“Tobacco built this house and many others in the Florence region.”
City Directories and History: Blooming Grove is significant for its association with Frank Mandeville Rogers (1857-1945) and his efforts to promote the growing of Bright Leaf tobacco in South Carolina. Rogers, who managed Blooming Grove plantation from about 1910 to 1945, was one of the first South Carolinians to successfully experiment with growing and curing Bright Leaf tobacco in the Pee Dee. Rogers influenced other farmers to grow tobacco, and it soon rivaled and even surpassed cotton as a cash crop, serving as a boon to the lagging agricultural economy.
Blooming Grove is also significant as an example of an Early Classical Revival house with alterations in the early and late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The plantation house was originally constructed ca. 1790 by Cornelius Mandeville, and a two-story addition was made to the right (north) of the house between 1800 and 1820. Constructed in the I-House form, a house type popular with farmers and planters for its impressive, two-story façade, Blooming Grove features the shallow depth (one room) that avoided excessive expense, another important factor during the period. Distinctive features include the two-story portico, pilaster-like corner boards, and dentil molding and flat frieze along the roofline. A brick-lined well located at the rear of the house and covered with a mid-twentieth century concrete slab also contributes to the historic character of the property. Listed in the National Register June 1, 2005. (Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
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