City Directories and History: Built for James Stanyarne ca. 1770, the Vanderhorst house is an impressive example of late 18th century coastal architecture in the state and is one of the oldest remaining plantation houses on Kiawah Island. Of frame-and-clapboard construction, the Vander Horst house is a two-and-one-half story gable structure above a full arcaded ground floor of brick in Flemish bond. Projecting from the foundation of the south façade is a five-bayed arcade which at one time carried a portico, running the breadth of the house and supported by attenuated Tuscan columns.
The main story has a central entrance with large fan and sidelights, flanked by two formal windows to either side, corresponding to the five arches below. The roof supports three gabled dormers. James Stanyarne willed the house to his daughter, wife of Arnoldus Vander Horst, one time governor of the state. Vander Horst was a leading Federalist and influential statesman. He was born in Charleston and served there as Intendant from 1785-86 and again from 1790-92. He made the arrangements for President Washington’s visit to Charleston in 1791 and in 1794. He succeeded Charles Pinckney as Governor. Listed in the National Register October 25, 1973. (Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History)
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“VanderHorst, Elias of “Kiawah Island” plantation, Aiken, and Charleston. Born Sept. 24, 1791 (S.C.); married Mar. 4, 1821, Anne Elliott Morris (Apr. 16, 1795-Dec. 3, 1879) ; died Apr. 6, 1874. Church: Episcopalian (Warden, St. Bartholomew’s, Ed- mundbury Chapel). Public Service: Delegate to Nullification Convention, 1832; Director, Bank of the State of S.C. Slaves: 210 (St. Bartholomew’s Parish) and 40 (St. John’s Parish), Colleton District.”
The Last Foray, C. Gaston Davidson, SC Press – 1971
Kiawah Island is the only place to perpetuate the name of the Kiawah Indian tribe which had persuaded the colonists to settle at the Charleston Harbor, instead of near Beaufort. Unfortunately, very little is known about this tribe of Indians, except that it belonged to a loose-knit confederation of coastal tribes called Cusabo. The history is that of a few little Indian wars. On 22nd February 1698-9 “Kiawaw Island” was granted to Capt. George Rayner, which may mean that this tribe had already left the island. In 1712 the Colony of South Carolina granted to the Cusabo tribe the island of Palawana, near Beaufort, but the Kiawah and another tribe, the Etiwan, seem to have stayed on their own lands, which were inland, until after the Yamassee Indian War of 1715. In 1743 the Kiawah received a grant of land south of the Combahee River, and it is probable that most of the members of this tribe moved there shortly afterwards.
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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