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Can History Survive?

Inside the Bedon-Lucas House. Photo by Sarah Miller

In the midst of prepping their personal houses and businesses against the incoming forces of Hurricane Irma, several members of the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society began focusing their efforts on trying to keep some of the county’s most historical sites intact. 

The group’s members have already boarded up The Bedon-Lucas House, one of Colleton County’s most historic, and well-known, locations. The house was built in 1820.

According to Sarah Miller, who is a leader of the local historical and preservation non-profit group, the efforts to preserve the Bedon-Lucas House is standard in an evacuation, especially when facing the magnitude of a storm as large as Irma. As of press deadline, Hurricane Irma was hitting south Florida as a Category Four storm and was 350-miles wide.

In addition to boarding the house’s windows, the group’s members also removed all historical artifacts from the walls of the house. “The house is prepped, with the artifacts safely laid down and braced for the storm,” she said.

The Bedon-Lucas House is one of three properties that the non-profit owns: The Little Library and Pon Pon Plantation also fall under the group’s ownership and protection. The Little Library was the first library every built in Colleton County, and currently sits in front of the Bedon-Lucas property.

As for Pon Pon, Miller says the nationally-known chapel is now officially closed as part of the storm’s preparedness efforts.

During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the grounds of the historic chapel – which is on the National Register of Historic Places – sustained several downed trees. Those trees have since been professionally removed. The ruins of the chapel wall itself is braced with a steel beam. Constructed in 1725 by an Act of the then General Assembly, the chapel was built as one of two sites of worship during the Yemassee War. The chapel itself has sustained the winds of all previous hurricanes and natural disasters in recorded history, but the original structure did succumb to a fire in 1801.

Post storm, Miller says the group will assess the three historic properties after the hurricane and plan for any clean-up efforts, should that be necessary.

Heather Walters (1304 Posts)