George Pawley House, 1019 Front Street, Georgetown, Georgetown County, SC
2017 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Entry
Significance: Robert Stewart, the primary constituent of the George Pawley House, was the son of an indentured servant from Jamaica, Patrick Stewart, whom is also one of the original settlers of South Carolina. Robert Stewart recognized that Georgetown, South Carolina, would be an ideal location for early trade and commerce and frequently applied for land as it was made available for settlement by the colonial government. His forward vision of progress and mercantile interests awarded him the reputation as a prominent land owner, militia Captain, and rice planter. By 1737, Robert Stewart already owned several tracts of land in the Georgetown township and acquired acreage situated on the Sampit River on lot number 220 on Front Street, present day 1019 Front Street. According to architectural evidence, it is estimated that the two-story masonry, Georgian plantation house which still stands on this property was constructed sometime between 1740 and 1776.
The George Pawley House remains today as the only masonry residence in Georgetown built prior to the American Revolution still surviving and in use. Ownership of the house changed several times and a series of additions and remodeling followed, with the original Georgian appearance modified with Federal Period features. After the death of Robert Stewart, an executor of his will sold the house in 1787 to Daniel Tucker, a well-known and successful Georgetown merchant.
While under the ownership of Daniel Tucker, a significant event occurred in Georgetown's history that would place the George Pawley House in historical perpetuity President George Washington arrived in Georgetown during his southern tour on April 30, 1791. Upon his arrival, a militia and local reception committees met him at the river and escorted him to the house where he was generously entertained and honored. Daniel Tucker offered President George Washington overnight accommodations as his guest. Taken from President George Washington's diary from an entry on April 30, 1971, he states:
"Crossed the Waggamaw [sic] to George town by descending the River three miles. At this place we were rec[eive]d under a Salute of Cannon, & by a Company of Infantry handsomely uniformed. 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."
Following Tucker's ownership, wealthy plantation owner Benjamin Allston, Sr. gained possession of the house in approximately 1826. Upon his death, heirs of the Pyatt and Parker families inherited the property and eventually in 1976, the house was passed out of the estate. In 1979, First Federal Savings and Loan Association bought the property to preserve it as one of Georgetown, South Carolina's, most historically significant landmarks. Today, the house is known as the Stewart-Parker House and is owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. The City of Georgetown leases part of the property as a museum and event space.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N2240
Survey number: HABS SC-312
Building/structure dates: after. 1740- before. 1770 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: ca. 1820 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 71000781