William Means Real Estate Lists Historic Secessionville Manor on James Island

Secessionville Manor, a 19th-century, historically significant estate on James Island, is on the market for the first time in almost 30 years. Andy Jones of William Means Real Estate is representing the trust in the sale of 1687 Fort Lamar Road for $3,550,000. 

Secessionville Manor is a three story, wooden frame raised plantation cottage accessible by a private driveway and surrounded by 300-year-old oak trees. Located at the end of Fort Lamar Road on James Island, this historic home was built in 1820 in the Greek Revival style. It was likely built as a summer home for Rawlins Rivers and his wife, Zephrine A. Holmes, middle-class cotton planters of James Island. 

The house fronts Secessionville Creek, formerly known as Savannah Creek. Northeast of the house was a steamboat landing, which provided village residents easy access to Charleston and its cotton warehouses. The house was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Later in 1865, it was occupied by Freedmen and may have been used as a Freedmen's school, according to "Jewel of the Cotton Fields: A History of Secessionville Manor" by Richard N. Richard N. Côté. 

The most recent owners are the late James Ferguson and his wife Esther Ferguson, two Charleston philanthropists.  James Ferguson was the retired chairman and CEO of General Foods Corp.

“The Fergusons have maintained this home beautifully,” Jones said. “It’s a grand home with some of the most beautiful gardens and grounds in Charleston. Add to that its significant historical importance, and it’s a true Charleston gem.” 

William Means is one of the oldest real estate companies in Charleston and an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. The firm sold more than $198 million in Charleston area real estate in 2016, making it one of the company’s most successful years to date.


About William Means Real Estate 
Founded in 1933, William Means Real Estate is one of the oldest real estate companies in Charleston. Helen Lyles Geer has been President and Broker-In-Charge since 1999. In 1997, William Means Real Estate became an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. William Means has an office on Broad Street in downtown Charleston and an office in Mount Pleasant to assist clients in the East Cooper area. For more information, visit charlestonrealestate.com.