Located on Greenville Highway within Flat Rock’s small commercial district, this charming cottage-style house was the residence of the Andrews family from Tryon. Mitch and his son James ran a livery service here into the 1950’s. They offered horse-drawn taxi service, riding lessons and leased horses to summer residents. Their barn was located just to the north of the house, where apartment buildings are now. The house was built c1885 and the property has frontage on Ravenswood Lake. There are beautiful specimen trees on the site, leading one to wonder if they were planted by the Rev. John Grimke Drayton (Magnolia Gardens in Charleston) when he built Ravenswood which was located to the west of the Andrews House overlooking the lake. The Andrews House was purchased by HFR, Inc., fully renovated, and resold with a Preservation Agreement in place to Fred and Angie LeClercq, who ran an antique shop on the premises. In 2015 it was sold to M. Haynes and Argyll B. Dorn who own Dorn Associates.
Brookland is, by far, one of the most authentically preserved of the old Flat Rock estates, thanks to its present owners. The main dwelling and outbuildings of the time were built by Charles and Mary Edmondston of Charleston c1836. Even earlier, c1829, a small dwelling now used as the guest house was built by Frederick Rutledge making it one of the earliest dwellings in Flat Rock. c1841, the estate was purchased by Edmund Molyneux, the British Consul to Charleston, who was widely acknowledged to be a superb host, using a “neighborly stop” along the railroad line near the house for the convenience of his guests. With the onset of the Civil war, Molyneux was recalled to Britain, and the property was abandoned. In 1881, it was purchased by Theodore and Louise King Barker. They restored and improved the house after it had been abandoned for many years. Mrs. Barker had inherited the adjoining Kirkwood King farm from her father Judge Mitchell King, and when the Barkers combined both properties, it made them one of the largest landowners in Henderson County. Although the entire estate was in Flat Rock, it is now in the city of Hendersonville. In 1917, it was bought by Henry Ficken and his wife Julia Ball of Charleston. She was a descendant of Revolutionary War General William Moultrie. It was in 1977 that C. Eugene (Gene) and Debby Staton purchased the property, made in their permanent home, and began historic renovations.
Commodore’s Cottage, located on the south side of Rutledge Drive, was built in 1910 by J. Fonsie Edney. He sold the property to Commodore Valentine Sevier Nelson, US Navy, in two tracts. The first tract was purchased on April 22, 1924 and the second on April 5, 1927. The Commodore spent the rest of his life living here, and upon his death, his daughter Valentine Nelson Welch inherited the house and made it her summer home. On June 9, 1970, Valentine Nelson Welch sold the property to her niece, Katharine del Valle Jones for, as the deed says, “one dollar and love and affection.” When Katharine del Valle Jones and her husband John Wesley Jones retired from the Foreign Service, they moved permanently to Commodore’s Cottage. John Wesley Jones served as Ambassador to Libya and to Peru, and was Deputy Commandant at the National War College from 1969-1971 when he retired. He was the second president of Historic Flat Rock, Inc. Commodore’s Cottage was the home of his daughter Frances Thornton Jones for many years until it was purchased by the present owners in 2017.
The Dam House was built in 1893 as a wedding present for Harriet Rhett and Dr. Joseph Maybank. It has a lovely view of Highland Lake and sits just above the dam. At the time the house was built, Highland Lake was owned by the Rhett family and the lake was known as Rhett’s Pond. A Preservation Agreement was donated to Historic Flat Rock, Inc. by then HFR, Inc. president Richard Stanland and his wife, Suzanne. The house has now returned to the Maybank family. The present owners, who use it as their summer home, returned the house to its original name, The Dam House.
