History - Part III

          The Kirk descendants held title to Rose Hill until approximately 1928.  Thereafter, the plantation changed hands several times.  The house had "stood for more than ninety years gaunt and half-completed, hidden in the woods and for long periods abandoned to the elements, known only to animal prowlers and passing huntsmen."  Among the owners other than the Kirk descendants were William M. Wilson, William E. Pinckney (photo below left), J.R. Walker, Bub Walker, & Joseph O. Pinckney.  We have been told that tenant farmers lived in the unfinished house during some of those years.  Recently, we have been visited by or in touch with members of several families who lived here during the early 20th Century, among them are the Clements family, the Walker family,  the Cope family and the James Moore family.

                    


WILMA LEE GOETHE WILSON

Recently, there appeared an obituary in our local paper that alerted us to another early resident of the old plantation.  Her family would have been living here while Kippi McCulloch's ancestors, the Walkers, worked the land and just before W.E. Pinckney purchased half interest in the plantation.  The obit reads:

"Wilma Lee Goethe Wilson died Monday, Feb. 23,2009, at her home in Bluffton. Shewas born June 10,1917, in the caretaker’s cottage at Rose Hill Plantation and was raised on her father’s Bluffton farm. She was a lifelong member of Bluffton United Methodist Church.

She is survived by one son, Jesse Marion Wilson and his wife, Joyce, of Ashville, N.C.; two sisters, Lillian Goethe O’Quinn of Walterboro, and Bertha Goethe Graves  of Lady’s Island; one brother, Howell Dennis “Jiggs” Goethe; five grandchildren,G.Carl Cole,III,Jane Cole Wells,James Edward Cole,Cynthia Wilson Howe and Amy Wilson Eastell; and nine great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, BarbaraWilson Cole. Funeralserviceswill be at 11 a.m.today at Bluffton United MethodistChurch. The family requests memorial donations be made to the Bluffton United Methodist Church, Building Fund, P.O. Box 368, Bluffton,SC29910.

Sauls Funeral Home of Bluffton is assisting the family with arrangements."


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The Pinckneys

                                           
                                     W. E. Pinckney                  Catherine Kirk Pritchard Pinckney                          W. E. Pinckney
                                                                                   2nd wife of W.E. Pinckney

          The following description was taken from The Heritage of Pinckneys of Pinckney Colony, by Mary Pinckney Powell:

"On the 3rd of July, 1918, William E. Pinckney, my father, provided an amount of $4,450.00 to purchase half-interest
in the 1200 acre Rose Hill Plantation.  1 June, 1921, Clarence A. Pinckney, eldest son of William E. Pinckney, moved
to Rose Hill with his bride and lived there farming the  land for about three years.  During these and later years, the
Great Hall of Rose Hill became alive with merriment as my sisters and brothers gave parties, dances, and picnics
at the gracious old manor house....

Upon entering the Great Hall of Rose Hill one might sense a feeling of sadness for the original planners and owners
of this splendid plantation home that because of the War, they never realized the completion of their dream.  But once
the old house is opened up to music, lively conversation and laughter, these sounds of jollification cast a spell that
brings forth images of tall, handsome gentlemen and smiling ladies in hoop skirts, dancing to the tune of the
merrymakes, just as they did over a hundred years ago when Dr. John and Caroline Kirk entertained friends and
relatives at their beautiful Christmas ball."

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James B. (Bub) Walker

          In December 2008, Kiplyn "Kippi" McCulloch returned for a second visit and gave us information about her ancestor, James B. (Bub) Walker, who purchased Rose Hill plantation from Morton Kirk Moore (1,400 acers) in August 1928 and from W. E. Pinckney (1,450 acres) in December 1928.  Kippi is the great-grandniece of Bub Walker, and her grandmother (Josephine Walker Johnson, "Granny") was born in the house on Feb. 13, 1916 (a Friday 13th), where her mother and 5 siblings lived with Josephine's mother, Sallie Hair Walker.  Granny always told of how the family all said "Poor child, born on this horrible Firday the 13th, she'll never amount to a hill of beans!"  The family lived in the Rose Hill house until Granny was 16 when her mother (Sallie Hair Walker -Kippi's great grand-mother)  passed away in 1932 at the age of 39 in what was then the front bedroom of the mansion.                                                                                                 Kippi McCulloch  5-25-09 >

          "It was in that year that Granny & her 4 sisters (Willie Mae, Sybil, Mary, Betty) and 1 brother (Betty's twin Billy) moved to Crescent, which Uncle Bub also owned.  They lived with  Granny's grandmother (Margaret Elizabeth Walker) who was 78 at the time.  Uncle Bub also lived at Crescent with Grandma.  Uncle Bub was Granny's father's (William B. Walker) brother.  There had been 5 girls, but "Little Jessie" Elizabeth Walker passed away on May 9, 1928, of diphtheria at the age of 6.  Granny used to tell me how she could remember her in the glass casket.  At that time, because of the diphtheria, caskets had to be sealed, and this was how they did it.  All of the children were born in the Rose Hill house with Granny being the oldest.

          "When the children went to live at Crescent, Grandpa (A.E. Walker) had already passed away.  He survived the Civil War to come back and work for the Kirks.  He was hit in the head with a mini-ball and never really recovered.  He fought in the Civil War under Capt. William "Willie" Kirk, CSA SC Infantry, 11th Regiment, Company K, and that was how the relationship and connection to Rose Hill began."  

         Thank you for your visit and the interesting information, Kippi.    

