Let’s take a look inside The Governor’s House Inn – you’ll learn about the history behind our historic mansion and get to know its unique features!
Governor’s House Entrance
Wow! The entrance to The Governor’s House Inn, built in 1798, is highlighted by a classic black glossy doorway surrounded by beautiful windows and traditional white dentil molding. As you enter, you’ll notice the doorway is centered between two windows with classic crossbar mullions, and an overhead window with a unique design reminiscent of a spiderweb. Two huge black iron lanterns light up your entrance.
The outside of the two-story colonial is painted a light lemon yellow, in fitting with the era, and enhanced with timeless black shutters. Two flags fly above the welcoming doorway: a red, white and blue American flag, and a blue and white South Carolina state flag, featuring a crescent moon and a Palmetto tree. The state flag, adapted from its original version with just the moon shape, has been flown since 1861, and gets its color from the uniforms worn by South Carolina’s troops in the Revolutionary War. The crescent matches the silver emblems worn on their uniform caps. The palmetto tree is a symbol honoring the successful defense against the British attack on Sullivan’s Island of the palmetto-log fort.
As you approach the historic mansion from the street, you will see manicured gardens and local flora. In fact, the grounds were said to be originally an eighteenth century orange grove. The door is flanked from either side of the entryway, up steps adorned with black wrought iron railings. There are more archetypal gardens with statuary in between the main house and kitchen house. You can also catch a glimpse of the magnificent outdoor verandas flanking the entire side of the Inn. Their wicker chairs and colorful cushions will make you want to run up the stairs to put your feet up and take in the views of historic Charleston!
Governor’s House Foyer – If walls could talk
Enter into the foyer, and walk back into the incredible past in this historic mansion. You are greeted by traditional polished wood molding accompanied by classic wallpaper adorned with muted reds, buttercup yellow, and pale blue, featuring exotic birds of the period. An elegant floral arrangement in a chinoiserie temple jar adorns the antique table in the foyer to set the mood. Overhead you will appreciate the eighteen-light vintage brass chandelier. A beautifully polished fireplace with a mirrored top adorns the space, and to the left, a magnificent curved staircase catches your eye. A large oil portrait of Edward Rutledge (the inn’s namesake) with a gilt frame hangs in the foyer. Above the mantel is a small black antique clock that, if it could talk, could no doubt tell many riveting stories. Tasteful burgundy carpet adorns the steps and is anchored by brass stair rods on each stair. In fact, the elegant polished wooden staircase is what has drawn many brides to select The Governor’s House Inn as their favorite mansion wedding venue.
Governor’s House Parlor
The epitome of a true Southern parlor, this beautiful red room in the Governor’s House Inn is highlighted by a huge crystal chandelier and is graced by classic wing chairs and satin covered settees. History tells us that the parlor was a “showcase of gentility” and was where marriage proposals were made, loved ones mourned, and the family bible stood front and center. One renowned historian recalls, “There were a great many American families who looked upon their parlors as an indispensable anchor which held their households in the social stream.” Proper decorum was expected, and even books were written specifically with etiquette for parlor rooms. Floor to ceiling windows are covered with elegant cream color damask fringed curtains with dramatic valances. A gold gilt framed mirror reflects the beauty of the room, and leads your eye to the focal point in the parlor, the glossy enameled white fireplace. A polished buffet holds yet more antiques to admire.
Declaration of Independence
A visit to the Governors House Inn is not complete without a “selfie” taken in front of their unique copy of the Declaration of Independence. Not many homes display their very own copy of the Declaration of Independence–but not many can boast their namesake, the youngest signer of the declaration, Edward Rutledge, an owner of this historic mansion. The Declaration is an 1819 edition that was specially printed to commemorate and highlight important historical features related to the Declaration of Independence. With portraits of each signer, it shows the South Carolina signatories who were all an important part of America’s birth: Edward Rutledge, his brother-in-law Arthur Middleton, Thomas Lynch, Jr., and Thomas Heyward Jr.
The Governors House Inn is one of the most popular mansion wedding venues in Charleston, and the common area on the second floor is a favorite place for bridesmaids to gather as they prepare to descend the stairs for the nuptials. Photographers love this area, which is beautifully decorated with period furniture and artwork. The antique rug is perfect for the space, complementing the eggshell blue walls and deep polished wood wainscoting.
The breathtaking living room in the Governor’s House Inn is home to yet two more crystal chandeliers, paired striped sofas, and a baby grand piano. It looks out from floor to ceiling windows onto a traditional Southern porch with attractive wicker furniture and comfortable cushions. In this historic inn you can sit and admire a huge floral painting with a bird motif that sits above an elegant fireplace.
Governor’s House Foyer
The Piano Room
A polished wood fireplace, period décor, and yes, a beautiful baby grand piano grace the “Piano Room.” Buttercream yellow walls and glossy white enameled woodwork set the stage for gorgeous period furnishings. Striped settees, yellow wing chairs, and antique accent tables complete the look. Dignified white wall sconces with crystal accents flank a huge oil painting with a gold gilt frame.
While we hope you enjoyed this video tour, there’s nothing like experiencing our historic Charleston inn for yourself. Book your Governor’s House getaway or event today!