David Williams, a rice planter from Camden, SC and a US Senator, purchased land and completed Dunroy c1862. Williams’ wife Kate was the sister of Mary Boykin Chesnut, author of”Diary from Dixie”. The house was sold to Mrs. James Williams, then to Mrs. James Rose Rutledge of Charleston, and then to her daughter Mrs. Julius Heyward. Rutledge Drive and Rutledge Mountain are names for the Rutledge family. In 1933, WWI Major General Campbell King, grandson of Judge Mitchell King (Argyle) and his wife bought the property. He was commanding officer for Gen. George C. Marshall and became Army Chief of Staff. Upon General King’s death in 1950, his son Dr. D.I.C. King and his children after him, inherited the property. In the l990’s most of the Dunroy acreage was sold for a residential development, leaving the house, its outbuildings and a tract of land surrounding it, in tact. Dunroy is now home to the Thompson family, who have restored the house, outbuildings, gardens and property to their former glory.
Site of the Thomas Lowndes house c1836, Dolce Far Niente means “sweet nothing to do.” The property includes a contemporary house, Hemlocks, and Emmy’s Cottage. The property is a well known vista upon entering the village from the north with its original granite rock wall and gateposts, laid without mortar. The property has a long history going back to Henry McAlpin in 1833, Charles Baring in 1936 and then Thomas Lowndes the same year. The original tract of land (125 +/- acres) stretched from the present highway east to Highland Lake. The house, which no longer stands, was a grand summer house with wide piazzas and circular drive, lined with Hydrangeas. The house was taken down in 1960, and the property was purchased by Lawrence W. Baynard, who’s daughter Barbara Baynard Hubbell now owns the property with her husband. EMMY’S COTTAGE is included in this Agreement. The cottage was built in 1924 by Richard I’On Lowndes, Jr., who also built the Lowndes House at the Flat Rock Playhouse. The cottage ultimately became home to his sister Alice Lowndes Andrews and her husband William P. (Wick) Andrews. They lived here with their two children William P. (Wick) Jr. and his sister Betty Lee. One additional house is allowed to be built on the property according to the agreement.
The Edney House, c1924, was built by J. Fonsie Edney. He also built Commodore’s Cottage (see above). The house has been enhanced and is one of the most charming of its period in the village. The owner of Edney House, Mr. David Dethero, is a horticulturalist of note and his gardens add a great deal of charm to the property. A circular drive is lined with hydrangeas that dependably bloom each summer, and a portion of the large perennial garden can be enjoyed from an enclosed sunroom on the west side of the house. In addition to the donation of a Preservation Agreement on the Edney House, Mr. Dethero donated a substantial property in the Green River area to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. That property has now been sold with the Agreement intact, protecting it in perpetuity.
365 Sherwood Drive
Owners: Victoria & Dennis Flanagan
Hopewood, formerly known as Sherwood, is the centerpiece of the small Sherwood subdivision. It was built in 1938 by Reuben B. Robertson, President of Champion Fibre, who in 1931 sold the Champion lands used in the creation of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. He named the house Hopewood to honor his wife, Hope Thomson Robertson. The French influenced house sits to the front of formal gardens and meadows that include features dating to 1878 when then owner Joseph Cox selected the site for his summer house. The grounds and gardens lend a background for several historic tree specimens from that period. After passing through several owners, including Margaret Whitehead Roberts, the estate was purchased by Victoria and Dennis Flanagan, who have extensively rehabilitated the main house, outbuildings and gardens.
The cottage, Hemlocks, was built in 1908, on a foundation of a much earlier dwelling. E. R. Pinckney and his wife Louise Cleveland purchased the property in 1925 for their summer cottage. Elizabeth (Elise) Rutledge Pinckney and her sister Sarah Rutledge Pinckney Ambler summered here with their parents. (They were named for their aunts Elizabeth and Sarah Rutledge of Rutledge Cottage.) The house sits along the old drovers’ road, the remains of the Buncombe Turnpike. In 2008 HFR engaged an archeologist to conduct a dig on the property with the hope of finding evidence that the site is the location of the Kuykendall Tavern, dating to the late 1700s. Results were positive and Hemlocks is now a numbered and registered North Carolina State Certified Archeological site. In Dec. 2008, HFR purchased the property, renovated it, and sold it with a Preservation Agreement in place.
