“A beautifully proportioned historic vernacular Carolina’s’ “I” house of Francis Ingram.”
City Directories and History: In the 1980′s Historic Brattonsville took on a new life as a cultural attraction for the state and region. Tourism and educational activities
began attracting thousands each month and special events even more. The need for a central visitors center and office space was at a critical junction by the mid 1980s at which time a Chester County dwelling became available for use and acreage was secured for the reinterpretation of this historic structure as Historic Brattonsville’s visitors center.
The Ingram-Montgomery home built in the early 1840′s between the communities of Richburg and Great Fall, S.C. in eastern Chester County and it is one of the regions gems of vernacular architecture. In the mid 1980′s the Director of Historic Brattonsville in York County, SC first visited this structure and within hours had met the owner and purchased the house for relocation to the historic village. The house is currently used as the Brattonsville Visitors Center and is open to the public. Unfortunately, the structure was unable to be moved intact, so architectural plans were drawn by Architect Mr. Milton Sadler of Rock Hill. These comprehensive plans were of the entire structure and all surface elements of the house were carefully measured, photographed, and removed to a secure storage unit. A new foundation and exacting framework was constructed on the identical scale of the original and the architectural elements were reinstalled as they had been originally. Architecturally, this structure features several distinct features including handsome proportions, extended porch columns (a feature rarely found outside of the Catawba River Basin), exterior porch wainscoting, interior wainscoting, hand-made mantels, beautifully made six panel doors, heart pine flooring, and stylish moldings.
Further research needs conducting on the history of the house but it is likely attributable to Green B. Montgomery, a Chester County house contractor, listed as a eighty-five year old ” mechanic” in the census of 1860. Listed with a worth of $8,886., Mr. Montgomery would have been in his prime when he perhaps built this outstanding example of regional architecture. The house was constructed for Mr. Francis Ingram on a track of 535 acres of prime farmland along what was even then, a major travel route. Mr. Ingram was an extensive landowner as well as owned and operated the Ingram-Gooch Ferry across the Catawba River near Lancaster, SC.
The Brattonsville Visitors Center remains one of the region’s prized examples of vernacular architecture and visitors to the site should take time to enjoy viewing the artisan’s workmanship.
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