“A military education for young men.”
City Directories and History: Militarily, educationally, and politically significant, the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion has played an integral part in the state’s history since its construction in 1855. The white stucco building with a flat roofline and low parapet was originally built as the
officer’s quarters for Arsenal Academy, one of two South Carolina military schools. The academy was forced to close because of the Civil War. The mansion was the only main building of the Arsenal Academy complex to survive when most of the city of Columbia burned down in 1865. In 1868, the spacious house was designated the executive mansion of South Carolina. Most all South Carolina governors since 1868 have resided in the mansion with the exception of two that occupied their own homes within the city of Columbia. A number of national dignitaries, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, have been guests at the mansion. The mansion’s simple architectural style possesses great integrity and the extensive gardens are fine examples of landscape architecture. Much of the landscaping improvement and the addition of the walled, brick-paved courtyard was done during the term of Governor Donald Russell (1963-65). Listed in the National Register June 5, 1970.
Furthermore: Across the street, of course, stands the building originally built in 1855 as officers’ quarters for Arsenal Academy, a state-supported military school which served until 1863 when it was forced to close because of the war, sending 52 cadets to fight for the Southern cause. Only building of the Arsenal Academy complex to survive the general burning of the city, the spacious quarters were designated to the the executive mansion of South Carolina and home of its governors. It was entered in the National Register in 1971. Completing the Governor’s Mansion complex, along with the above mentioned Boylston House, is the beautiful Caldwell House, more familiarly called the Lace House, which was built in 1854 and is listed in the National Register as a structure of state significance.)
Arsenal—Columbia—A one-year preparatory academy with military training, preparing students for The Citadel. Operated from 1820 until about 1840.
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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