This elegant manse in Pinopolis dates to 1912 when it replaced an earlier home in the pineland village known as the Ophir summer home. Ophir Plantation, now submerged beneath Lake Moultrie, was established in the eighteenth century by the Porcher family. The Porchers built their summer home, also called Ophir, sometime in the nineteenth century in the retreat village of nearby Pinopolis to escape the humid, boggy plantation summers that were often plagued by mosquitoes. In 1904 Dr. William Kershaw Fishburne of Walterboro came to Pinopolis and boarded in the Ophir summer home, which at the time was owned by Margaret Deas Ravenel Porcher. Her husband, Henry Francis Porcher, had died the previous year, and Margaret rented rooms within the Ophir summer home to help sustain herself financially.
Shortly after arriving in Pinopolis, Dr. Fishburne met Anne Sinkler of nearby Belvidere Plantation. The two married in 1910 and remained in the Ophir summer home, renting it from Margaret Porcher. Earlier that year, Mrs. Porcher had left the Ophir home to live with her sister, Bessie Ravenel, who operated the Pinopolis post office. The Fishburnes eventually purchased the property, building the present home for themselves on a portion of the lot. When their new house was completed in 1912, they moved the Ophir home to the rear of the lot for use as a barn. It was later torn down.
Dr. Fishburne served not just the residents of Pinopolis but also the surrounding community through the Berkeley County Health Department. He was known for his work with local black residents in particular, serving closely with Maude Callen, an African-American nurse. Dr. Fishburne was also the impetus behind the building of the Berkeley County Hospital in Moncks Corner, which closed in 1975. One of the carriages that Dr. Fishburne used while visiting patients can be seen below, it is in the permanent collection of the Berkeley Museum, on the grounds of Old Santee Canal Park.
The elegant home seen here is no longer in the Fishburne family; in 1983 new owners purchased the Fishburne house and completed restorations in 1985. The present owners are seldom lonely; they, along with a few neighbors, claim the ghost of Anne Sinkler Fishburne makes an occasional appearance in her former home.
Leave a Reply