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

Thorntree, Williamsburg County (S.C. Hwy 527, Kingstree)

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Facade Right Oblique Main Bedroom
2nd Floor
1st Floor Plan 2nd Floor Plan

(Witherspoon House) The oldest known residence in the Pee Dee area, Thorntree is an excellent example of the earliest plantation houses constructed entirely of native materials. Built by Irish immigrant James Witherspoon in 1749, the house possesses a progressive rural domestic design. The house was located in the wilderness and adapted to the New World, but with refinements recalling the good life in the Old World. The two-story frame “I-House” type house has a hall and parlor plan with exterior end chimneys, and full-length piazzas on the front and rear elevations. Its brick piers support hand-hewn heart pine beams. All twenty-four windows have pine paneled shutters fastened with hand-forged strap hinges. The entire interior is pine: the floors, walls, ceilings, cornices, mantels and all overmantels (except two that are plastered). The house was moved from an inaccessible rural site to preserve it. The original site was unavailable for purchase, and unprotected against fire and vandalism. The present site is within the city on land donated as a memorial park. Victorian trim, south piazza, and shed rooms added ca. 1800 have been removed. The house now stands as it was in the eighteenth century. Listed in the National Register October 28, 1970.

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