Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Built by Henry Middleton on land bought from Elias Earle in 1813, Whitehall served as his summer home until 1820 when it was sold to George W. Earle, whose descendants have occupied it ever since. Henry Middleton was son of Arthur Middleton, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served as Governor of South Carolina from 1810 to 1812.
Erected 1964 by Behethland Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. (Marker Number 23-8.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution marker series.
Location. 34° 51.808′ N, 82° 24.098′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on West Earle Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 310 West Earle Street, Greenville SC 29609, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "The Poplars" / Elias Earle (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lawrence Peter Hollis (approx. 0.3 miles away); Soldier's Rest (approx. half a mile away); Greenville Woman's College (approx. 0.6 miles away); McPherson Park (approx. 0.6 miles 90 mm M-2 Anti-Aircraft Gun (approx. 0.6 miles away); Brutontown (approx. 0.6 miles away); 75 mm Field Gun / 3 inch M1903 (approx. 0.6 miles away); In Memory of 81st Wildcat Division / Camp Sevier (approx. 0.6 miles away); SC Ordinance of Secession (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .
1. Whitehall, one of Greenville’s oldest residences. One of Greenville’s oldest residences, Whitehall is an interesting example of the cool, breeze-acclimated summer homes favored by South Carolina’s first summer vacationers, escaping from the lowcountry heat and humidity to the cooler “high hills” of the upcountry. (Submitted on July 14, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
2. Henry Middleton. Henry Middleton (September 28, 1770 – June 14, 1846) was an American planter and political leader from Charleston, South Carolina. (Submitted on September 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Arthur Middleton. Arthur Middleton (June 26, 1742 – January 1, 1787), of Charleston, South Carolina, was a signer of the United States (Submitted on December 6, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Elias Earle. Elias Earle (June 19, 1762 - May 19, 1823) was a United States Representative from South Carolina. (Submitted on September 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
A simple white frame structure with shuttered windows, Whitehall was built as a summer home for Charlestonians.
It is a good example of the typical country house favored by wealthy low-country families of the 18th and 19th centuries as a haven from the heat and fever of the Carolina coastal areas in the summer months.
Most distinctive features are the wide first and second story galleries, or piazzas, which serve as cool and shady breezeways. The Barbadian style of architecture was adopted by Charlestonians in the 18th century when they discovered that piazzas added to existing houses formed cool, out-of-doors summer living rooms.
In time, the piazzas became an integral part of every newly constructed dwelling in Charleston and the planters used similar designs in their up-country summer houses like Whitehall.
The original banisters of Whitehall's upper piazza were replaced
The house is located on a park-like lot abundantly shaded with old trees.
Increasingly rare in the South Carolina Piedmont are country homes like Whitehall, unusual for its date, condition and in situ location. One of Greenville's two oldest residences, Whitehall is an interesting example of the cool, breeze-acclimated summer homes favored by South Carolina's first summer vacationers, escaping from low-country heat and humidity to the cooler "high hills" of the up-country.
Since nearly all Greenville's landmarks of its earliest years have been destroyed, local concern is great that the Whitehall house and the pastoral character of the total setting be preserved. Shaded by avenues of venerable trees, this area adds considerable aesthetic attractiveness to a manufacturing city in which abundant vestiges of its former distinctive "greenness" are rapidly being lost.
Whitehall has considerable historical significance because of the number of prominent men -- both national and local -- associated with it. The house stands on part of a 1000-acre tract originally belonging to Virginia-born pioneer Elias T. Earle, who began acquiring lands as a Piedmont settler in the late l780s. Whitehall was built as a summer residence by Charlestonian Henry Middleton on land purchased from Elias T. Earle in 1813. Middleton, a member of one of South Carolina's most prominent families, son of Arthur Middleton (signer of the Declaration of Independence), was himself a president of the Continental Congress, a U.S. Senator, a member of the S.C. House of Representatives and Governor of South Carolina as well as one-time Minister to Russia. He also owned the Middleton Gardens at Charleston, said to be America's "first Landscaped garden." Whitehall served as Middleton's summer home until 1820, when it was sold to George Washington Earle, son of Elias T. Earle. George Washington Earle was a Greenville attorney, clerk of court, and the ancestor of Whitehall's present owner.
