105 Dargan Avenue
City Directories and History: Sunnyside is an unusual example of a blend of the Gothic Revival and Greek Revival styles of architecture. Historically the house has been associated with several locally prominent individuals, who have made substantial contributions to their community. Built in 1851 by Robert Gillam, Sunnyside is a one-and-one-half story house with flush board siding covering the front façade and weatherboard siding covering the remainder of the house. It is basically Gothic Revival in style, featuring a gabled roof and dormers with scalloped bargeboard. Greek Revival elements include the portico covering the front façade and the heavy proportions of the interior details. There are two compound interior chimneys located on each front gable end of the house and one large interior chimney located in the central rear section of the house. Sunnyside was originally built with a T-shaped floor plan. In 1906, Harry L. Watson, editor and publisher of Greenwood’s newspaper, purchased the house. At this time Watson also was Chairman of the Board of Greenwood Public Schools, a Trustee of Furman University, President of the South Carolina Press Association, and the President of Greenwood’s National Loan and Exchange Bank. Tradition states that Sunnyside was named for and modeled after the home of Washington Irving in Tarrytown, New York. Listed in the National Register November 14, 1978.
(Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
Further information: Sunnyside is an unusual example of a blend of the Gothic Revival and Greek Revival styles of architecture. Historically, the house has been associated with several locally prominent individuals, who have made substantial contributions to their community. Circa 1851, Sunnyside was built in the village of Greenwood by Robert Caldwell Gillam (1820- 1897). Robert Gillam, a native of Abbeville District, was a prosperous farmer. Tradition indicates that Gillam borrowed both the name Sunnyside and the Gothic Revival style of the house from Sunnyside (NHL), the Hudson River Valley home of author Washington Irving. Immediately after the close of the Civil War, Robert Gillam lost Sunnyside because of financial difficulties. In 1867 the house was sold for debt at the Abbeville County Court House. At that time Sunnyside was bought by Robert Gillam’s son-in-law, Augustus Milton Aiken. Augustus Aiken (1834-1906) was a native of Winnsboro, South Carolina, and a farmer. During the Civil War, Augustus Aiken served in the Confederate States Army in Company C of the 7th South Carolina Regiment. At the end of the Civil War he returned to South Carolina and in 1866 he married Mary Ann Gillam, daughter of Robert Gillam. Aiken lived at Sunnyside from 1867 until his wife’s death in 1877. The property subsequently passed through several owners before it was purchased in 1906 by Harry Legare Watson. Harry L. Watson (1876-1956) was editor and publisher of Greenwood’s newspaper from 1900 to 1956. During this period he also served as Chairman of the Board of Greenwood Public Schools, a Trustee of Furman University, President of the South Carolina Press Association, and the President of Greenwood’s National Loan and Exchange Bank. Harry L. Watson was also a prominent local historian, having compiled and published much information on the local history of Piedmont South Carolina. Following Watson’s death in 1956, Sunnyside passed to his daughters Louise Montague Watson and Margaret Josephine Watson. Margaret Josephine Watson is a prominent newspaper woman and writer in South Carolina, having authored Greenwood County Sketches-Old Roads and Early Families.
In 1974 the Watson family sold Sunnyside to its present owners, Mr. and Mrs. William James Dean. The Deans are currently undertaking a restoration of the property. NR File Data / SC Dept. of Archives and History
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