“African American citizens and businessman prosper after the Civil War.”
The Laurens Advertiser reported on Aug. 27, 1919 – “C.H. Duckett, the colored lumber and building supply dealer, came to the town council asking them to reconsider their decision to end renting to him a lot on the side track near the Power House. He had been renting for some years and had erected a building. Council had decided to rent the land instead to Mr. P. Brown.”
City Directories and History: The historic Duckett Lumber Company was owned by Laurens businessman, Mr. Charles A. Duckett who lived at 105 Downs Street in
Laurens. Mr. Duckett appears to have used local contractor, Columbus White for much of his building needs and the Duckett home is attributed to Columbus White.
The Charles H. Duckett house is significant to the areas of architecture, black history, and commerce for its association with Charlie Duckett (1860-1947), a prominent black Laurens businessman. Mr. Duckett built the house ca. 1892 as his private residence and continued to live there for the rest of his life. He was a carpenter, contractor, and lumber dealer in Laurens during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to the lumberyard, Duckett operated a funeral home. He took an active part in the civic affairs of Laurens and in the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Charles H. Duckett House is a vernacular, one-story, frame residence with a partial basement. The L-shaped house has a low-pitch, hip roof of standing seam metal and a boxed cornice. The exterior is sheathed in beaded weatherboarding, accented by corner pilasters and a water table. The house is outstanding in its level of ornamentation. Distinctive features include sawn and perforated porch details, paneled ceilings, ornate mantels, wainscoting, carved door and window surrounds, and an Eastlake front door. The home is located in a residential neighborhood that has been associated with the black community of Laurens since its development. Listed in the National Register November 19, 1986. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
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