“An upcountry S.C. house of vernacular importance – the Carolina “I” House prototype.”
City Directories and History: This house also known as Wynndee, was built on land granted to Pennsylvanian
Joseph Owen. Richard Winn, for whom Winnsboro was named, acquired the property and in 1777 gave the house and acreage as a wedding gift to his daughter Christina, who married the son of Revolutionary Colonel William Bratton of York County, South Carolina. During the War Between the States, the house was occupied by their son, Confederate General John Bratton, Fairfield’s leading general, and his wife, Betty Dubose. Federal troops road their horses through the hall and pulled down the original stairs.
This historical old dwelling was built on land which was an original grant from King George of England to Joseph Owen, a settler who came here from Pennsylvania in 1768. It was surveyed by Richard Winn, a settler from Virginia for whom Winnsborough was later named. In 1777, Winn purchased this land from Owen. In 1805, he gave, as a wedding present, the land
and appurtenances to his daughter Christina Winn and Colonel William Bratton from York County. During the Confederate War it was the home of his son, General John Bratton, Fairfield’s leading general, and his wife, the former Betty DuBose of “Roseland Plantation”. During the war it was a refuge house for the women relatives. Sherman’s troops visited the premises, raiding the pantry and taking other loot. According to tradition they drove their horses through the long hall, tearing out the original stairs in the center of the front hall as they went. Today the base of the original old newel post can still be seen in the floor.
This is one of the most typical examples of the Up-Country architecture of the type built in the “L” shape with the two-storied wood frame and the long porch across the front. Unusual are the wide boards of the wooden walls which run horizontal instead of vertical with the dados. The chimney pieces in the living and dining rooms with the hand-carved mantels and paneling which reach to the ceiling are beautiful in simplicity of design. The one in the living room is the old “Sunburst” design seen in so many Adams
details. The front entrance is of a special Colonial design. The side lights alternating in circle and diamond shapes. The large fan-shaped glass overhead is interspersed with small circles and arcs forming the arch. The floors are of the original old mellow pine boards. The three outside chimneys of the original part of the house are made of hand-made brick from England and laid in a special Welsh bond. The old kitchen still stands in the yard and nearby the old well. In the cellar is the cooling well where many a morsel of
food was kept. [Our Heritage Book]
*** It should be noted, the Bratton house, has extensive similarities to that of Albion Plantation in the Douglass Community of Fairfield County, S.C. As the economic and social trends of the mid 19th century changed, many homes, perhaps including the Bratton house, were extensively upgraded to take on modern appearances and features. It is likely Wynn Dee, upon further examination would reveal an earlier home with substantial improvement having been made to it in the 1840’s. However, note carefully that the entrance to the home at 5264 Highway 215 South, is extremely similar to that of Wynn Dee.
Chalmers Davidson wrote in The Last Foray, DuBose, Capt. Theodore Samuel of “Farmington” plantation and “Roseland” near Winnsboro. Born May 16, 1809 (S.C.); married Nov. 20, 1828, Jane Sinkler Porcher (April 25, 1808-May 31, 1862); died Feb. 13, 1862. Education: Yale College (1825-27); Church: Episcopal (Warden, St. John’s and St. Stephen’s, Fairfield County). Public service: Captain; Commissioner of Free Schools. Other: Board of Visitors, Mt. Zion school, membr, S.C. Historical Society. Slaves: 204 (Fairfield District).
“Wynn Dee is one of the town’s historic homes with associations of its most famous figures. The land on which it stands was a grant from King George to Joseph Owen, who came to Fairfield in 1768. The land was surveyed by Richard Winn, the man for whom Winnsborough was named. Winn later acquired the property and gave it to his daughter Christina as a wedding gift when she married Colonel William Bratton of York County. At the time of the Confederate War, Wynn Dee was the home of General John Bratton, Fairfield’s highest ranking Confederate officer, who had married the former Betty DuBose of Roseland Plantation. The Cathcart family which now owns and occupies Wynn Dee is descended from these three families, the Winns, Brattons and DuBoses.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
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