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Tradd Street (78-196)

Photo: 106 Tradd St. c.1770

78 Tradd St.

80 Tradd St.

82 Tradd St.

84 Tradd St.

94 Tradd St. c.1760
IMAGE -- Samuel Wainwright built this three and one-half story stuccoed brick single house c. 1760. (DYKYC, n.d.; SCHS.)

100 Tradd St. c.1740
 -- The two and one-half story house is believed to have been constructed c. 1740 for Capt. Francis Baker. This is a frame house, the exterior of which was stuccoed in the 20th century. (Stockton, unpub. notes.)

102 Tradd St. c.1770
-- This two and one-half story wooden house was standing in 1774, when "F. Fraser" scratched his name and that date on a windowpane. The pane probably immortalizes Frederick Fraser, the then 12-year-old grandson of Frederick Grimke. Whether Grimke built or bought the house is not known. Another Grimke grandson, the miniature painter Charles Fraser, brother of Frederick, lived here. The Grimkes and Frasers were Protestants, but a tradition persists that the first Roman Catholic Mass in Charleston was celebrated here in 1786, by an ltalian priest en route to Latin America. Tradition says that Mass led to the establishment of St. Mary's Catholic Church. (Ravenel, DYKYC, Oct. 19, 1942; Simmons; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 105.)

103 Tradd St. c.1797
 -- This house is believed to have been built c. 1797. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 105.)

106 Tradd St. c.1770
IMAGE: TOP OF PAGE -- Col. John Stuart built this house before 1772, three and one-half stories of wood with a hipped roof and a "captain's walk." The three bay facade is faced with flush boards and the front windows have pediments. A subsequent owner added the two story octagonal wing and the piazza. The house has fine Georgian woodwork. The drawing room woodwork had to be replicated because the original was sold after World War l to the Minneapolis Museum of Art. A model of the drawing room, depicting Col. Stuart meeting with an lndian chief, constructed by Robert N.S. Whitelaw, is in the Charleston Museum. Col. Stuart was the Royal Commissioner of lndian Affairs for the area extending from Virginia to West Florida. He was a Tory whose property in South Carolina was confiscated by Patriot authorities. Tradition says Gen. Francis Marion, an abstemious man, found himself locked in by an overbearing host (a Patriot officer quartered here after Col. Stuart's departure), who refused to let his guests leave until drunk. The tradition says that, to escape the drinking bout, Marion leaped from a window and broke his leg, and this made necessary a long recuperation on his plantation, and he thus avoided capture by the British on the fall of Charles Town, in 1780. (Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, pp. 239-247; Whitelaw & Levkoff, p. 219; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 106; Ravenel, Charleston, the Place and the People, pp. 284-286.)

108 Tradd St. c.1820
IMAGE -- James McCall Ward evidently built this house before 1823, when he died, leaving its mortgage to the Fellowship Society. lt was a two story frame single house, which has since been expanded to the rear. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS.)

122 Tradd St.

123 Tradd St.
 -- This three story stuccoed brick, hip roof house is believed to have been built c. 1800. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 106.)

126 Tradd St. c.1735
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Alexander Smith, a tailor, built this stuccoed brick house between 1732, when he bought the site, and 1739 when it appeared on the "lchnography" of that year. Originally it was a two story house with an asymmetrical plan similar to that of the Harvey House at 110 Broad and the Rhett House at 54 Hasell. Subsequently, the floor plan was modified, the interior remodeled in the Adamesque style and the third story added. lt retains, however, exposed interior corner posts, indicative of early construction (these are also present in the Lining House, 106 Broad and Middleburg Plantation), and one downstairs room has original paneling. ln 1790, the house was purchased in trust for Ann, wife of Dr. Peter Fayssoux. She was a renowned beauty. He had been Surgeon-General in the Continental Army during the Revolution. lt was the childhood home of their grandsons, the brothers Hamilton Prioleau Bee and Bernard Elliott Bee, who were Confederate generals The latter is remembered as the man who gave the nickname, "Stonewall," to Gen. Thomas J. Jackson. More recently it was the home of the noted poetess, Beatrice Witte Ravenel, and of her daughter, Beatrice St. Julie Ravenel, the author and architectural historian. (Beatrice St. Julien Ravenel, unpub. MS; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 106.)

