City Directories and History: (Edgar Fripp Plantation) The Seaside plantation house is believed to have been constructed by members of the Fripp family circa 1795 to 1810. The house is architecturally significant as a local interpretation exemplary of the transitional period between the Georgian and Federal styles and is historically significant both for its associations with a locally prominent family and for its role in the Port Royal Experiment. Among the outstanding architectural features of the house are the one-story hipped roof portico, tripartite windows, cantilevered elliptical stair, and the Adam style decoration of the first floor right front room.
In form, the house as originally constructed was basically rectangular with a center extension projecting from the rear of the second story. Seaside was one of the plantations participating in the Port Royal Experiment and had as its labor superintendent Charles Ware of Boston, who also resided there. Richard Soule, General Superintendent of the Port Royal Experiment for St. Helena and Lady Island’s, lived at Seaside, as did Charlotte Forten, missionary, teacher, and member of a prominent Philadelphia black abolitionist family. Seaside is one of only a few remaining antebellum plantation houses out of an original fifty-four on St. Helena. Located near the house and within the nominated acreage are four dependencies: the original, brick-lined well, a clapboard shed, a large barn with clapboard siding and tin roof, and a round concrete and oyster shell silo. Listed in the National Register June 16, 1979. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
“Fripp Plantation House is a two-story frame structure built in the Adam style of the Federal Period. A one-story porch supported by six square columns extends across the facade. Windows are nine over nine (9/9) lights throughout the original part of the house, with the exception of one room on the first floor where they are six over six (6/6). Originally built in a T- shape to allow window exposure on three sides in every room, the house has additions to the rear which have altered the design.
The interior details are typical of the Adam style. A circular stairway in the rear of the entrance hall is lit by a nine over nine light window with sidelights. Mantels and cornice embellishments closely resemble those of the John Mark Verdier house on Bay Street in Beaufort. Edgar W. Fripp inherited the plantation in 1860 at the death of his father. As he was a minor at the beginning of the Civil War, Federal troops moved in to “safeguard” the property. At the end of the war he was able to regain 732 of the 1,284 acres of his inheritance. The house and land stayed in his possession until the early twentieth century.”
Information from: Historic Resources of the Lowcountry, The Lowcountry Council of Government, Cynthia C. Jenkins, Preservation Planner – Published, 1979
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