Buying a home in Union County? Consider one of the many vintage houses here. That is if you love the look and feel of “old”. Old beams. Old plaster. Old ornamental moulding. Old chimneys. Old cellars. And such. People whose ears perk up at terms such as “girts”, “summers”, “gunstock post” and “dripcourse” will find many interesting properties here. From old cottages and farm houses to magnificant mansions.
I’ve been reading a book called Old American Houses: How to Restore, Remodel and Reproduce Them by Henry Lionel Williams and Ottalie K. Williams, of Connecticut. It’s an oldie but goodie—like the homes it serves to help. There’s a lot of great information but my favorite part is the Introduction which has more to do with mindset than skill set:
“Any old house that has been the cherished home of an American family for generations is a growing and vital thing. But it must be lived in and loved to be preserved; with age and neglect it can soon decay. The suns and blizzards, the water below the ground and the heaving soil all do their best to destroy its fabric and hasten its return to Mother Earth. But the old-time craftsmen who hewed its timbers and shaped its stones knew well that they were building for posterity as well as the present generation of their day. They are all long gone but their handiwork remains as one of our cherished possessions –a link with our own and our country’s past…”
You see, the goal should be to keep alive the spirit not only of the dwellers but also of the designers and builders. And, combined, the energy of a people that envisioned, built and kept alive something greater themselves.
There’s a lot of old places around here—some renowned for their owners and guests; others anonymous, their stories yet to be discovered and told.
For information about historic preservation in South Carolina, visit Preservation South Carolina
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