Beaufort County, South Carolina, Welcome!

House removed from either Hilton Head Island or Port Royal, Beaufort County, SC, c1870 to Brunswick, GA

Taken c1870.  Photo Copyright © 2013 Wendy Lutes, all rights reserved.  Used with permission.

The present owners in 2013 in Old Town, Brunswick, GA (national register district) would like to uncover the original owners of this house. It is said that the house was bought from the Union Army. The written information is a bit more vague in reference to the government.  The house has been modified multiple times over its long life and most recently, badly and sadly neglected.

The story is that the house was constructed from one or more of the surplus government buildings removed from Hilton Head Island or Port Royal. After the war the community was abandoned and the houses and other buildings were dismantled or moved. Several of them were barged to Brunswick on schooners, in a complete or nearly complete condition, where they became new homes.

It was purchased by John Russell Cook (sometimes referenced as John Radford Cook but usually just as John R. Cook). Although the great grandsons of John R are still living in Brunswick and have an extensive historical account of the family, we do not have the purchase records.

There is written account of multiple homes being shipped down via schooner, but this is the only one that has an active oral history - and possibly written history - of that journey.

John R Cook came from Worcester, MA with his brother, George, and other close family and friends for Reconstruction. They became thriving businessmen and well-respected and loved statesman and citizens of the community.

The receipt is extant for the purchase of the land where the house sits today. It was bought on a three-year note for $650 on Feb 13, 1871 and was paid in-full on March 21, 1874. Logic would suggest that the house was moved here and onto the property sometime during/around that period.


If you have any clues to the original owner of this house, please contact Wendy Lutes.


Comments are most welcome.  Please send your favorite photograph (I will digitize it and return it, but don't send your only copy!).  Please send documentation to include on these houses, or others.  

SCGenWeb - Beaufort County, South Carolina