City Directories and History: (Scotch Cross House) The J. Wesley Brooks House, built in 1815, is a two-story, white clapboard house that rests upon high brick supports and is an outstanding example of Federal architecture with Palladian features. The house also has a portico in the Greek Revival style. J. Wesley Brooks built the home for his wife Anne Lipscomb. The house’s heavy timbers were hand-sawed from trees that grew on the site and were put together with hand-hewn wooden pegs. Original hardwood floors remain intact throughout the house. The façade features a double-tiered portico with pediment surmounting the second level portico with a Palladian motif. The large double doorway has a delicate semi-elliptical radiating fanlight above and sidelights embellished with a geometric design formed by a series of semicircular muntins. The four fluted pilasters, which flank the sidelights and doorway, have capitals decorated with the semi-elliptical patera design. The J. Wesley Brooks House is located at the intersection of two very old thoroughfares, Mathews Road and Barksdale Ferry Road, both of which are now modern highways. According to family tradition, a landscape designer from Charleston planned the front garden. One half acre in the front was outlined for shrubs, flowers, and trees, and the flower garden at one time held fifty varieties of roses. Listed in the National Register March 30, 1973.
Additional Information: The J. Wesley Brooks House, built 1815,is evidence of this cultural and economic metamorphosis of the up country in the early 19th Century. After examining the house, Vernon S. Hodges (professor of architecture at Clemson University, member of the SAH’s Preservation Committee, and co-author of South Carolina Architecture 1670-1970) notes the following: “its very beautiful Palladian proportions, its fanlighted front doorway, the Palladian motif on the upper porch, and the many Adam-like details in the interior woodwork.” He calls it an outstanding example of the fine Palladian architecture which descends from Drayton Hall and the Miles Brewton House. Hodges considered the house to be “in a state of remarkable preservation, nearly in original condition except for a pass-through between the dining room and a modern kitchen.”
(Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
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