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The Bedon-Lucas house: History in progress

BEDONLUCASThe public should not be alarmed if they ride by the Bedon- Lucas house and notice plastic hanging from the porch or workers on the grounds. The work started on June 24, 2014 on the front porch. The ceiling will be replaced and some of the floorboards will be replaced and strengthened. The entire exterior of the house will be painted. Rotten boards will also be replaced. The Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society has set a goal of September 15, 2014, for the work to be completed. “We are using a grant from the Audrey Thomas fund and the interest from that account to make the much needed repairs” said Sarah Miller, President of the CCHAPS. Miller went on to say they are also accepting donations from the community to help with this project.

The Bedon-Lucas house is one of the key historic properties in Walterboro. The house was built in 1820 for Richard Bedon, a rice plantation owner from Jacksonboro. It is one of the four remaining high houses left here. The high house was built because people knew they had to get away from the damp ground to have a better chance at escaping contracting malaria. The doors and windows were also parallel to each other so the homeowners could catch the warm summer breezes to help them cool off from the South’s sweltering heat. This was Bedon’s summer home, a place where he and his family could escape the overwhelming amount of mosquitoes in Jacksonboro. In the 1940s Bedon sold the house to the Lucas family who kept the home in their family until the 1960s. The Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society purchased the house in 1996 and has worked to preserve the historic integrity of this magnificent building ever since.

After receiving the Magellan Grant, Jenni Haman has worked tirelessly over the past year at the historical landmark. Haman, chairman of the Bedon-Lucas house and recent graduate of USC Salkehatchie, has spent countless hours making sure items that have been donated to the home are properly documented. There are many items located in the house that Haman would like some more information on. During her research and unpacking of donated items she found a mourning photograph. It is a photo of a small child who had passed away but appeared very life like. The photo, which was encased in a beautiful frame, was surrounded by many colorful feathers which had to painted and glued down to appear as flowers. Time had not been kind to this framed artifact. The back of the frame was cracked, allowing moisture and mildew in. Haman spent 40-50 hours cleaning up the photo, trying to restore it to its original beauty. It will be sealed properly and hung in the bedroom of the home as it would have been back when it was first taken. There is also a quilt that covered the antique bed in the bedroom that no one seems to know where it came from. The quilt is covered in Colleton County fair ribbons from 1912 and 1915. The ribbons do not say what they are for but they do say the person who earned them won first and second place several times. The quilt has some dry rot damage, and black-out blinds have been installed in the bedroom to prevent further damage. Located in another room are three photographs that are framed together. The people in these photographs have yet to be identified.

The Bedon-Lucas house will be giving guided tours in the future. They plan on continuing work to restore parts of the house. “This is history within history. Since the house was lived in things were not going to stay static. Things change with time. This house is original in many ways but also shows changes over time in Colleton County. This is something we like to showcase. This is not just a historical home, but a house of Colleton County” said Haman. If you have information on the items shown and described in this article, or, if you simply would like to learn more about being a volunteer at the Bedon- Lucas house you can stop by their office located in the bottom of the Bedon-Lucas house, at 205 Church Street. Office hours are 9:00 am to 12:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You may also call them at 843-549-9633, or email them at info@cchaps.com.

Christie Slocum (494 Posts)