Historic Home & Gardens
House, built in 1838, became the headquarters for the Greenville
Council of Garden Clubs, Inc.,
on July 30, 1974. Moved from its original site to the present location on
North Academy Street, the house is nestled among tall trees on a
sloping terrain, overlooking a restored spring (c. 1765), a placid
pond, and extensive gardens which are certified as a backyard
The house and spring
are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and visitors
are welcomed for guided historic tours.
The Greenville Council
of Garden Clubs, Inc. takes pride in serving as custodian of this
culturally significant property and in overseeing its preservation
so that current and future generations may enjoy it.
Kilgore-Lewis House was built in 1838 by Josiah Kilgore on a site
near Buncombe Street United Methodist Church in downtown Greenville, South
Carolina. Local tradition says that the copper-roofed,
Palladian-style house was actually a wedding gift for Kilgore's
daughter Mary Keziah whose wedding ceremony was held in the front
parlor of the newly built home. For 130 years, the house would
remain a private home for several generations of Mary's descendants.
A GLOOMY OUTLOOK
last resident chose to downsize to a smaller, more manageable home,
the house was briefly used by the Methodist Church for Sunday School
facilities. The church soon realized, however, that the house was
not adequate for their needs and decided to tear down the home.
MOVE & RESTORATION
Greenville Council of Garden Clubs soon stepped in with a
restoration plan in mind. The Council negotiated to lease land on
North Academy Street from the City of Greenville.
Through a variety of fundraising projects, the Council also raised
over $100,000 to finance the move, restoration and furnishing of the
house. The house was actually moved to its new brick foundation on
April 24, 1974. The move was so successful that not one window was
cracked en route.
THE HOUSE TODAY
Since 1974, the Kilgore-Lewis House has served as the headquarters
for the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs. The house and its
five-acre, wooded grounds provide a meeting place for the Council,
its Board of Directors and committees, and its twenty gardening
clubs. In addition to Council activities, the house and its
surrounding gardens serve as a favorite location for
such as weddings,
receptions, family celebrations and small business meetings.
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