City Directories and History: Constructed about 1905, for the Charles J. Purcell and his wife Lavinia, by Newberry’s prolific contractor, Mr. C.C. “Cam” Davis. Mr. Purcell was the President of the Purcell Co., selling general merchandise on Caldwell Street. This fine home does not fit the pattern for most of the C.C. Davis homes located in Newberry. It was not constructed in his routine “two story four square” layout, with variations of the Queen Anne architectural style, of which there are numerous
examples of his work throughout the city. But rather this was a handsome Colonial Revival style built on a raised basement, offering living spaces on the main floor and extra bedrooms and storage below. This is also the only home documented, thus far, that is having been constructed by Cam Davis in Newberry, to feature lovely pocket doors between the living and dining rooms. Other uncommon features to Mr. Davis’s style found in the Purcell home include: a center hall raised mantel, leaded glass entrance, and Corinthian columns both on the exterior and interior. Indeed the house plan itself and many of the construction features of the house are not those commonly attributed to Cam Davis. Yet, there are bountiful examples of his workmanship throughout the house and the hardware is identical to those in many of his other Newberry homes.
However, the Wright Home on Caldwell Street, does also features a lovely leaded glass surround as well as Corinthian columns, each very similar to those utilized at the Purcell house. Items not routinely identified with Davis’s style.
As is normal in his work, the architectural elements are beautifully appointed and make the home both elegant and functional for the period. In this home, his over the top decorative mantels are outstanding but very plain mantel pieces were employed on the lower floor, a non public space. There is some evidence the house may have been updated in the period of ca. 1910 with a new heating system and other modifications.
NOTE: Roots and Recall took notice in ca. 2011, when documenting houses in Newberry, of the expansive use of Pebble Dash stucco as an exterior siding finish. It is now clearly understood, that this technique, is attributable to Mr. Davis, who had roots in the Hendersonville – Asheville, N.C. areas, where the technique was used prolifically.
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