The Fleming-Jenkinson House is located within the town limits of Kingstree in Williamsburg County, though it has not always been at this site. The house originally stood on a plot of land granted to John Fleming in 1754 along Boggy Swamp, about five miles east.
John Fleming, the home’s builder, was one Williamsburg Presbyterian Church‘s three original elders, along with William James and John Witherspoon. John passed away in 1737 and the other two men died in the winter of 1749-1750 during an epidemic most likely caused by influenza. This epidemic was known as the Great Mortality and it claimed the lives of 80 people.
The exact date of construction is not known though according to Stephen Smith, architectural historian with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, it was likely built between 1750 and 1775, making it one of the earliest homes in Williamsburg County. A thorough inspection of the home was done in the 1970s, and it was noted that the overmantels were stuccoed rather than paneled in wood to reduce the risk of fire. The hardwood flooring is worn in some places down to an eighth of an inch, consistent with 200-plus years of use. This house plan, which is known as an I-house plan, features a central hall with a room flanking each side and chimneys on each end. It was typical of early houses in the region. The forged hardware indicates the speculated construction date as well.
The home passed through various owners until the Wise family purchased the home in 1892. One of the members of the Wise family was murdered at the front door, and the bullet used to kill him could still be seen in the front doorframe as late as 1994. The current owners, Gordon “Bubber” Jenkinson, author and judge, and his wife, Peggy, purchased the home from the Wise family in 1975. At the time, the property was being leased by a local man, John C. Flagler, who was using the house was a tobacco packhouse.
When the present owners decided to move the house, the second story was removed and all rafters and joists were numbered. The house was relocated to the corner of Academy and Church Streets in Kingstree where it sits fully restored today. The back wing was added in the 1980s when three rooms were installed from a demolished house from Clarendon County.
Jim Jenkins says
Great job, Brandon, nice photos and story. Keep the Picture Project alive my friend.