128 Tradd St. c.1765
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Humphrey Sommers, an English born builder and one of the contractors of St. Michael's, built this house as his residence c. 1765, and added the west wing sometime before his death in 1788. He bequeathed the house to his daughter Mary who married David Deas. During their ownership, the house was let to Judge William Drayton, S.C. Supreme Court Judge and U.S. District Court Judge, and designer of the Charleston County Court House. After Mrs. Deas' death, the property was sold to Elizabeth Lowndes, widow of Congressman William Lowndes, in 1830. Here, in 1832, was born her granddaughter, who as Mrs. St. Julien Ravenel, became the author of Charleston, The Place and the People. ln 1841, it was purchased by Judge Henry Frost, in whose family the property remains. Judge Frost added the Greek Revival piazzas and curving front steps, and built onto the rear. The house is two stories of cypress on a high brick basement. Chippendale influence is seen in the extraordinary woodwork of the interior, which includes the drawing room mantelpiece and overmantel with carved wood decoration, and the Palladian window, enriched with fretwork, on the stair landing. (Ravenel, Architects, pp. 71-75; Fraser, Reminiscences of Charleston, p. 100; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, pp. 226, 229-231; Stockton, DYKYC, July 2, 1975; Ravenel, DYKYC, March 10, 1941; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 106.)

129 Tradd St. c.1797
-- About 1797, Joseph Winthrop, a Massachusetts man who became a Charleston merchant, built this typical single house on land belonging to his wife, the elder sister of Charles Fraser, the miniaturist and writer. lt was built on an open "green" backing on a salty creek leading to Ashley River. lnterior details are in a simple but charming transitional style, keeping something from the late Georgian wood work of pre-Revolutionary days, but borrowing lightness from the Adamesque style which within a few years would conquer the town. ln this house, the Winthrops shared six rooms with their 11 children. (Stoney, N&C, March 30, 1948 & March 24, 1949; Charleston's Historic Houses, 1949, pp. 38-39; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 107; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, p. 224.)

131 Tradd St. c.1804
This substantial brick house was built c. 1804. It is famous for the "celibate bridegroom" story, which is documented, but the reason behind it is unknown. Following the wedding of Francis Simmon (builder of 14 Legare St.) and Ruth Lowndes, he delivered her to this house and returned to Legare Street alone. Simmons called on his wife regularly, presided at her dinner parties and hosted her receptions, but the couple never spent the night in the same house. (Stoney, N&C, March 25, 1948; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 107.)

143 Tradd St. c.1797
 --Tobias Bowles built a house here between 1797 and 1801. Solomon Legare Jr., remodeled the house about 1855, in the fashion of the time. When the house was built, the property extended to the marshes of Ashley River. (Stockton, unpub. MS; DYKYC, Feb. 16, 1976; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 107.)

160 Tradd St. c.1872
 -- Benjamin Reils built this structure sometime between 1872 and 1884. Reils was a grocer. He sold the property in 1884 but continued to operate his store on the first level and live upstairs until about 1900. The property remained in commercial use until 1983, when it was converted to apartments. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS; Patricia McCarthy, N&C, Dec. 25, 1983.)

172 Tradd St. c.1836
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Built c. 1836 by Alexander Hext Chisolm, owner of nearby Chisolm's Mill, this two story wooden house is one of the city's finest examples of Greek Revival architecture. The giant order portico uses the Corinthian order from the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, with the original marble imitated in hand carved wood. The interior has a curving stair. Chisolm sold the house in 1855 to William Algernon Alston of All Saints Parish, in whose family it remained until 1924. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 107; Whitelaw & Levkoff, pp. 28, 65.)

190 Tradd St. c.1830
The Chisolm's Mill superintendent's house built in the late 1830s or early '40s, retains Greek Revival interior features. The house was extensively renovated and remodeled in 1920 by George C. Rogers Sr., Charleston County schools superintendent. ln the 1880s, the house was briefly occupied by Edwin Watkins Heyward, his wife, Janie Screven Heyward, and their son, DuBose Heyward, who grew up to be an internationally famous author and playwrite. (Stockton, unpub. MS; Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS.)

196 Tradd St. c.1859
-- Chisolm's Mill was built c. 1830 and was both a rice mill and a lumber mill. lt burned in 1859 and was rebuilt in the then popular ltalianate style. The three story building, with a broken pediment in the gable and pilasters along the sides which remains on the site, was a warehouse wing of the 1859 building. The main part of the building was torn down after being severely damaged by a storm in 1911. The U.S. Government purchased the property in 1914 for use by the U.S. Lighthouse Depot, 6th District Headquarters. ln 1939 it became a U.S. Coast Guard base. (Nielsen, DYKYC, Sept. 14, 1936; Stockton, DYKYC Jan. 30, 1978; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 107; Simons, Stories of Charleston Harbor, p. 97; Rhett & Steele, pp. 22-23; Whitelaw & Levkoff, p. 98.)