Known today as the Pelican Inn, this home originally served as the summer residence of Plowden Charles Jenrette Weston of Hagley Plantation. Pawleys Island, cooled by ocean winds, provided a welcome retreat for Waccamaw Neck rice planters in search of respite from inland heat and the threat of malaria.
Weston served as Lt. Governor of South Carolina between 1862 and 1864. Having obtained this parcel of land in 1844, he is thought to have built the house in 1854. The property had been sold to the Mazyck family by 1864 and then to the Atlantic Coast Lumber Company in 1901. The company allowed their employees to vacation in the home until ownership changed hands once more.
The property now operates as a small hotel known as the Pelican Inn. The owner of the home has reported seeing the famed Grey Man ghost of Pawleys and has said that Emily, Plowden’s deceased wife, leaves a lingering scents of perfume as she roams her former home.
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The Pelican Inn 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.
The Pelican Inn: Help Us Learn More
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