South Carolina

Iconic 200-year-old Beaufort home listed for $2.6 million. Here’s what you’d get

Marshlands: An inside look at one of Beaufort’s historic homes on The Point

Listed in Aug., 2019, The James Robert Verdier house (Marshlands) is on the market for $2.65 million
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Listed in Aug., 2019, The James Robert Verdier house (Marshlands) is on the market for $2.65 million

Through the black iron gates of Marshlands are 200 years of quintessential Beaufort living.

A 5,000 square-foot home at 501 Pinckney St. stands watch over a landscape of mature oaks and sweeping views of the Beaufort River that have long served as the backdrop for wedding parties and oyster roasts. The property known as Marshlands is one of Beaufort’s most iconic homes, on a short list of properties with names like Tidalholm and the Castle in the Point neighborhood downtown that have starred in books and movies.

And now it’s available to anyone who might welcome its views and history. Marshlands is on the market for the first time in decades, listed this week for $2.65 million.

“It simply doesn’t get any better than this,” listing agent Edward Dukes said while a breeze swept through the expansive wraparound porch Friday. “Everyone in Beaufort in a perfect world, you want to face southeast, and here you go.”

Marshlands was the longtime home of Brantley Harvey Jr., a Beaufort attorney and former South Carolina lieutenant governor who died in December.

Harvey and his wife Helen bought the home in 1973, when Harvey was a state representative and before he served as lieutenant governor for a four-year term starting in 1975. He later embarked on an unsuccessful bid for governor.

The Harveys’ three daughters and seven of their grandchildren used the property for their weddings, son Bill Harvey said.

“The porches and the yard are really as special to us as the house is itself, just for those reasons,” Bill Harvey said. “The view and the location and the breeze and the tide — just the proximity to the river is what makes the house so special.”

Brantley Harvey hosted numerous major Democratic political figures and other dignitaries at the property, his son said.

The home was built in 1814 for James Robert Verdier, a doctor notable for finding a way to treat yellow fever. Its architecture shows Adam style and West Indian influences, according to its application to join the National Register of Historic Places.

During the Civil War, it housed the U.S. Sanitary Commission, an agency charged with caring for injured Union troops.

The single-story wraparound porch is rare in Beaufort, where double porches are common. Inside is a library, 11-foot ceilings and original woodwork and fireplace mantels.

New owners will likely want to come in and overhaul the inside of the six-bedroom, six-bath house, listing agent Edward Dukes said.

That’s been the case when similar historic homes have sold.

The 7,400 square-foot Tidalholm, featured in the movies “The Big Chill” and “Great Santini,” was bought in 2017 and is being renovated on Laurens Street.

The 1850s home at 411 Craven St. known as the Castle has undergone major upgrades in the past, and waterfront homes on nearby Port Republic Street street have been transformed in recent years.

At Marshlands, a dock reaching to a tidal creek can be extended to deeper water of the Beaufort River when a permit request is approved.

An easement protects the house and grove of oaks on part of the property. But the next owners could choose to build a pool or carriage house on remaining areas of the 1.65 acres, Dukes said.

“It’s a very special (type of) buyer,” he said. “First you have to love Beaufort and understand it. And then you have to appreciate these historic homes.

“You’re really just a caretaker.”