City Directories and History: The Josiah Smith Tennent House is believed to have been built by Josiah Smith and Mary Ramsay Tennent circa 1859. The house is architecturally significant in part from its survival as one of only several remaining antebellum townhouses in this vicinity of downtown Charleston and as a modified, detached Charleston single house exemplary of the Greek Revival influence. The house is historically significant for its association with locally prominent individuals and for its commercial use. Tennent was a wealthy businessman and planter. In 1889, the house became the property of the Charleston Cotton Mills, who used the building as the superintendent’s house, and possibly the company offices. As a mid-nineteenth century townhouse plan, the Tennent House illustrates modifications to the eighteenth and early-nineteenth century single house form. The house consists of the original four-story main block and of a circa 1950 two-story addition, which required the removal of the original piazzas, giving the building its appearance at the time of nomination. The original section of the house was T-shaped in form, with piazzas on three sides which made the overall configuration rectangular. Brickwork is American common bond on all facades except the front (east) which features Flemish bond. Listed in the National Register November 27, 1979. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
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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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