                                                           
                                                          In Memory of Denise Kiplyn "Kippi" McCullough


                                                                                          
                                                                                        1957 - 2012

 Kippi was the great-grandniece of James B. (Bub) Walker, who purchased Rose Hill plantation from Morton Kirk Moore (1,400 acers) in August 1928 and from W. E. Pinckney (1,450 acres) in December 1928.  Her grandmother (Josephine Walker Johnson, "Granny") was born in the house on Feb. 13, 1916.  Kippi lost a brave fight with cancer and we miss her.

                                                           

                                 

   The Copes - 1930s                                                             


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On October 4, 2008, Mr. John Claflin and his wife visited Rose Hill.  His mother was Florence Cope Claflin (right), and her family, the Copes, lived in the house during the depression years of 1930s while her father share cropped a portion of the plantation.  Mr. Claflin and his mother, Florence, had visited Rose Hill during the mid-1980's, and she had told him of many changes that had been made to the house since the time she lived there.

  <-  Jim & Ruth Claflin
                                                                          

 

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Daisy Pinckney Frazier

                                     
      In her book, Remembering the Way it Was at Hilton Head, Bluffton & Daufuskie, Fran Heyward Marscher cites a story by Daisy Pinckney Frazier who lived with her family in a log cabin on Rose Hill in the 1930s when Bub Walker owned the land.  No one lived in the big house at the time, and Daisy remembers it being a "playhouse" where they would slide down the banister of the circular staircase, yell to hear the echo in the high-ceilinged spaced and play hide and seek in the attic.

          Marscher quotes Daisy:  "We loved that old house.  There wasn't a thing in it.  We would lose one another from room to room.  We'd ride that stairs all day long.  If we'd see somebody, we'd get out the door quick before they caught us.  I tell you, this, though.  We never broke any windows in that beautiful house.  Mama told us there'd be seven years bad luck if we broke a window, and us children were careful of that."

          In the same book, Fran Marscher tells about Agnes Lucille Hubbard.  Agnes remembers Rose Hill:  "For square dances, neighbors would gather in the big house at Rose Hill.  'Bub" Walker, the owner, would get what Agnes called a 'jackleg' band to play, and the teenagers would do-di-do and swing their partners to local fiddle playing behind the Gothic windows and under the chandeliers."
 
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The Clements

             During mid-April 2008, the Whites received an email from a man who had been to our website looking for more info on the plantation house. Richard Clements lived here with his mother and father and 6 siblings between 1938 and 1939, when he was between 2 and 3 years old.  He said that his father was attempting to get a long term lease with an option to buy Rose Hill, for the purpose of establishing some kind of hunt club here since these were once considered prime hunting grounds in the area. Mr. Clements sent fantastic photos (below) of the house taken while they lived here. 

           One photo shows the back of the house with the original back door before the cinder block kitchen was added on by Mr. Sturgeon in the mid 40's.  There is also an arch shaped double side door leading out to the east side yard in the area that is now between the planter's office and the parlor.  His photos also show the original gingerbread fretwork that lined the roof (both front and back) and the conservatory when it was nothing more than a little piano room before the Sturgeons extended it out to be the full size of today.

         In these photos the house is just starting to be white washed and the brickwork around the porch consists of  pillars only with boards placed in between.  This is what the house looked like when the Kirks lived here in the 19th century.  This is also the way it looked when the Pinckney familes lived here from 1918 throught the 1920's and when sharecropper families lived in the house during the Great Depression.

          Mr. Clements said that his mother didn't really like living here, as it was a large & rambling house and a lot to keep up.  They only lived in one portion of the house at that time.  His father and brothers would gather oysters out back in the marsh and cook them in the fireplace.  His older brother had a few ghost tales that he would tell as well.  There is a photo of an old boiling pot out back and his mother sitting on the back steps and a cedar tree in front of the house that is long gone.

    What a fantastic contribution to the history of the old plantation house!  Thank you, Mr. Clements.

                          (For Robin White's account of this visit .....

      

 
                      House Front  1938-39                                                                                East side showing double doors that no longer exist

 
        
House Rear - Back door with steps where kitchen addition is now.                             West side shows small piano room built for Emily Kirk
                                                                                                                                              The Sturgeons added on to make a conservatory.

 
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The Moore Family

          In July 2008, members of James and Lenora Moore's family - Daisy Riner and her family, including her brother Richard Moore (81 yrs old) and sister Emma Hearn (80 yrs old) -  visited with us recently. They lived in the house back in 1937,  then moved here once again from 1939 till the early 1940's. Their parents were sharecroppers during the time when a Mr. Bub Walker owned Rose Hill Plantation. The Moores were a typical Southern farming family of that time - just at the end of the Great Depression. All the children (11 of them) would help to plant the crops - cotton, corn, vegetables etc. Most of their family now lives in Georgia.

          Their stories of their years at Rose Hill were so very interesting - sliding down the bannister, the beautiful stained glass skylight in the ceiling, the 3-seater out-house, charging tourist a dime to see the old plantation house, etc.  

                   (For Robin White's article about the Moore's visit ......

 


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Peggy Crooks father

        

 

   In February 2011, Peggy Crooks and her husband came to have lunch with us.  Her father, a Mr. White, was born in this house back in the 1890s.  She donated a small collection of  "Mammy" dolls that are on display in the entrance hall to the kitchen.

 

 


       

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To proceed to History Part IV - The Sturgeon Years .......

To return to History Menu......

 

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