Deep in the heart of the South there sits a house that has watched history pass by for nearly 250 years. It is a grand house, large, built to show off the status of the resident, in addition to providing a roof under which to sleep.
Now known as the Governor’s House Inn, it is one of the most historic wedding venues in Charleston. As an accommodation venue, it has hosted groups for a wide variety of events, including weddings, corporate retreats, and more. For those looking to get a bit of history with their visit, a stay at this former residence will do quite nicely, as it is considered a historic Inn. Charleston is rich in history, and the city is a good destination for anyone with an interest in the past.
For those who are looking for a beautiful old building, consider this mansion. Wedding venues in Charleston are plenty, but this one should definitely be considered near the top of the list.
Let’s have a look at the building’s history, and see what it is that really makes this grand house such a wonderful and historical place.
The Governor’s House Inn is also known as the Edward Rutledge House. Although he was not the first to live there, nor the one who commissioned the construction of the residence, he is the most historically important person to call this house home.
The house was built well after the city had become established. Charleston, originally named Charles Town in honor of the sitting King of England, was settled in 1680 in its present location, having been relocated from the original location established ten years prior.
About a century later, somewhere around 1760, this house was built for prominent merchant James Laurens. It is built in the Georgian style, in what is referred to as a double house style.
The home was grand, opulent, and could even be described as magnificent, if one were to reach for superlatives of multiple syllables. Laurens was a well-to-do member of the community, a man of means who had accumulated a certain amount of wealth, and he wanted everyone who saw his home to know that he, Mr. Laurens, was an important figure.
Creating Memories for Families
Two centuries later, the ego and showiness of this colonial merchant have provided us modern-day folk with one of the loveliest historic wedding venues in Charleston. What was once a large single-family home now hosts many families through the year, creating memories for people who stay in this historic inn. Charleston is full of history, and this big house is definitely to be seen and visited if one is interested in seeing some of the most glorious mansion wedding venues in Charleston.
When originally built, hosting weddings of people the home’s residents did not personally know was most likely not part of the social calendar. Of course, these days the role of hosting weddings is central to the business carried out in the house.
Laurens died in France in 1784, having left the colonies in 1775 because he did not have an appetite for revolution. It must be remembered that at this time the United States of America was not yet a thing. The Revolutionary War, or the War of Independence, had only just begun in 1775. It would run until 1783, and Laurens could not honestly say that he had any part in shaping the course of the war, for he was not in the country. The house he had once called home, however, did have a role to play.
In 1776, when the United States declared independence and became a country, the act was made official by the Declaration of Independence, arguably the most famous document of the country’s history. It was signed by many men, including Rutledge, who has the distinction, at 26 years of age, of being the youngest person to sign the document. At the time, he was renting the house now known as the Governor’s House Inn. He would not actually own the house until 1788, when he purchased it for 4,000 pounds. To put that amount in perspective, today, that would be the same as buying the house for about $120,000. For anyone familiar with real estate values, it can be agreed that this would be an incredibly good deal for the sizable property.
At the age of 26, Rutledge was just beginning to make his mark in the world, a mark that would be significant enough to be chronicled in history books. He signed up to fight in the Revolutionary War, and managed to survive that experience. Later, he would become a legislator in South Carolina, beginning a political career that would culminate in achieving the position of governor, making him the tenth man to hold that title. He kept the position until 1800, when his death necessitated his replacement.
Rutledge was not just a politician. He was also a lawyer who developed a successful legal practice in Charleston, after his return from England where he had studied law at the Middle Temple in England.
In 1971, the U.S. department of Interior declared the home a national historic site. It was chosen for this status due to once being the home of Rutledge.
In a house that has been standing for 250 years it can be expected that many people have lived there. This house, in particular, has been home to many people of influence, including Laurens, the man who had the home built, as well as others, some of whom were considered wealthy, after Rutledge. But none played as significant a role in the early history of the United States as Rutledge, and thus it makes perfect sense that the house, the home of many, should be named in recognition of Rutledge.
Today, it is a grand inn that, to this day, still retains much of the architectural detail and charm of the original house.