History of Huspa Plantation
The plantation, which compromises 325 acres, appears to have been in the Fuller family for many generations. It remained in the family until the end of the Civil War, when a Fuller descendant, a surgeon in the Confederate Army, returned home and divided the property among his freed slaves in gratitude for their help to this family during the aftermath of Sherman's destruction.
Nick Jones, husband of the current owner of Huspa and a descendant of the Fuller family himself, repeatedly heard the story of the destruction directly from his great grandmother, who witnessed it. Along with burning the plantation house, Union troops ripped feathers out of mattresses and pillows and mixed what food they didn't want with barnyard dirt in an effort to render everything useless to those left behind. The next morning his great grandmother awoke to the sound of her mother flattening blacksmith-made nails she uncovered among the ruins to make needles. With them, she tried to sew vines together to protect her children. In an act of kindness, the family slaves shared their belongings, which the troops left untouched.
Soon after the war, George Waterhouse, a previous owner, built a white frame house on the property. The subsequent owner, Felix Ewing, dismantled the Bonnie Tavern in New Hampshire and moved its numbered timbers to a Beaufort warehouse with intent to reconstruct the tavern at Huspa. Before work could begin, most of the timber was stolen from the warehouse and burned as firewood. With what remained, Mr. Ewing managed to add three rooms and a small office to the existing house. Mr. and Mrs. Sumner Pingree, later owners, added a large drawing room and a bedroom as well. Old parts and new were said to blend nicely. The house included nine chimneys.
Mr. and Mrs. H.C. (Nick) Jones, Jr. bought Huspa in the early 1970s. In 1976, a pilot light sparked a fire while a workman was removing glue from the floor, and the rambling old house was lost. Remaining are several of its chimneys, which stand in front of the current house, built in 1979.
The exterior of the house is paneled in cypress. Interior flooring, paneling and trim, all of heart pine, came from Union Station in Atlanta, in use from 1876-1976. So hard was the wood that blacksmiths made visible holes in the doors when removing the nails from them (according to Mr. Jones, Southern heart pine became extinct in 1905). The darkest paneling, in the great room, was once the railroad station's machine room floor, which had soaked up a century of cutting oil. The interior wall timbers are of California cedar.
Mr. Jones designed the house, which was built by Claude Isley using farm labor and the assistance of the well known South Carolina architect, Jim Thomas. Mr. Jones wanted to protect the two live oaks at either end of the house and managed to do so, while still allowing for five bedrooms. In addition to an old and beautiful avenue of oaks, and in parts double avenue, Huspa has the second largest sycamore in South Carolina, as well as ginkgo, mulberry, citrus, and many other fruit trees.
Interesting artifacts and art adorn the home. Indian artifacts are displayed, including spearheads, a scraper, and an ax. The Huspa tribe was part of the Yemassee Nation. A propeller from Mr. Jones' Lockheed, which crashed in bad weather while flying home from Reno air races, hangs over the bar area. Many of his horses and animals are portrayed in oil paintings and etchings throughout the house, created by his wife, Christina Bates.