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William Gilmore Simms Estate (Woodlands)

Bamberg County, South Carolina

Woodlands South Carolina
Photo: License: Public Domain
William Gilmore Simms Estate is nationally notable as the home for many years of author William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870), considered one of the leading literary voices of the antebellum Southern United State.
The Woodlands estate is located 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Bamberg on both sides of U.S. Highway 78, on the south bank of the south branch of the Edisto River. The main estate house is a two story structure, brick on the first floor and wood frame on the second. Its main facade is five bays across, with asymmetrical window and door placement. The estate has two outbuildings from the 1860s: a small cabin that was used by William Gilmore Simms as a study, and a small dairy house.

The estate was already of some age when William Gilmore Simms inherited it from his in-laws in 1836. It was for many years his primary residence, where many of his most significant works were written. The main estate house was rebuilt several times, once after a fire, and again after its destruction by Union Army forces late in the American Civil War. Simms was not able to fully rebuild the main house, and only completed the library wing in 1867, which forms the first floor of the current main house.

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