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

Thomas E. Hart House and Kalmia Gardens, Darlington County (624 W. Carolina Ave., Hartsville)
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Facade Left Oblique Right Oblique Right Elevation Main Entrance
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Kalmia Gardens Kalmia Gardens Black Creek

The Thomas E. Hart House is significant as an excellent local example of an early nineteenth century I-House and for its association with Thomas Edwards Hart (1796-1842), the prominent Darlington County planter for whom Hartsville was named. The house is a central feature of Kalmia Gardens (ca. 1932), which is significant as a designed botanical garden of the early twentieth century and is the only known such garden in South Carolina. The house was built ca. 1817 by Hart, soon after he moved to this site on Black Creek and acquired a tract of some nine hundred acres. The house is of heavy timber frame construction with weatherboard siding. It is two-stories with a rectangular plan, lateral gable roof, and exterior end chimneys. A one-story, hip roof porch extends across the full fašade and wraps to the right elevation. A one-story addition was made to the rear ca. 1932. The property immediately surrounding the Hart House includes a ca. 1932 frame, hip roof contributing building. Kalmia Gardens consists of 28 acres of natural and planted flora, and designed features such as a pond and paths. The garden is located on an eighty-foot bluff on Black Creek. This unique topography creates the setting for the indigenous growth of mountain laurel (kalmia latifolia), which is the main theme of the garden. Listed in the National Register May 3, 1991.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of Hartsville, ca. 1817-ca. 1941 includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.

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.

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