City Directories and History: GERMAN FRIENDLY SOCIETY KITCHEN – Constructed circa 1802
John Horlbeck Jr. and Henry Horlbeck, builders
Charleston’s German fraternal society, founded in 1766, built a grand hall at this address, completed before Christmas in 1801, and undertook soon thereafter to construct a 36-by-l6-foot stuccoed brick kitchen on the site. The upper story with three rooms eventually became a residence for the schoolmaster of the society’s school. The main hall burned in the 1864 fire that engulfed this portion of the street, but the kitchen survived. In its rehabilitation as apartments some years ago, certain features were lost, and its tile roof has long since been replaced. On another portion of the property, a colorful Austrian mariner who repeatedly ran the blockade during the Civil War built a two-story wood single house on a site where he also operated a woodyard. Capt. Jacob Francis purchased the lot at 25 Archdale Street in 1884 and constructed a typical mid- nineteenth-century style Charleston single house with a double-tiered side piazza and featuring square posts supporting an arcade on the first story and square, chamfered posts on the second. John Muller restored both houses in recent years as rental properties. The Muller Trust more recently renovated the small stucco single house at 29 Archdale Street, built as a tenement investment by Mrs. Ann Ross of 1 Meeting Street in the mid-1870s on the site of an earlier dwelling. Like the Francis House, the Ross Tenement contains features more common in antebellum Charleston dwellings, including Gothic Revival interior woodwork, out of fashion by the time this house was constructed. A single brick gate pier, now cut off, remains at the southeast corner of the Ross property.
The Buildings of Charleston – J.H. Poston for the Historic Charleston Foundation, 1997
#25 Archdale Street – “This unassuming two story frame house reveals none of the romance of blockade running, although its builder was engaged in that activity during the Civil War. Jacob Francis, a native of Austria, came to Charleston at the age of 23, in 1858, as a mariner. During the War, he took great risks to run supplies, badly needed by the Confederacy, through the Union blockade. After the war, he continued to captain his sloop in the coastal rice trade. Francis bought the then-vacant lot from the German Friendly Society in 1884 and built the present single house by 1886. Capt. Francis died in 1903, on his sloop in the Stono River. This property remained in his family until 1964.” (Stockton, DYKYC, June 20, 1977.) – CCPL
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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