She said “oh you’ve got to see this!” – and we walked behind a small outbuilding. There were two tombstones there. The one below is a mystery….
Elaine told me she had researched Sallie Faucette, and she died in 1922…and yep, that’s exactly right. AND she’s buried in the Methodist cemetery, not at Clanmore. So…not sure why they had a headstone dated a year before her death?!?
Thanks so much for coming along on the tour – know this was a longer post, but so much to share here! This was a fantastic open house – such a great group of folks, I’m so glad I could share this with you. Appreciate you reading the blog!
Bollick, Julian Stevenson – “A Fairfield Sketchbook”, pp 291-3, 1963.
Preservation South Carolina
“Our Heritage: A Guide to Fairfield Houses”, pp 28-9. 1949