Elliott Place, often call the prettiest house in the village, was built c1877 by Col. William Elliott, near the site of his father’s former summer house. He was a US Senator from Beaufort, SC. In 1978, then owner William Hartman donated a Preservation Agreement to Historic Flat Rock, Inc, with a life estate in place for his wife, Virginia. When Mrs. Hartman died, the Agreement went into effect on the house, guest house and beautiful property, which reaches to Highland Lake. It is now the summer home of sisters, Emily Whipple and noted artist, Martha Whaley Adams Cornwell. Their mother, Emily Whaley, well-known Charleston horticulturalist and author, spent her summers here. The property sits high on a hill off Greenville Highway with a commanding view of the lake at the end of a long, sloping lawn, and includes a guesthouse, tennis court and gardens.
Known as the King House, it is named for brothers Benjamin and Elisha King who owned the property in the mid nineteenth century. In a deed of sale to Peter Stradley (see Stradley-Jones house) in 1844,there is a mention of “premises” indicating a dwelling was indeed on the land at that time. Architectural research and local information indicates the house is made up of three separate buildings, either built on site or moved and joined together. Speculating the many possible uses the buildings served is an interesting and fun occupation. Closest to being correct perhaps is that they were three “mill houses”, used at an adjoining mill, and moved to this location when no longer needed. The house was purchased by Historic Flat Rock, Inc. in 2012, extensively restored and sold with a Preservation Agreement in place.
Many Pines was built in 1859 by James R. Pringle of Charleston. The house is unique and retains its row of outbuildings extending from the main house. Pringle sold the property to William Ravenel in 1871, and then it went through a succession of owners before it was purchased in 1908 by Augustine T. Smythe, brother of Capt. Smyth of Connemara, the Carl Sandburg Home. Smythe gave the estate the name Many Pines after the rows of pine trees that line the driveways. The property went to his heirs upon his death and is still in the Smythe family. The Preservation Agreement on Many Pines is one of the most thorough documents of its kind, reflecting both the exterior and interior of the structures. It remains one of the most pure of the old Flat Rock estates.
“Flat Rock Playhouse”
2661 Greenville Highway (5.8 acres)
Owners: Vagabond School of the Drama
In 1847, Richard Henry Lowndes purchased a tract of land and the old parsonage from Charles Baring. On the southern end of this tract, Richard Henry’s son, Richard I’On Lowndes, built his home and named it “The Rock” because it sits on a portion of the great flat rock, for which the village is named. Still visible is the granite wall along the Greenville Highway, mostly mined from the quarry on the property. In 1948, the property was sold to Ruth Conrad of Aiken, SC. They opened a guesthouse, naming it The Holiday Inn, and changed the name of the house to Rockworth. In 1956, the Vagabond School of the Drama became owners of the house and five and a half acres. When Historic Flat Rock Inc. was approached for assistance to renovate the house, HFR donated financial assistance in the amount of $80,000 as well as engineering and planning for the renovation in exchange for a Preservation Agreement. In 2009, the master gardeners of Henderson County refurbished the landscape and gardens.
Located on the Greenville Highway, one house south of the Andrews House, Little Bye was built by Alice G. Braswell in 1948. She came to Flat Rock from Enfield, NC after her retirement as one of the first licensed nurses in the state. While living here she worked as a private nurse, counting among her patients Carl Sandburg and Alexander Campbell King, Richard B. Grimball, now deceased, and his wife Adele bought the house in 1997. They changed the name to Little Bye, a fix hunting term meaning roughly “an unexpected little pleasure” and updated the house. The property has view of Ravenswood Lake from the house-wide porch at the rear of the house.
2730 Greenville Highway
Owner: Starr Teel
Now part of the Wrinkled Egg, the mid 20thc cottage sits adjacent to it on the south side. The two buildings are now joined by a pass-through and a deck and operate as one business. There is an office, originally identified as a residential “cottage” at the rear of the building. It is now part of Flat Rock’s Rainbow Row commercial area.
