City Directories and History: One of the oldest surviving houses in the area, the Blocker House is an important visual example of eighteenth century living in Edgefield. Originally built in 1775 as an overseer’s house by Michael Blocker, a Prussian émigré, the house was later used by the Blocker family after their large plantation house burned. In Edgefield, Blocker became known as “the Colonizer” because he sent his son John back to the Fatherland to persuade emigrants to settle in Carolina. The last member of the Blocker family to own the house was Mrs. Nancy Brooks Blocker, an aunt of U.S. Congressman Preston Brooks. After being owned by the Blocker family, the Hughes family purchased the home. One Hughes family member, Dr. William Crawford Gorgas, was noted for his control of yellow fever and malaria in the Panama Canal Zone. The house is a two-story white clapboard with a one-story shed-roofed porch supported by four original, square columns. Two original end chimneys and double front doors are intact. Michael Blocker brought magnolias and cedars to the area for his home, and the centuries old trees still stand on the property and add to the historic landscape. The family cemetery, with its large graves, is a town landmark dating back to 1811, as are several outbuildings. Listed in the National Register May 14, 1971. (Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
“This home was built by Michael Blocker in 1775. The Blocker family was of Prussian origin and said to be related to the Prussian General Gebhard Von Blucher. The large plantation house burned, but the smaller overseer s house, known as the Blocker Place still stands—now owned by Miss Mary Hughes of Edgefield and Cedar Grove Plantation.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
As early as 1787, the village green near Court House Square was deeded to the town of Edgefield. Several significant buildings surrounding the landscaped square remain unaltered, and the initial layout of the town has not changed. More than forty nineteenth-century buildings are within the historic area, three of which are house museums. There are a number of nineteenth- century Greek Revival homes with large central halls and the basic four-rooms-over-four floor plan. Many of Edgefield’s houses are noted for beautiful Federal style fanlights and unusual doorways, and many have heart pine floors, board or plaster walls, central medallions, window boxing, wainscoting and six-panel doors. A few retain original trompe l’oeil to simulate wood grains finer than that available in the area. Other district properties include Victorian influenced homes and downtown commercial buildings. Five churches represent the Georgian, Victorian Gothic, and modified Gothic architectural styles. Much of Edgefield’s significance results from its large number of important government figures: ten former South Carolina governors; five lieutenant governors; and several U.S. Congressmen and Senators. Edgefield is also known for its military history. During the American Revolution the town was vital due to its location on the route between British strongholds Augusta and Ninety-Six. Local figures also participated in the Mexican War, Civil War and Spanish American War, and during Reconstruction local leaders staged organizational meetings here. Listed in the National Register March 23, 1972.
View a map showing the boundaries of the Edgefield Historic District.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.
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