Betsy Gould Sturgeon died in 1966. After John Sturgeon's death in 1978, the estate was purchased, in 1981, by The Rose Hill Plantation Development Co., a joint venture of the Welton Corporation and Ontario Properties.
The company developed Rose Hill Plantation into a gated community of approximately 950 residential home sites that vary in size from patio lots to multi-acre tracts, an Equestrian Center, a golf course, and many amenities for the use of its residents. The plantation house was a showplace and focal point of this development.
Under the supervision of Mrs. Iva Roberts Welton, Director of Rose Hill Plantation House, a rehabilitation of the house was completed in 1985. The plantation house was open for tours by reservation and many social events were held.
2 color photos by Delores Wolf, courtesy of Tina Fripp
In 1983, due mainly to the intense efforts of Mrs. Welton,
the Rose Hill Plantation house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
(for larger image of entire article, click article above)
Rehabilitation of the house was completed in 1985, but shortly thereafter it suffered extensive damage by a fire.
Click here to see more photos of this incident.
photo by Mike Cahill, Bluffton fire chief; courtesy of Mark McDonald
The copper roof, porch, entryway and stairs were restored to preserve the beautiful outer shell and entrance. But the extensive damage to the house interior made the house uninhabitable, and it sat a charred, empty hull until 1996.
In 1996, the Middleton White Foundation purchased the house and the surrounding 12.5 acres and began a new era of restoration on the house as a private home.
Today the house is the private residence of Mr. and Mrs. White.
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