Mountain Lodge is one of the first summer estate houses built by Charlestonians in Flat Rock. Built c1827, by Charles and Susan Baring on appr. 300 acres, the house sits high on a hill. Originally including a deer park, out buildings and private chapel, Mountain Lodge is recorded to have been the center of the Flat Rock social season. Charles Baring went on to purchase over 3,000 acres which he divided and sold to friends who followed. Susan Baring was the widow of James Heyward, and had inherited a life estate in his vast SC holdings, making her a very wealthy woman in her own right. Charles was a member of the Baring Bank family. Together they built their summer retreat, Mountain Lodge, and established themselves as Flat Rock’s most social couple. In 1845, Susan died and her SC estate reverted to the Heyward family. Charles inherited the NC property, but in 1849, he indentured it to pay a debt to his family firm, Baring Brothers. Following financial downturns, he sold Mountain Lodge to Edward L. Trenholm in 1853. Trenholm owned a cotton shipping firm in England and ran the largest fleet of blockade runners during the Civil War. The family spent summers at Mountain Lodge until 1911 when they sold to George and Lucy Baldwin of Savannah. The Baldwins added land and outbuildings to the estate and willed the property to their children who held it until 1935, when they sold it with 197 acres to Edward and Margaret Jones of Texas. They made many changes to the house including a two-story porch, porte cochere, sunroom and kitchen wing, all designed by Erle Stillwell. In 1958, Mountain Lodge was purchased by the Galloways, who renamed it Heaven Trees, and in 1959 the property, which only included 25 acres by then, was purchased by Newton Duke Angier and his wife Jane. They lived there year-round and in 1972, sold to Albert and Sarah Little Moreno of Savannah. William Gregg bought the property in 1995, and by 2014, Historic Flat Rock, Inc. was able to purchase the property out of bankruptcy. After a long and interesting history, the house and grounds are finally being refurbished and restored.
Built c1886 by Penelope Pyatt Parker of Georgetown, SC as a summer house, the house and property were owned and enjoyed by her granddaughter Penelope Parker Peterson throughout her life. Mrs. Parker designed the house herself and completed it on her own after her husband passed away. It has been used by her family as a summer residence ever since. The house, with a long wrap-around covered porch, guest house, and tennis court, sits at the end of a long and interesting private drive, lined with towering evergreens. The Preservation Agreement allows for one additional house to be built on the property.
118 Village Center Drive
Owner: Historic Flat Rock, Inc.
The Old Post Office was built c1845 by the Rev. Peter Stradley, who purchased the land for his home, farm and shop c1844. He was a Baptist minister, a blacksmith, storekeeper and postmaster, a position he kept until after the Civil War when he was relieved of his duties because of his service as a “Civil War postmaster.” (His son was named to succeed him.) This building was the first designated post office location. Prior to this, mail was collected at local inns or taverns. The central location of the building along the Saluda Path at the intersection of present day Little River Road, made it a gathering place, not just to retrieve mail, but to hear the news. This was especially the case during the Civil War years. Historic Flat Rock, Inc. purchased the building in 1979, and renovated it thoroughly. They use the upper floor as offices and beginning in 2017, the first floor will house the HFR Cultural Center/Museum, fulfilling its Mission to make artifacts and collections available to the public. HFR donated a Preservation Agreement on the building to Preservation North Carolina in order to avoid the appearance of any merger of interests, ensuring the protection of the building and the agreement will survive in perpetuity.
Greenville Highway (1.44 acres)
Owner: Historic Flat Rock, Inc.
The Preserve is a 1 ¼ acre green space located on the corner of Greenville Highway and Memminger Drive in the center of the village. HFR purchased the land in 2000 to prevent it from commercial development. It was, at one time, part of the Ravenswood estate, home of Rev. John Grimke Drayton of Magnolia Gardens and Civil War pastor of the Church of St. John in the Wilderness. There is a walking trail through the woods, maintained by HFR.
