Located on an isolated sandy lane 30 minutes from Columbia, Laurelwood is significant architecturally as one of the few remaining antebellum plantation houses in lower Richland County. The property currently spans 28 acres. The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on March 27, 1986.
This property is in need of serious restoration. It is a project that needs both know-how and monetary funds. Restoration must be made to meet the Secretary of Interior's standards for rehabilitation of historic buildings.
The 3,000 square foot house was built in the Greek Revival mode with a two-story, pedimented portico featuring paneled piers. The two-story frame building has a typical central-hall, double-pile plan, with interior chimneys. The façade features a two-tier, pedimented porch spanning the three central bays. The porch has paneled piers and a simple balustrade. The rear elevation originally had a two-story porch similar to the façade porch. This was removed in the twentieth century, and a one-story, frame addition built in its place. Though the house has experienced some vandalism and theft of several mantles, most of the original woodwork is intact in the house.
The house was constructed by one of the descendants of those “Deutsche” pioneers, the Shealys. Though the house’s front porch was remodeled in the craftsman style in the 30’s, we are very fortunate to still have the original Victorian porch posts and balustrade stored under the house to restore to its former glory.
Laurelwood was built circa 1850 by James H. Seay, cotton, corn and rice planter. In 1850, Seay owned 2,500 acres with 600 improved acres; however, by 1860 he had apparently divested himself of all but about 425 improved acres.
Michael Bedenbaugh, Director
Palmetto Trust For Historic Preservation