South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Woodlands, Bamberg County (S.C. Hwy. 78, Bamberg vicinity)

A significant literary landmark, Woodlands was the country estate home of William Gilmore Simms, son-in-law of Nash Roach, a gentleman of English descent and wealthy owner of several plantations. In 1836, Simms, noted Southern author, married Roach’s daughter, Chevilette Eliza, and was given Woodlands Plantation. Simms said in his letters, about 1836-1857, “I am moving into an ancient dwelling largely fallen into disrepair.” In 1859, Simms began enlargement of the house, adding a library and nursery wings, which considerably increased the impressiveness of the residence. In 1862, the original house burned except for the library wing. The second house, including much of Simms’ extensive personal library, was burned in 1865 by stragglers of the Federal army. In 1868, Simms once again endeavored to “render Woodlands habitable.” The present house retains the windows and most of the woodwork Simms assembled in Charleston, where he had a town house. There were also twelve outbuildings that stood at in a semi-circle at the back of the house, two remain, although the foundations of all have been located. One became Simms’ study. As a result of Simms’ literary prominence, Woodlands became a center of literary activity where such distinguished visitors as William Cullen Bryant, G. P. R. James, John R. Thompson, Paul Hayne, James Lawson, and Henry Timrod were frequently received. Listed in the National Register November 11, 1971; Designated as a National Historic Landmark November 11, 1971.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.

Most National Register properties are privately owned and are not open to the public. The privacy of owners should be respected. Not all properties retain the same integrity as when originally documented and listed in the National Register due to changes and modifications over time.

Images and texts on these pages are intended for research or educational use. Please read our statement on use and reproduction for further information on how to obtain a photocopy or how to cite an item.

Images provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.