Count Jospeh Marie Gabriel St. Xavier de Choiseul, known as cousin of Louis Phillip, Duke of Orleans and one time governor of Corsica, became so charmed by the gay cultured social life he found in Flat Rock he settled his family there while he conducted his duties as French consul to Savannah and Charleston. He built Saluda Cottages where his family became favorites of the colony. The estate was later taken over by Izard Middleton, a descendant of one of the 1670 land proprietors of South Carolina. General Seigling, owner of the Charleston News and Courier, made extensive alterations in 1887 adding the third floor, the tower and other elaborate features of the house. He gave it the carefree name, San Souci. The extensive grounds, typical of Flat Rock places, are so laid out that broad vistas can be seen through tall hemlocks planted in rings of five to seven, giving a feeling of open spaces in dense forest. A path once leading through the grounds was known as the Jerusalem Walk. It led from Ravenwood to the church. An early deed had a provision reserving this path for people walking to church.
Rutledge Cottage c1838, is one of the most charming houses in the village. It sits at the end of an avenue of towering Hemlocks and pines. The house was built by Dr. Mitchell Campbell King, son of Judge Mitchell King (Argyle), and reflects the architectural influence of German country houses. When Dr. King returned to Flat Rock after medical studies abroad, he built this house for his family’s use while he completed his permanent home, Glenroy (Kenmure) c1850. He also built a medical office building close to the Glenroy construction site, and when Glenroy was completed, this office building was placed on lags and rolled to the Rutledge Cottage site. It was added to the main house and serves as the present-day kitchen. What is now a guesthouse was the original kitchen house, and may, in fact, be an even older dwelling than the main house. In a recent renovation of the guesthouse, old slave beds were discovered in the rafters. c1857, the property was sold to Elizabeth Pinckney Rutledge, daughter of Frederick Rutledge of Hampton Plantation for $4,000. Her father was one of the earliest settlers of Flat Rock. The house was then known as Forest View. In 1908, Elizabeth Rutledge gave the house to her sister Alice Rutledge Felder. Alexander F. Schenck and his wife Laurinda purchased Rutledge Cottage in 1966. Mr. Schenck was the first president of Historic Flat Rock, Inc.
110 Village Center Drive (2.22 acres)
Owner: Village of Flat Rock (Flat Rock Village Hall)
The original section of the house that is now the core section of the village hall was built c1845 by the Rev. Peter Stradley (see Old Post Office). The complex was a small working farm and included, in addition to the usual outbuildings of the time, a building that served as a store and post office, a blacksmith shop and barn. Stradley sold to Alan Tabor who kept it for thirty years or more. It then went to the Ripley family, who lived here and ran the store and post office. In 1915, the house was sold to Postmaster Jones and his wife Dovie. He was the last postmaster to live in the house, therefore the double name of the first postmaster to live there and the last. In 1997, HFR purchased the house, and remaining outbuildings when they purchased the Old Post Office. In 2003, the property (except for the Old Post Office building) was sold to the Village of Flat Rock. The barn was dismantled according to the agreement with The Village to provide parking spaces.
2710 Greenville Highway (.29 acres)
Owner: Starr Teel
What was a central gathering place for so many village residents when it was Peace’s store and gas station, sits on land that was known as “Mr. Farmer’s Brick Yard”. In 1900, E.J. Francis bought seventeen acres and built the store. He then sold the store and two acres to the Peace family. Luther, Melton, Rufus and then their nephew Clarence Peace ran the store. Clarence lived at the store while running it as a grocery store, gas station and barber shop. It was a magnet for youngsters of the village because of its candy counter. Historic Flat Rock, Inc. purchased the property from Clarence Peace’s estate, put a Preservation Agreement on it, and sold it in 1990 to David L. Galloway. The building is now owned by Mr. Starr Teel, and contains a retail business a bakery and restaurant. It’s the anchor for what’s locally referred to as “Little Rainbow Row.”