Stewart-Parker House

SPH Street facade - Stalvey-1500.jpg
 

The Stewart-Parker House is an architectural gem in the heart of historic Georgetown, SC. Built by Robert Stewart between 1740 and 1770, the brick structure is a classic five-bay Georgian design. Stewart, who purchased the property in 1737 was a wealthy planter who owned land throughout the Lowcountry. Stewart died in 1776 and the property was purchased from Stewart’s executor Ebenezer Dunnam by Daniel Tucker in 1787.

Trucker was a self-made man who became a very wealthy merchant. In addition to the Stewart House, he also owed Litchfield and Retreat Plantations in Georgetown County. Local tradition claims that Tucker entertained George Washington in this house on April 29, 1791. President Washington wrote in his diary: “I dined with the Citizens in public and in the afternoon, was introduced to upwards of 50 ladies who had assembled [at a tea party] on the occasion.”

Around 1790, Tucker had the exterior brick covered with stucco and scored it to resemble stone. At this time, the stucco “lintels and keystones” were added above the windows to give the appearance of the latest Federal architectural style. Tucker and his first wife Elizabeth Hyrne had seven children. After Elizabeth died in 1790, he married Mary Eliza Buchanan and had eight more children. When Tucker died in 1797 at the age of 45, the house was left to Mary Eliza for her use during her lifetime. When Mary Eliza remarried in 1801, the house passed to John H. Tucker.

During the Civil War, property records for Georgetown were destroyed, so it is impossible to see a complete line of property title from 1801 to 1847. During this gap in the records, many changes were made to the house. The semi-circular bays on the street-side of the house were added in the early 1800’s. This type of room was very fashionable during the Federal Period (1780’s – 1810s). At this time, the decorative molding in the entrance hall and the southern parlor was also added. The river-side façade porch was added around 1820.