On March 7, 1999, Cherrydale Mansion began its journey to Furman University.
The towering white mansion at the foot of Piney Mountain was the home of the university’s first president, James Clement Furman, from 1857 to 1891. In 1860, the house was at the heart of a 1,200-acre plantation, surrounded by fields of corn and cotton, and orchards of peach, apple and cherry trees tended by 40 slaves.
The mansion, a two-hour buggy ride from the university campus in downtown Greenville, was J.C. Furman’s summer home. During the Civil War, its produce was the primary source of his income. Cherrydale Mansion stayed in the Furman family until 1939, when it and 55 additional acres were sold to Eugene Stone III, who built a textile manufacturing company nearby.
When the Stones sold the site to AIG Baker in 1998, the family offered the house to Furman University. A moving company took two days to inch the house along hilly Poinsett Highway to the highest site on the university campus. Renovated and thoroughly restored, Cherrydale Alumni House was dedicated on Oct. 23, 1999.