One of the great things about living in Bluffton is the presence of living history all around us. Bluffton has centuries of history that enrich the community and make for daily discoveries about the events of the region. 

Unfortunately, we don’t have as much history as we should have. Thanks to the historic Burning of Bluffton, we have few houses that survive from the Antebellum period. But thanks to a recent decision by the Bluffton Town Council, one of those historic buildings will soon be getting a renovation. On November 19, the Town Council decided to move forward with restoration of the Squire Pope Carriage House

Historic Bluffton building recently approved to be restored
Courtesy | Drew Martin

About the Squire Pope Carriage House

William “Squire” Pope was a wealthy landowner in the Bluffton area. His family had owned much of the surrounding land since the 18th century, and around the time of the Civil War, they owned 180 slaves. Squire Pope advocated for the right of South Carolina to make its own laws even when these contradicted federal laws. 

In addition to being a landowner, Squire Pope was a prominent politician. He served many terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate, with the first term starting in 1810 and the last term ending in 1852. He contributed to the founding of the May River Academy in 1823.

The plantation owned by the Pope family had a large house, including a well-stocked library, noted by troops when they entered the home. The Carriage House was, as its name implies, not the main building, but actually several outbuildings not originally intended as a living space. They had to be adapted after the Burning of Bluffton

The Burning of Bluffton

When Federal troops captured the area following the Battle of Point Royal Sound in 1861, Squire Pope and his family abandoned the town and fled. Squire Pope died in exile in 1862.

While families left Bluffton, the Confederacy did not abandon the town, which was in a strategic location. A series of guerrilla raids and large-scale attacks were launched from Bluffton and the surrounding area. 

To try to secure the area, the local Union commander ordered an attack on the city that would end with its destruction. Using a combination of land and naval forces, the Union repelled Confederate troops from the city and set the town alight. 

Only 15 buildings survived the conflagration, and only ten of these are still in existence today. 

Joining the Carriage House

When the Pope family returned from exile in 1865, they realized their dramatically reduced circumstances and knew they would have to make sacrifices to get by. One of their sacrifices was to not rebuild the main house. Instead, they connected several outbuildings to create what we now know as  “The Carriage House.” 

Restoring Houses and Smiles

The decision to restore the house helps the community preserve this vital reminder of our history. The next step for the Squire Pope Carriage House is the creation of a bid that will cover the entire restoration process. Then the Town Council will approve funds for the restoration as part of the budget for 2021. 

Just like this historic building, your smile deserves investment and restoration. Maybe it’s time for a full mouth reconstruction. There is value in having a beautiful, healthy smile that makes you feel comfortable and helps you eat without problems. If you’ve been considering taking steps to restore your smile, maybe now is the time to talk in more detail. 

Please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at The Durham Office, offering Beyond Exceptional Dentistry to the Hilton Head area from Bluffton.