McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House – Abbeville, South Carolina
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This Queen Anne home in historic Abbeville has been owned by two generals in two different wars, lending it the nickname Generals’ House. There is no doubt as to the year the home was built, as the decorative brickwork on the exterior of the right side chimney clearly reads 1888. Such brick design, along with the turret, stained glass, colorful exterior paint (the house has been repainted in its original hues), and windows of various shapes and sizes characterize this style of architecture popular in the Victorian era.
Brigadier General Samuel McGowan, a Confederate officer in the Civil War, built this ornate manse on the existing foundation of a home destroyed by fire in 1887. At the time, General McGowan was serving as a justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court. He died in 1897 and is buried at nearby Long Cane Cemetery.
The grounds of the property contain three servants’ cabins, two built in the Gothic Revival Style around 1857 and one later cabin built in the early twentieth century. The two earlier cabins likely complemented the home that burned in 1887, which was said also to have been in the Gothic Revival style. The property belonged to the family of the late Lieutenant Colonel James M. Perrin when General McGowan purchased it before the fire.
The home later was acquired by World War II General William E. Barksdale, who eventually sold the property to his nephew, J.D. Bundy of Monroe, North Carolina. Bundy then deeded the property to the Abbeville Historical Society in 1989 with the provision that the home remain an historic site. Today the home serves as the headquarters for the Abbeville Historical Society. The home and the cabins are open to the public for tours on Saturdays.
The McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House is listed in the National Register as part of the Abbeville Historic District, which offers the following about the area:
The Abbeville Historic District is comprised of a large portion of the city of Abbeville, the county seat of Abbeville County, South Carolina. Of the 528 properties in the district, 319 contribute to its historical character. The focal point of the district is the Court Square, on which are located the County Courthouse, Municipal Building, and a well-preserved collection of late nineteenth century brick commercial buildings. The district also includes the older residential section sections of the city, several churches, two school buildings, and three buildings associated with the city’s railroad history. The city of Abbeville was formed in the late eighteenth century; however, most of the properties included in the district reflect the city’s history throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As a result, the buildings display a wide variety of architectural styles including Second Empire, Gothic Revival, Beaux-Arts, Queen Anne and Bungalow. In addition, the district reflects the city’s role as a commercial center for the surrounding county. The city is also noted for its role in the political and governmental development of the area. Several residences are important for their association with persons or events of historical significance are located within the boundaries of the district.
McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House Info
Address: 211 North Main Street, Abbeville, SC
GPS Coordinates: 34.179594,-82.381577
McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House Map
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