Cross Keys in Union County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Cross Keys House
A post office was established in 1809 at Cross Keys, S.C. In 1812-1814, Barrum Bobo erected this house at the intersection of the Piedmont Stage Road and the Old Buncombe Road. During the ante-bellum period, it was the center of a properous plantation. The gables of the building contain the cross keys insignia and the dates of the construction.
On April 30, 1865, during the retreat from Richmond, Virginia, Jefferson Davis passed through Cross Keys, S.C., accompanied by the Confederate cabinet and his military escort of five brigades. Mrs. Mary Whitmire Davis, who owned the Cross Keys House at that time, afterwards related to her descendants the story of President Davis's luncheon at the house.
Erected 1970 by Cherokee District United Daughters of the Confederacy. (Marker Number 44-3.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1877.
Location. 34° 37.95′ N, 81° 46.41′ W. Marker is in Cross Keys, South Carolina, in Union County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Buncombe Road and Jones Ford Road, on the left when traveling east on Old Buncombe Road. Marker is located in front the house, which is located at the intersection of Piedmont Stage and Old Buncombe Roads. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Union SC 29379, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church (approx. 1.8 miles away); Battle of Blackstock’s (approx. 2.7 miles away); Battle of Blackstock (approx. 4 miles away); Captain Shadrach Inman Memorial (approx. 4.9 miles away); Ready for the Enemy (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Trap Is Sprung (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Main Event (approx. 4.9 miles away); In Hot Pursuit (approx. 4.9 miles away); New Hope Baptist Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Bloody Chaos (approx. 4.9 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Cross Keys House. South Carolina Department of Archives and History website entry:
Built 1812-14 by Barrum Bobo, a prosperous merchant of an influential Union County family, the Cross (Submitted on November 9, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Barham F. Bobo (28 Mar 1776 - 20 Sep 1829). My Southern Family website entry:
The Cross Keys House was built by Barham (Barram) Bobo and was originally three stories, with original lands of thousands of acres. (Submitted on March 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Jefferson Davis. Wikipedia entry:
Jefferson Finis Davis (June 3, 1808 – December 6, 1889) was an American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history, 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War. (Submitted on July 10, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Plans for Cross Key
In 2006, Cross Keys was purchased by the Union County Historical Society. Initially, the society planned to open Cross Keys to the public and for it to serve as the centerpiece for a coordinated effort to promote various historic sites in the county. They were awarded a $6,000 grant that was used to hire a qualified preservation architect to investigate the existing conditions at the house and to develop a plan for repairs and maintenance. The house is in remarkable
— Submitted November 9, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. About Cross Key House
Built 1812-14 by Barrum Bobo, a prosperous member of an influential Union County family, the Cross Keys House is a fine example of Georgia Colonial in Common Bond brickwork. Located on a knoll, the tall house with two full stories plus attic and basement is an area landmark. Gabled roof with identical pairs of end chimneys, five symmetrically spaced unshuttered windows on either side of the double doors which are protected by massive, raised first-story portico. White Tuscan columns at front and engaged columns at rear support portico and triangular pediment. Between each pairs of end chimneys, a date stone is placed beneath the gable. On one of these is carved the date of house's completion (1814), original owner's initials (B.B.), and crossed keys thought to be the insignia of the builder. (Barrum Bobo is said to have been a ship's purser.)
There is much beautiful carving in wainscoting, molding, and mantel.
Significance: Located at the intersection of the Old Buncombe Road and Old Ninety-Six Road (also known as Old Piedmont Stage
As early as 1809, a post office was established at Cross Keys under the supervision of George Gordon, the first post master. Two old milestones indicating distance to Union "12 m" and Columbia "68 m" remain in front of house as evidence of early highway system.
Tradition supported by diaries holds that Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and military escort dined here on their flight from Richmond. The group included General Ferguson of Mississippi, Generals Dibrell and Vaughn of Tennessee, Colonel W.C.P. Breckenridge and General Basil Duke of Kentucky, General John C. Breckenridge, cavalry commander, and General Bragg, senior General of the Army (Lee, Johnston and Beauregard having surrendered).
The Cross Keys House will be marked by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History as an historic site on the Jefferson Davis Trail, a stop which immediately precedes Davis' final Council of War at Abbeville.
— Submitted March 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
3. National Register of Historic Places Designation
On the National Register of Historic Places :Cross Keys House ** (added 1971 - Building - #71000811)
SW of Union on SC 49, Union
Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering, Person
Architect, builder, or engineer: Unknown
Architectural Style: Georgian
Historic Person: Davis,Jefferson
Significant Year: 1814, 1812
Area of Significance: Agriculture, Military, Architecture
Period of Significance: 1800-1824
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-function: Single Dwelling
Current Function: Domestic
— Submitted July 10, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2008, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 4,738 times since then and 117 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 7, 2008, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 3. submitted on November 9, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 4. submitted on November 7, 2008, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 5. submitted on November 1, 2010, by Wes Cox of Union, South Carolina. 6. submitted on November 7, 2008, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 7. submitted on November 9, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 8. submitted on November 1, 2010, by Wes Cox of Union, South Carolina. 9. submitted on November 7, 2008, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 10. submitted on November 1, 2010, by Wes Cox of Union, South Carolina. 11. submitted on November 7, 2008, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 12. submitted on November 1, 2010, by Wes Cox of Union, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.