Historic North Augusta working on 2 preservation projects

As it marks its first anniversary, Historic North Augusta has been helping with two construction projects — putting down a new but historically appropriate kitchen floor in Rosemary Hall and raising money to fix the roof and do other weather-proofing work at the Society House in Carrsville.

 

Flooring in the attic of Rosemary Hall, which was built by city founder James U. Jackson, was harvested for the kitchen floor. The attic tongue and groove was fastened with large cut nails — which were saved for future projects.

The work began in early December and should be complete this week, said Mark Newell, a Historic North Augusta member who helped organize the group.

The project involved “opening up” Rosemary Hall’s kitchen by taking out walls and beams and reinforcing the ceiling, Newell said.

“We considered putting in new materials, but the owner was open to using wood from attic,” he said.

Rosemary Hall and the Society House are “important first steps” for Historic North Augusta, Newell added.

“We’re putting our action where our mouth is. We’re not wasting any time,” he said.

The group recently received a $500 grant from the Sertoma Club of North Augusta for work on the Society House. Historic North Augusta has a fundraising goal of $3,000 for roofing and weather-proofing the building, some sections of which are open to the elements.

When flooding in 1929 washed away much of what was Hamburg, a predominantly black community, the town’s former residents established the town of Carrsville.

A historical marker to Carrsville, at Barton and Boylan streets, across from First Providence Baptist Church, says “Carrsville was most likely named for Charles W. Carr of the American Red Cross or for William Carpenter, an African-American businessman, both of whom gave lots for new homes here to families displaced by the flooding. Boylan Street here was originally named Red Cross Street in recognition of that organization’s aid to the black families who had lost their homes on the banks of the Savannah River.”

The Society House, also known as the “Society Building,” was built in 1930, and was first home to the Young Men’s Union Society. It served in many capacities, including as a school house during segregation and event space for the Simmons Lodge No. 571, which acquired it in 1988.

Historic North Augusta held its first official meeting in January, and is marking its first year as an organization dedicated to protecting the city’s historic buildings and legacy.

It obtained 501 (c)(3) status, which makes donations and membership fees — $25 per year — be be tax-deductible.

For more information about Historic North Augusta, visit the organization’s Facebook page.

Rosemary Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The South Carolina Department of Archives and History describes it as:

“An example of Beaux Arts architecture, Rosemary Hall was built ca. 1900-1902 by James Urquhart Jackson, founder of North Augusta and an influential leader in the growth and development of the town during the first decades of its existence.

“Befitting Jackson’s prominence in the community, the structure has elaborate architectural details, including twelve fluted Corinthian columns supporting a wide entablature accented by a frieze of acanthus leaves, Italian colored glass used in the fanlights and sidelights, and rosemary pine paneling throughout the interior.

“The two-story white clapboard house surmounts a low brick foundation. The front façade is highlighted by a wide L-shaped verandah that extends across the front and down the left elevation. A rectangular window bordered in colored glass and framed by scrollwork accents the porch pediment. Formerly shingled, the tin roof is punctuated by corbel-capped chimneys.

“As president of the North Augusta Hotel Company, Jackson was influential in the construction of the Hampton Terrace Hotel, a distinguished winter resort that was built in 1903 and attracted such notable guests as John D. Rockefeller and William Howard Taft. As founder and president of the North Augusta Land Company, Jackson directed the purchasing of the land and the laying out of the streets upon which North Augusta developed, leading to the town’s incorporation in 1906.

“Listed in the National Register April 28, 1975.”

To see the full nomination form, visit nationalregister.sc.gov/aiken/S10817702005/

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