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Barre Street

Barre (pronounced like Barry) Street was surveyed in 1770 as the westernmost street of the Village of Harleston running south to north from a creek just below Beaufain Street and crossing a creek just to the north of Bull Street. The street, however, was platted through marsh lands and never actually laid out . Lucas Street, located at a point between Barre (as platted in 1770) and Gadsden streets, and running north from Manigault Street (as the western portion of Calhoun was then called) to Mill Street (now Sabin), was cut through the lands of Jonathan Lucas, Sr. and Jr., mill builders and operators. The continuation of Lucas street south of Calhoun into the lands of Thomas Bemett Sr. and Jr., was also called Lucas Street. In the mid-20th century, when the street was continued south to Broad Street, the old name of Barre was revived and applied to the length of the street. Barre street honors Isaac Barre, a member of Parliament who, like William Pitt, sponsored the cause of the colonists against ''taxation without representation."
(CEO Plat Book, 54; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys , p. 61; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses , p. 312, 315, 325-329; Stoney, This is Charleston , p. 126, 129.)



 

69 Barre St.

-- Gov. Thomas Bennett's house, built c. 1825 on land inherited from his father, Thomas Bennett, Sr. (1754-1814), the architect (Orphan House, 1792), builder and lumberman. The senior Bennett, in cooperation with Daniel Cannon, built and operated large lumbermills using both wind and tidal power. The mill known as Cannon's Lower Mill was located on Bennett's tract of land. After the partnership with Cannon ended, the senior Bennett took his son into partnership, and in 1802, the younger man continued the business alone. Thomas Bennett, Jr. (1781-1865) was a member of the S.C. House of Representatives, 1804-06, 1808-10, 1812-18 and Speaker of the House, 1814-18; member of the South Carolina Senate, 1819-20 and 1837-40; and Governor of South Carolina, 1820-22 . He was lntendant of Charleston, 1812-14. ln addition to the lumber business, which he turned over to his son-in-law, Jonathan Lucas, III, in 1847, Gov. Bennett was active in rice milling, building Bennett Mill on the Cooper River side of the city, and in banking, serving as president and director of the Bank of the State of South Carolina and director of the Planters and Mechanics Bank of South Carolina. When built, Gov. Bennett's house looked out on his rice and saw mills and his mill ponds to the south and east, which were filled in in the 1880's and '90s. The house is two and one-half stories of brick on a raised basement of stuccoed brick The one story piazza on the south side of the house has a fanlighted entrance, with engaged columns and entablature, and segmental arches rising from unfluted Roman Doric columns. The piazza and the iron railed entrance platform with curving steps, rest on arcades of stuccoed brick. The house has a pediment on the south facade, palladian windows in the east gable and a round-headed stair window on the north side. The interior woodwork and plasterwork is elaborately decorated in the Regency style and the free-flying stair rises for one floor without visible means of support . The only other free-flying stair in the city is that in the Nathaniel Russell House 51 Meeting St., which rises three floors without touching the walls. The floor plan is that of the double house, with a central hall flanked by two rooms on either side. The stairhall is separated from the entrance hall by a keystone arch and fanlighted doorway. A two story stuccoed brick outbuilding remains in the rear yard. The fence and gate in front of the house are black cypress.
(Thomas, DYKYC, Dec. 8, 1969; Ravenel, Architects , p. 82-85; Chamberlain & Chamberlain, p. 138; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses , p. 321-322, 325-329; Stoney, This is Charleston , p. 69.)