Koger-Murray-Carroll-House – St. George, South Carolina
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This imperial structure stands over the surrounding countryside outside the rural town of St. George. Known by many names, this Georgian plantation house is today most commonly referred to as the Koger-Murray-Carroll-House in honor of its previous owners. While the exact date of construction is unknown, it is thought to be the oldest house in Dorchester County.
Reported to be the only home between St. George and Branchville, it served as a stagecoach stop along what was known as the Orangeburgh Road on the Mills Atlas of 1825. This road served as the main route between Charleston and inland settlements, but it was mostly abandoned when the Augusta-Charleston Highway (Highway 78) was constructed around 1927.
The workmanship in the house is impressive, and it is noted that the black cypress timber used to create it was harvested from the property. Lumber was cut with whip-saws, it is said to have taken roughly 12 years to complete the process. The house rests on massive brick pillars which are visible underneath the porch. The house sat abandoned for many years and was even used as a barn for some time. The property was donated by the then-owners, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzhugh Sweatman, to the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society with the hopes of restoration.
The Upper Dorchester County Historical Society was able to secure funding thanks to the Transportation Enhancement Grant, which paid to stabilize the foundation and roof of the building. To raise more money for the project, the historical society sold naming rights to each 9-over-9 paned window, allowing donors to memorialize their donation in a lasting way. The house boasts large and airy rooms with impeccable details preserved with portions of the materials left intentionally raw so the construction process of the home could be admired. The home’s exterior can be viewed at any time, but the interior is open by appointment or special tours only.
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The Koger-Murray-Carroll House is listed in the National Register:
The Carroll Place, a plain Georgian I-House dwelling, is one of the oldest plantation houses in what is now Dorchester County. Its builder, Joseph Koger, was prominent in the political affairs of the area. The house appears on the Robert Mills survey of 1820. The clapboard single house is of black cypress construction and rests upon massive, low brick pillars laid in English bond. The hip roof is pierced on the rear slope by two single chimneys. On one of these, the date 1829 appears, possibly indicating a completion or remodeling date for the structure. The veranda has a hipped roof, is supported by six wooden posts, and shelters five bays, the center one being an eight-paneled door surmounted by a three-paned flush transom. This home belonged to several prominent state government officials: Joseph Koger, who represented the Parish of St. George, Dorchester, in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1806 to 1812 and the South Carolina Senate from 1818 until 1838; John S. Murray, who served in the South Carolina Senate from 1840 to 1844; and James Carroll, who represented Edgefield District in both the State House of Representatives and Senate before becoming chancellor of the Court of Equity in 1859. Approximately 150 feet from the house is a grave marker dating from 1837 that marks the graves of three Koger children. Listed in the National Register July 25, 1974.
Address: 119 Sandy Branch Road, St. George, SC 29477
GPS Coordinates: 33.128610,-80.635853
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