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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Palmetto Bluff in Beaufort County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Palmetto Bluff

Wilson Ruins

 
 
Wilson Ruins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
1. Wilson Ruins Marker
completed work on an enormous mansion Wilson named "Palmetto Lodge". The house and its grounds became a village unto itself, with a machine shop, wood shop, power plant, ice plant and even a school. Dozens of people were employed on the site- engaged not only in running the house and entertaining the numerous guests, but in farming and timbering the 18,000 acres which Wilson owned. For ten years following the Wilson fire, Varn Turpentine and Cattle Company farmed the property, with the turpentine distilleries and shipping facilities on this very bluff.
In 1937, the Palmetto Bluff property was purchased by Union Bag Co., which later became Union Camp. From then until year 2000 it was run as a hunting lodge and retreat, hosting many luminaries, including heads of state.
Inscription. The ruins that lie before you are the remains of Marion and Richard T. Wilson Jr.'s winter and spring home. The four-story mansion occupied what is now the Wilson Village Green and took approximately five years to construct. Once completed in 1914, it became the site of many lavish parties for the Wilsons' family and friends.
R.T. Wilson Jr. acquired the 18,000 acres that he named Palmetto Bluff in 1902. This land and the mansion were Wilson's idyllic retreat away from New York City until on March 2, 1926, the great mansion cauught fire and was reduced to ashes. Devastated by the loss of his beloved home, Wilson returned to New York and sold the entire property to J.E. Varn a few months later.

 
Erected 2005 by Union Camp.
 
Location. 32° 12.479′ N, 80° 52.855′ W. Marker is in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker can be reached from Palmetto Bluff (rd). Touch for map. at end of Palmetto Bluff (rd), Riverside approx 6 miles east of SC 46, Pritchardville. Marker is in this post office area: Bluffton SC 29910, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Palmetto Bluff (within shouting distance of
Wison RuinsMarker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
2. Wison RuinsMarker
this marker); Church of the Cross (approx. 1.9 miles away); Bluffton United Methodist Church (approx. 2 miles away); Bluffton, S.C. (approx. 2.1 miles away but has been reported missing); Michael C. Riley Schools (approx. 2.5 miles away); Pinckney Island (approx. 5.8 miles away); Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (approx. 5.8 miles away); St. Luke's Church (approx. 6.1 miles away).
 
Regarding Palmetto Bluff. R.T. Wilson Jr. purchased Palmetto Bluff in 1902.
Perhaps in anticipation of spending even more
time at Palmetto Bluff, Wilson and his wife
Marion constructed a grand mansion and an era
of lavish entertaining began.
The Palmetto Bluff estate was designed with guests
in mind. Visitors arrived at the estate by way of a
Savannah Line Steamship, the Atlantic Coast Line
Railroad or the Seaboard Airline train. The social
pages of the New York Times listed the comings and
goings of the New York elite with frequent mention of
individuals “leaving today to visit Mr. and Mrs. R.T.
Wilson of Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina.”
( The Newsletter
Plexiglass etching of the Palmetto Bluff Mansion atop marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
3. Plexiglass etching of the Palmetto Bluff Mansion atop marker
of Palmetto Bluff
Volume 4 Issue 2 Spring/Summer 2007 )
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Mansion photo image. Click for full size.
By Palmetto Bluff Wilson Ruins Marker
4. Mansion photo
Palmetto Bluff Wison Riuns Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
5. Palmetto Bluff Wison Riuns Marker, reverse side
Interior photos
Wilson Ruins Marker, with ruins seen in background image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
6. Wilson Ruins Marker, with ruins seen in background
Wilson Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
7. Wilson Ruins
Palmetto Bluff Wilson Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
8. Palmetto Bluff Wilson Ruins
Palmetto Bluff Wilson Ruins: a fallen column image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
9. Palmetto Bluff Wilson Ruins: a fallen column
Palmetto Bluff Wilson ruins image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 21, 2009
10. Palmetto Bluff Wilson ruins
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,549 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on June 29, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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