The LaBruce-Lemon House, located on Pawleys Island, was constructed in 1858 on ten acres of land belonging to the LaBruce family. John LaBruce, owner of Oak Hill in nearby Murrells Inlet, was a successful rice planter. Like other Waccamaw Neck planters, he used Pawleys Island as a summer retreat; consistent ocean breezes provided a safe haven from summer heat and the threat of malaria.
While staying at Pawleys, LaBruce brought some of his slaves to serve the family’s household needs. The small frame structure shown below was one of five slave cabins on the LaBruce property. Only two remain standing, one of which has been turned into a guest home.
The LaBruce House was purchased by the Lemon family of Barnwell in 1952. The Lemons still own it, and unlike some of Pawleys’ other older homes, which have been repurposed as inns, it continues to serve as a private residence. We are actively seeking additional information to add to this entry. If you can help, please fill out the form below. Thank you!
The LaBruce-Lemon House is part of the Pawleys Island Historic District listed in the National Register:
The island exemplifies a way of life in its beauty, its setting and its overall landuse. Pawleys is one of the earliest of South Carolina’s summer beach settlements and maintains integrity in the natural relationship of marsh, beach and dune. The unusual number of old houses which have been maintained enhances the natural environment to which they are well adapted.
The building style is a variation of West Indian architecture which has been adapted to Pawleys climatic conditions. The original houses on Pawleys are not mansions but summer retreats, sturdily built and large enough to accommodate big families. Designed for the greatest degree of ventilation, with porches on multiple sides and with high brick foundations providing protection against gale tides, many of the 20th century buildings have adhered to the traditional design that has proven well suited to this environment.
Since the plantation families resided at Pawleys from May to November, the houses were equipped with large chimneys and fireplaces. Breezeways attached at the rear of the houses led to the kitchens. Servant’s quarters were usually one or two room cabins equipped with fireplaces. A few remained at the time of nomination. Other structures important to Pawleys are the wooden docks with open “summer houses” extending into the salt water creek and the long boardwalks with “summer houses” which cross the dunes and offer easy access to the beach.
The district includes the central portion of the island, an unspecified number of properties ranging from ca. 1780 to post World War I, and includes shoreline and marshland since these are an integral part of the district both historically and geographically.
LaBruce-Lemon House: Help Us Learn More
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