City Directories and History: CONNELLEY’S FUNERAL HOME AND RESIDENCE House constructed circa 1796, renovated 1890s; funeral home constructed 1894; complex rehabilitated as residential condominiums 1984
The Charleston single house at 313 Meeting Street was built about 1796 by John Horlbeck on that portion of the original Ansonborough suburb formerly owned by Peter Porcher. Though the house is said to retain much of its original interior wood-work, its exterior was heavily altered with Eastlake/Victorian style alterations after its purchase by Jesse M. Connelley in 1892. Connelley, an Edgefield businessman and salesman, purchased an undertaking busi-ness from Frederick Ansel and retained the builder J. D. Murphy to design and con-struct a new Romanesque Revival style mortuary in 1894 at 309 Meeting Street. This structure’s facade, including sandstone detailing and stained glass windows, is es-sentially original to construction. Connelley also established Charleston Greenhouses on the site, selling tropical fish from a small outdoor aquarium, which partially survives in front of the greenhouses. Connelley also completed a large brick coffin warehouse at the rear of the site, a structure now facing Burns Lane.
Connelley became South Carolina’s first licensed mortician, when such laws were enacted early in the twentieth century, and operated the leading funeral home serving Charleston’s elite families for several gen-erations. In 1984 a group of Atlanta-based investors rehabilitated the house and mor-tuary as condominiums, retaining their exterior appearances and much of their interiors as well. The former coffin ware-house at Burns Lane/133 Calhoun Street now serves as a maintenance facility for the College of Charleston.
The Buildings of Charleston – J.H. Poston for the Historic Charleston Foundation, 1997
Other sources of interest: Charleston Tax Payers of Charleston, SC in 1860-61 and the Dwelling Houses of Charleston by Alice R.H. Smith – 1917 The HCF may also have additional data at: Past Perfect and further research can be uncovered at: Charleston 1861 Census Schedule or The Charleston City Guide of 1872
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