City Directories and History: This great antebellum home is attributable to Laurens County contractor, Mr. Thomas L. Badgett. According to local historian and
preservation architect Martin Meek, this was the home of Thomas Badgett who constructed his own house in circa 1846. Badgett was a prolific contractor originally from Burnsville, N.C., who came to the area to build mills, churches, and beautiful homes.
Architecturally the home has seen a few changes from its’ original state but remains an excellent example of not only how a prosperous contractor would have lived but also a small South Carolina planter on the eve of the Civil War.
Thomas L. Badgett comes to Spartanburg County in the early 1830s from Yanceyville. N. C. to help build the Bivings Factory at Glendale, S. C. for Dr. James Bivings of Lincolnton, N. C. It was a four story New England style mill with a stone first level and brick upper stories. He was in Spartanburg in 1844 were he contracted to build the First Presbyterian Church on 3 June 1844 for $1,820.00. He relocated from Spartanburg County to Laurens County sometime before 1846 when he designed and built the Church of the Epiphany on West Main Street in Laurens. Thomas Badgett owned a brick kiln in Laurens County as well as a cotton gin and grist mill.
Thomas L. Badgett’s projects:
1835 – J. Frank Wofford House Switzer, S.C.
1838 – James Nesbit House (Mountain Shoals) Enoree, S.C.
1839 – Christopher Garlington House, Laurens, S.C.
1844 – First Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg, S.C.
1846 – The Church of the Epiphany, Laurens, S.C.
1848 – Drummond House Switzer, S.C.
1850 – Enlarging of the Christopher Garlington House for Major John Adam Eichelberger, Laurens, S.C.
1850 – Thomas L. Badgett House, Hwy. 49 Laurens County, S.C.
1854 – Fontaine Martin House, near Gray Court, S. C.
1859 – Brick House, Caroline Street, Laurens, S.C.
Thomas L. Badgett used two pattern books for some of his designs. They were: William Pane’s pattern book of 1792 and Asher Benjamin’s pattern book of 1833. Researched and contributed to R&R by, Mr. Martin Meek – 5/19/14
Additional data: “The Badgett house on the Laurens-Yarborough Mill Road is an imposing square building designed on Georgian lines with a portico at the front entrance. It was built by Thomas A. Badgett who came to Laurens County from Virginia prior to 1846 — the date of the erection of the Church of the Epiphany in Laurens. Mr. Badgett, an architect of renown, was the builder of the Episcopal Church and of the small building facing the Laurens County jail now used as a dental office by Doctor Byron Brown. The bricks used in foundations and chimneys were made in Mr. Badgett’s brickyard on a small stream to the front of his dwelling. The double chimneys on each end, the framing around the windows and door, the large columns and woodwork all reflect the excellent taste of the builder.
Boxwood was used to an advantage in creating a setting for the home which was surrounded by a grove of stately oaks. The front rooms and wide hallway have twelve-foot ceilings, while the rooms to the rear are of an uncomfortable height for a tall person. A daughter, Susan Dora Badgett, married William James Copeland and they were the next owners of the home. Mrs. James L. Cooper, Jr., (Dorothy Copeland) of Laurens is a descendant of the builder Thomas Badgett, and of the second owners.
When the Copeland estate was settled, the property was bought by Alsey Coleman. A son, Haskell Coleman, bereft of his wife, moved his children into the home with their grandparents. One of the grandchildren, Mrs. Toy Nix of Lucas Avenue, Laurens, recalls a happy childhood spent in the house which at that time was painted red with white trim. The late Doctor Rossie Walker bought the property from the Colemans, possibly as an investment since he never occupied the dwelling.
It is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ezell Garrett who have been making some restoration the last several years.”
Information from: The Laurens County Sketchbook, Author – J.S. Bolick, 1973
IMAGE GALLERY – Blythe Collection, ca. 1983
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