He was responsible for adding large holdings to the Earle property. Location of an official marker here attests to local and state regard for the house's historical significance.
Both Whitehall and its companion Earle Town House, in the same district, are considered by qualified architects to be as important for their grounds and siting as for their fabric. The two Earle buildings are closely and importantly linked with Greenville's earliest history, and the city has few examples remaining of significant architecture denoting the region's historical and cultural heritage. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
— Submitted September 19, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. Henry Middleton
Middleton, Henry, (son of Arthur Middleton and grandson of Henry Middleton [1717-1784]), a Representative from South Carolina; born in London, England, September 28, 1770; his parents, then traveling in Europe, returned a year later to South Carolina; pursued classical studies with tutors at his father’s estate, “Middleton Place,” near Charleston, S.C., with a year in England; returned to America after his father’s death in 1787; later returned to England and resided at Clifton, Gloucestershire, until his return to Charleston in 1800; engaged in planting in South Carolina; member of the State house of representatives 1802-1810; elected to the State senate 1810; elected Governor of South Carolina in December 1810 and served until December 1812; elected as a Republican to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Congresses (March 4, 1815-March 3, 1819); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1818; Minister to Russia from April 6, 1820, to August 3, 1830; leader of the Union Party of South Carolina and vice president of the Union Convention in 1833; retired to private life; died in Charleston, S.C., June 14, 1846; interment in the family mausoleum at “Middleton Place,” near Charleston, S.C. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
— Submitted September 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
3. Arthur Middleton (1742 - 1787)
Arthur Middleton, (son of Henry Middleton [1717-1784] and father of Henry Middleton [1770-1846]), a Delegate from South Carolina; born at “Middleton Place,” his father’s estate, on the Ashley River, near Charleston, Berkeley County, S.C., June 26, 1742; received his early education from private tutors and schools in Charleston; attended school at Hackney, Westminster School, and St. John’s College, Cambridge University, in England; studied law at the Temple in London, but did not practice; returned to South Carolina in 1763 and engaged in planting; justice of the peace of Berkeley County in 1765; member of the provincial house of commons 1765-1768; again a member of the provincial house of commons 1772-1775; delegate to the provincial convention in 1774 and 1775; again justice of the peace 1776-1786; member of the council of safety in 1775 and 1776; delegate to the provincial congress which formed a state constitution in 1776; served in the Revolutionary War; held a prisoner by the British from May 1780 to July 1781 when he was exchanged and returned to South Carolina; Member of the Continental Congress 1776-1777 and 1781-1782; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; elected governor of South Carolina in 1778, but declined; member of the state house of representatives 1778-1780, 1785, and 1786; served in the state senate in 1781 and 1782; member of the privy council in 1782; member of the board of trustees of Charleston College; died at “The Oaks,” near Charleston, S.C., January 1, 1787; interment in the family mausoleum at “Middleton Place,” near Charleston, S.C. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
— Submitted December 6, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
4. Elias Earle (1762 - 1823)
Earle, Elias, (uncle of Samuel Earle and John Baylis Earle and great-grandfather of John Laurens Manning Irby and Joseph Haynsworth Earle), a Representative from South Carolina; born in Frederick County, Va., June 19, 1762; attended private school; moved to Greenville County, S.C., in September 1787; was one of the earliest ironmasters of the South, and prospected and negotiated in the iron region of Georgia; member of South Carolina house of representatives, 1794-1797; member of the State senate in 1800; elected as a Republican to the Ninth Congress (March 4, 1805-March 3, 1807); elected to the Twelfth and Thirteenth Congresses (March 4, 1811-March 3, 1815); again elected to the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses (March 4, 1817-March 3, 1821); died in Centerville, S.C., May 19, 1823; interment in Old Earle Cemetery, Buncombe Road, Greenville, S.C. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
— Submitted September 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,470 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 3. submitted on September 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 4. submitted on September 19, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.