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Mountain Home Plantation near Govan celebrated its 160th anniversary celebration last month.

Mountain Home celebrates 160 years; antebellum plantation in Bamberg County is focus of discussion

The Historical Society of Bamberg County and the Bamberg County Arts Council sponsored the event. The current owners, Gerry and Linda Bell, welcomed all who came to honor the home’s history.

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Some former residents of the home were in attendance and spoke of the home’s history and their memories. Frank Pickens Williams Sr. told an unusual story.

He said, “I didn’t have a legal name until I was 21 years old. I didn’t need my birth certificate until I turned 21, but the doctor who recorded my name had me listed as ‘Unnamed Williams.’ I thought of all different kind of names I could have chosen, including Elvis Presley Williams. My wife told me that we already had a son named Frank Pickens Williams Jr., so I should just choose Sr. I believe I am the first man to be named after his son.”

Bamberg Mayor Nancy Foster gave the home’s ownership history, which is:

• 1848 – Z.G. Graham sold the property to his brothers Samuel J. and Joseph Hartzog for $3,700

• 1859 – Joseph sold his portion the plantation's property, 476 ½ acres to his brother Samuel J. Hartzog for $3,500

• 1859 – House built. Samuel began to build a two-story brick house soon after becoming sole owner of the property. Henry Simms Hartzog, Samuel and Mary Hartzog's son, was born at Mountain Home in 1866. Henry went on to be the third president of Clemson University.

• 1875 – Samuel J. Hartzog sold 500 acres to James Wyatt Lancaster for $4,500

• 1901 – C.E. Hayden purchased the 500 acres from H.L. O'Bannon for $2,600

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• 1904 – The 500 acres that composed Mountain Home Plantation changed hands several times in a short period of time. B.L. Caughman purchased the tract from Augustus H. Hayden for $3,000

• 1908 – B.L. Caughman sold the plantation to Samuel Shannon Williams for $3,500

• 1928 – The plantation was deeded from Samuel Shannon Williams to his wife Hattie Williams for $1.

• 1942 – After Hattie's death, Mountain Home was transferred in this year from the heirs of Samuel Shannon and Hattie Williams to Frank M. Williams.

• 1944 – Hattie Sue Williams, daughter of Samuel and Hattie, and her husband F.D. Garrett Sr. acquired the plantation from Frank M. Williams.

• 1988 – F.D. Garrett Sr. died with his will leaving the plantation to his heirs, F.D. Garrett, Jr., Oliver S. Garrett, Marsha E. Fogle and Connie G. Ehrhardt

• 1990 – The Garrett heirs sold the plantation to Brubaker Farm for $115,000. At this time, the plantation held 157 acres.

• 1991 – Tony E. Azzarelli purchased 1.72 acres that the house sits on from Brubaker Farm for $25,000.

• 1994 – Leonard "Gerry" Bell Jr. and Linda G. Bell purchased the portion of Mountain Home Plantation with the house from Tony E. Azzarelli.

During a tour of the, Gerry Bell stated that the home has not ever had a bannister on the staircase. He also explained the work he and his wife have done in each room as he walked everyone through. The Bells have put in a lot of work, but it has been a “labor of love,” Gerry Bell said.

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To all those who came out to the celebration, former resident Betty Jane Miller said, “White history, black history, it’s all of our history, and we are all in it together.”

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Contact the writer: ldhntr12@yahoo.com.

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