72 Anson Street - Benjamin Simons Neufville House

72 Anson Street dates from 1846, replacing the first house on this lot, which was destroyed by the 1838 fire that burnt much of Ansonborough. If you drive down Anson Street today, 72 Anson is the single house with the red door. Instead of a front door view, I chose to use my recent photograph that shows the side of the house with its white piazza peeking through the white blooms of a magnificent dogwood in the expansive garden. Spring is here!

72 Anson is a large three-story Greek Revival brick house with over 5,000 square feet. In the rear is a kitchen dependency that is earlier than 1846 and probably escaped the 1838 fire. Eliza Neufville Kohne built the house and left it to her nephew, Benjamin Simons Neufville.

Benjamin Neufville's father Isaac, a French Huguenot, married Ann Simons of Charles Town. Isaac was a teenager when Charles Town was attacked and occupied by the British from 1780 to 1782, and his father John Neufville, a patriot, was arrested and imprisoned in the Old Exchange Building before being shipped off with other imprisoned patriots to St. Augustine. Isaac Neufville was only 14 years old when he witnessed the British execution by hanging of the South Carolina Revolutionary War martyr Colonel Isaac Hayne. Isaac Neufville's sworn deposition of his eyewitness account of this tragedy fanned the flames of the patriots' outrage and desire for retribution; they wanted a British officer executed as punishment. However, cooler heads prevailed and no British officer was executed in retaliation.

The house at 72 Anson is on one part of a large lot with enough room for a lovely garden and driveway with garage. Artfully landscaped with seasonal trees and shrubs, the house and garden hold the viewer's attention and provide the perfect venue for an indoor and/or outdoor party, depending on the weather. Along with the stunning dogwood tree, 72 Anson also has a pomegranate tree in the garden. Lady Banksia roses, currently in bloom, spill over the iron fence by the front door, adding to the welcoming atmosphere of the entrance.

The current owners frequently entertain at 72 Anson. Several years ago, I took a garden docent course with the owner and so have been fortunate enough to be included on several invitations. At this past Christmas drop-in, I realized that the hostess has a gift for creating various conversational opportunities throughout the house and garden, so if you arrive alone, you don't stay alone. Dining tables were scattered throughout - on the piazza, in the dining room, in little nooks. It certainly looked effortless, but I know that a great deal of time and planning is the only way to create an effortless look to guests!

Next week we'll continue our journey through Ansonborough.


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