South Carolina

Palmer Home – Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County Photos  |  Palmer Home

The Palmer Home in historic Charleston is one of the Holy City’s most iconic mansions, frequently photographed and often depicted in paintings of the grand homes along the Battery. Built between 1847 and 1849 by John Ravenel, a wealthy merchant and president of the South Carolina Railroad Company, the home remained in the Ravenel family until 1953.

Palmer House East Battery

John Diskes of Summerville, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ravenel’s son, scientist Dr. Saint Julien Ravenel, succeeded his father in ownership of the Italianate-style home. Dr. Ravenel is noted for designing the Little David, a semi-submersible vessel that attacked the Union blockade ship Ironside on October 5, 1863. He is said to have created plans for the torpedo boat in the drawing room of the house. A replica of the Little David is on display at the Old Santee Canal Park.

Palmer House

Steve Gundy of Roswell, GA © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The younger Ravenel was also instrumental in developing the phosphate industry that attempted to replace rice as a source of Lowcountry prosperity following the Civil War. He eventually sold the home to his son-in-law, Elias Horry Frost, president of E.H. Frost and Company – a cotton brokerage – as well as head of the Stono Phosphate Company and president of the South Carolina Loan and Trust. Frost is responsible for rehabilitating the house after the Great Earthquake of 1886, adding Victorian details while also adhering to the home’s original plan.

Palmer Home 1886

The Palmer Home has operated as a bed-and-breakfast since 1977. It offers unobstructed views of the Charleston Harbor and is just around the corner from Whitepoint Garden.

Palmer Home Info

Address: 5 East Battery, Charleston, SC 29401
GPS Coordinates: 32.770553,-79.928583

Palmer Home Map

Palmer Home – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Palmer Home, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

2 Comments about Palmer Home

Brenda Webb says:
May 15th, 2016 at 10:32 am

Love the design of this home. Everytime I have been in Charleston, I have admired its beauty.

ernie millerNo Gravatar says:
April 29th, 2014 at 9:23 pm

You failed to mention Dr. Joe Sam Palmer owned and resided there for many years. Upon passing, one of his daughters opened as a bed and breakfast years after 1977, as mentioned.

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