South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Charles Wray Home — Ridgeway, South Carolina

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Charles Wray Home

This Neoclassical home in Ridgeway was built around 1910 and reflects the prosperity the railroad town enjoyed at the turn of the twentieth century. Cotton grew prolifically in the surrounding area, and the combination of South Carolina’s textile boom and new rail lines (which allowed farmers and merchants to easily transport their cash crop) made Ridgeway an affluent village. When the boll weevil damaged crops in the 1920s and the highway system replaced rail travel, wealth in Ridgeway began to fade. Nevertheless, the grand structures built prior to the town’s economic decline still line the streets of Ridgeway.

Charles Wray Home

Beth Yarborough of Lincolnton, NC, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This home was built for Charles Wray, a railroad and bank executive. The opulent house faces the historic Rockton and Rion railway around which the town was settled when tracks were laid in 1850. The ghost of Charles Wray is said to haunt this home in search of his wife and son, who were killed along with Wray in a train accident.

Charles Wray Home

Beth Yarborough of Lincolnton, NC, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Charles Wray Home is listed in the National Register as part of the Ridgeway Historic District:

The Ridgeway Historic District is significant as an example of a virtually intact turn-of-the-century town whose development was inextricably tied to agricultural prosperity. A majority of the buildings in the district were built between 1890 and 1915, the heyday of cotton production in the area. The community developed in an east-west linear pattern paralleling the Southern Railway tracks, completed in 1850. After a period of economic depression following the Civil War, Ridgeway began to develop as a commercial center serving area farmers. By 1880 there were ten stores located in the commercial district, two stores still survive. The town’s merchants constructed modern new brick stores along Palmer Street and some also built their homes in the residential section adjacent to the central business district. The district contains approximately thirty-one buildings including a commercial block with a predominance of simply ornamented two-story brick stores and a residential block with primarily asymmetrical, frame, weatherboarded houses lining the tree shaded streets. Styles include Queen Anne, Neo-Classical, Victorian, and Bungalow. Also included are a school, the town hall, and the police station.

Charles Wray Home Info

Address: 140 North Dogwood Avenue, Ridgeway, SC 29130
GPS Coordinates: 34.307512,-80.962863

Charles Wray Home Map

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9 Comments about Charles Wray Home

DavidnLisa Branham says:
March 8th, 2019 at 8:45 am

We are also inquiring about the website. Has is been created and if so can someone please submit the link here?

Another question, what was the brick structure that sits apart from the house on the left side (when facing from N Dogwood) ?

Jane Foley says:
February 25th, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Have you created the website yet for this house?

Diana Blackwell says:
April 16th, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Hi Jane and Jason, thank you for your kind words about the Wray House. It is indeed a wonderful example of South Carolina’s incredible architectural heritage. I am working on a website for the house that includes commentary and photos from people who lived in the house at various times through about mid-century, including a lady who very kindly gave me a portrait of Charles P. Wray that had been in her family. The website will also feature information about the Wrays gathered from news accounts.

Jane R Caldwell says:
April 16th, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Thank you so much for your beautiful restoration of this wonderful house. It graces my laptop as the screen saver for awhile. I wonder if the interior is also restored and decorated with the original design period in mind?

Jason Kinsley says:
January 16th, 2017 at 11:43 pm

I absolutely love this home. I pass it every year while going on vacation. Its actually my current screen saver and has been for some time now. Who is the current owner and is it for sale? I’m from Canton/Akron, Ohio just so you know. -Thank you Jason

Diana Blackwell says:
September 3rd, 2015 at 6:09 am

Hello Mr. Curlee, I am the owner of the Charles P. Wray house; I purchased it in August 2000 and restored it. I have some information on the Wray and Tidwell families that might be of interest to you, and am replying to you in greater detail on Ancestry. — Diana Blackwell

Bill Huggins says:
December 12th, 2013 at 9:47 am

I bought the home in 1989 and restored it to the state as you now see it. It hadn’t been painted in about 40 years. Charlie Tidwell was a local character, and I am told a great pianist, although he could not read a note of music. I sold it around 2003, but lived in it until November of this year. There were two owners before me.

SCIWAY says:
May 30th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Hi Tom! Thank you for this great comment – how lucky you were to live in such a beautiful old home! The house is listed on the National Register and was built in 1910. We don’t know much about its lineage, but we suggest you contact either SC archives at, or perhaps the Fairfield County Genealogical Society at We hope this helps, and let us know what you learn!

Thomas O. Curlee says:
May 30th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

This was my great grandparent’s house (the Tidwells). I lived there with my mother during WWII. I am curious as to (1) how ownership of the house passed from the Wrays to the Tidwells (in 1931?), and (2) who lived in the house between the Wray family’s death (1919) and the date the Tidwells became owners. The last Tidwell to live in the house was Charles Wray Tidwell (1910-1972). I find it interesting that Charles’ first and middle names are the same as the first and last names of the original owner/builder, Charles P. Wray. Are you a good source for such information? If, not, can you direct me to someone? I am retired, now living in Poughkeepsie, NY. Thanks. Tom


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