"Following where my camera leads me!"

"Following where my camera leads me!"

Friday, May 22, 2020

Lets tour a beautiful home!

We've walked past this pretty house hundreds of times. Today I got to see the inside and wow, it's GORGEOUS.

I've always loved this big old house on Church Street. Built 1745.

So elegant.........and full of history!
Mrs. Jacob Motte (Rebecca)--she was born in Charleston in the spring--June of 1737. She was the daughter of a goldsmith, her Mother was from Ireland,  and she lived in this house when she married Jacob Motte Jr. They were married in June of 1758 and wasted no time in starting their family. Rebecca was only 19 years old.
She had been raised in a wealthy and stable household, full of security and privilege and had been well educated. She always had a lively social life and entertained lavishly.
When Rebecca married Jacob, he was already established and wealthy, owning a big plantation, the Charleston townhouse, and was involved in politics of the day.
 I think they had seven children. (Jacob-1759, Elizabeth-1762 nicknamed "Betsey"---died in England in her thirties, Frances-1763, Lucy-1765, and Mary-1769.--Lots of girls and one son!)
 I couldn't find the names of the other children. I think I read that two sons died as youngsters. Alot of babies died at birth back then as well, or soon after. I wonder if they were born in this house?
They also took in an orphan named Susanna and lovingly raised her as their own daughter.
Rebecca's brother was Miles Brewton- a wealthy Patriot leader. She inherited alot of money from her brother when he died. He was a very rich slave trader and owned many ships. He also owned several plantations where the Carolina Gold rice was grown, as well as indigo, a highly sought after dye. He and his whole family were  lost at sea. Rebecca and her sister inherited everything--money, numerous plantations, hundreds of slaves, properties, the businesses, everything.
Jacob Motte, Jr. He was born in 1729 and lived to be 50. His wife outlived him, I think she died in her late Seventies. She inherited alot of money when Jacob died.  Rebecca took good control of her fortunes and became the wealthiest woman in South Carolina. She was very intelligent and collected fine wines.
This is one of their daughters, Mary.
Born 1769. She had seven children and I think she named one of them after her Mother.
The Mottes heavily supported the American Revolution, and Rebecca is known as an American Patriot. Way before the Revolution, she had developed a strong interest in the  problems of the Colony. When War broke out, Rebecca threw herself into helping both soldiers and civilians as best she could. She was fiercely devoted not only to her family, but to her Country.
SEVEN bedrooms! I LOVE THE  bright apple green one best!
(Well...the sage green one is nice too....and SO IS the yellow one! LOL Aren't those canopy beds pretty?)
Gorgeous original woodwork and fifteen, yes fifteen! fireplaces. (I love the Delft tiles) And a ballroom upstairs!
The staircases are elegant and beautiful and of course, the home has big tall ceilings. It is flooded with natural light.
Here's what the double drawing room looked like many years ago:
Historic Charleston Foundation
Historic Charleston Foundation
After the British took control of Charleston, (I think for about three years?)Rebecca moved about 90 miles from Charleston--- out to her country plantation on the Congaree River. It became known as "Fort Motte" after the British overtook it and used it for a military supply station. After five long days of attack by the enemy, Rebecca cheerfully agreed to burn the plantation DOWN, in order to help re-capture it--she was thrilled to burn her fancy plantation  home to insure American victory--and even supplied the arrows to fire from muskets. Two failed. The third one lit the house's dry shingle roof and then burned it down. 
The British surrendered immediately. It was May 1781.
I love the beautiful green dining room too!
I think it said well over 8,000 square feet. Would that be enough room for you? Yes, there may be fifteen fireplaces, but remember, back in the 1700s, that IS ALL they had to stay warm with.
Can you imagine being a child and growing up in a house like this? So many nooks and crannies....so many stairs to scurry up and down, so many "hide and seek" places....and a huge back garden to run and play in.
This leads to the lovely and large garden....and yes there is a big oval pool, it's so pretty!
Would you like to see the INSIDE?
Let's go look at the pretty pictures!
Just click below: (there is a video tour too!)
Let's look inside!

I found this picture of the home a long time ago...I was confused and thought it was not the same house.......Look!--the whole double piazzas are missing! I HAD NO IDEA those side piazzas used to be there! I read the home underwent severe damage in the Civil War, so not sure when the porches were removed. Looks like the present front door was added at a later date. And there are trees growing out front now, missing in these pictures.
ELECTRICITY came! You can see the poles and wires now.
Historic Charleston Foundation

Here's another picture which clearly shows the triple level porches on the side:
Charleston Museum
The land behind the iron gates there is now all cemetery for the Baptist church. It probably was at the time of these pictures as well, I think I can spot the stone wall there.
The Motte family had a bird's eye view of all the comings and goings of the Baptist church for sure! I bet those children liked peeking over the big tall piazzas. LOL Of course, back then, people actually used their porches more, and even slept outside on them on hot summer nights to try to catch a cool breeze.
I hope you enjoy seeing all the pretty things as much as I did!
I so enjoy seeing pictures of the people who lived and loved in these big elegant Charleston homes----long long ago.
Did y'all have a good week?


  1. What history and a beautiful old house:)

  2. Fabulous Debbi -- and so is your excellent history!

  3. i have been having a great week, with a new, exciting week coming!! we have had a bit of rain the last few days, but i think it is going to clear up today!! we don't have anything planned as i am still not having any contact with anyone. just the hubs!!

    this is a beautiful home, i enjoyed reading the history behind it!!

  4. I am always fascinated by those old homes and the things they bore witness to--the parties and the happy times and the sad times...wars and peaceful sunny days.
    Thanks for sharing your pic/stories here. Love the history lesson.
    Have a lovely Memorial Day- xo Diana