City Directories and History: Constructed in the 1820’s, this lovely home is now owned and being restored by Jim Kibler, who has written an outstanding book on the history of the plantation and it’s fine home – gardens. One of the best books ever written on a restoration; Our Fathers’ Fields by Jim Kibler outlines the history of the Hardy family and evolution of the farm in a manner any reader would be interested in. R&R encourages anyone interested in preservation to read this book!
This name came from the family who settled there about 1771. Some of its members achieved distinction in the War for American Independence. The land was rich and well cultivated. The farmers were prosperous. Living on Broad River between the Enoree and the Tyger Rivers, the villagers sent their cotton and other products to the markets on flat boats. Since it was not easily accessible in those days to the county seat the community became a center for meetings in the interest of the entire state. A convention held there in 1840 nominated a candidate for the Congress. Culture and progress marked this whole area.
In the northeast corner of Newberry County on South Carolina Highway 54 is a community known as Maybinton. The community takes its name from the Maybin family who first settled here in 1771 when William Maybin took up land on a grant from George III. William was a gallant soldier in the American Revolution, serving with Colonel Williamson in his campaign against the Cherokee Indians in 1776 and with General Thomas Sumter at the battle of Fishing Creek. He was taken prisoner by Colonel Tarleton and died on board a British prison ship in Charleston in 1780. William’s son, Benjamin Maybin,whose history reaches back into Ante-bellum days when it was the center of a thriving section of cotton planters who owned the rich lands bordered by the Tyger River to the north, the Broad to the east, and the Enoree to the south. Through this flourishing settlement passed the old Buncombe Stage Coach Road running from Buncombe County, North Carolina, down through central South Carolina.
During the lifetime of Colonel Benjamin Maybin, Maybinton enjoyed its most flourishing era. Colonel Maybin built one of the first stores in the village and also operated the Buck Hotel, which took its name from the male deer. The town also had a Masonic Lodge, two educational academies, Ebenezer Methodist Church, and a celebrated race track. On the days of races, barrels of spirits were placed at intervals along the road and the celebrating sportsmen were regaled with long-handled gourds full of liquor. Silver cups were presented each year as prizes. One such prize cup won by Capt. W. D. Hardy is now owned by Mr. John Hardy of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The engraving on the cup reads: For the best Sucking Mule N. A. G. 1842.
Although the Maybin family were originally Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, the Methodist Episcopal Church became the house of worship for the Maybins, Hardys, and other families of Maybinton. Ebenezer Methodist Church was founded in the Maybinton Community circa 1845. One of the handsomest plantation houses in the Maybinton section is the and records show that Bishop Francis Asbury held a Quarterly Conference here in 1788. This revered church remains today as the principal house of worship for the Maybinton people.
Hardy House, the seat of the Hardy family which was established here by Thomas Hardy, Sr., who migrated from Luneburg County, Virginia, and settled here shortly after the American Revolution. The house remained for decades in the Hardy family and is now occupied by the widow of the son of W. D. Hardy, who was a lieutenant in the Army of Northern Virginia, C. S. A. At the end of the War he was at Appomattox and was given a
Paroled prisoner’s pass at Appomattox Court House on April 10, 1865:
“The Bearer, Lieut. W. D. Hardy of Co. Adj’t., 5th S. C. Regt. of Bratton’s Brig., a paroled prisoner of the Army of Northern Virginia has permission to go to his home and there remain undisturbed.”
(Signed) Jno. Bratton Brig. Gen.
A particular charm of the Hardy place is the luxuriant English boxwood hedges which were planted in 1850 as borders for the two flower beds on each side of the broad walk leading up to the steps of the front entrance. Eva Thurston Clark Justice in a delightful essay “A Memorial to Pioneer Settlers in Boxwood” has aptly described both house and gardens: “A beautiful staircase winds from the paneled hallway near the colonial doorway four flights to the garret. The imagination takes flights too, as one pictures the happenings in that beautiful old home during the past ninety years. At that time , a landscaped gardener was brought from Asheville to plan the formal garden and to plant the boxwood borders. Each side of the broad walk from the gate to the steps of the veranda was edged with box, as well as that leading to the vegetable garden at the side of the house. Box also rimmed the walks between the flower plots. “Today the borders are borders no longer, but almost touch in a solid mass of luxuriant boxwood. There is now no room for but a single passageway down the main walk to the gate.”
Even though Maybinton is no longer a thriving center of business and farming activity, it still retains its natural beauty, its history, and its legends ; and a few of the original families live on in the old houses built by their ancestors, and such names as Lyles, Hardy, Maybin, Henderson, Douglass, Whitney, Thomas, Henry, and Cornwell of mammoth green boxwood hedges remain to attest to the Hardys’ love of beautiful grounds and gardens. —NELLIE CHAPPELL MAYBIN and CLAUDE HENRY NEUFFER
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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