The Lewis Reeve Sams House – 601 Bay Street, Beaufort SC

Built in: 1852

This handsome Beaufort Style house has excellent exterior woodwork, lonic columns over Doric on the verandahs, fine doorways and chimneys, and marble front stairs. The interior includes black marble mantels and excellent plaster work. Construction circa 1852 is attributed to Lewis Reeve Sams (1784-1856), a planter who at one time owned half of Dataw Island. Rev. Thomas Fuller Sams acquired the property after his mother’s death in 1857 and is listed on 1862 Direct Tax records as being its owner on the eve of the Union occupation, during which the house was used as Hospital #14. Sams was able to reacquire the house after the war, mortgaging it to George W. Woodman in 1867 and to George Waterhouse in 1868. Waterhouse, a native of Lyman, Maine came to Beaufort in 1864 and operated a store on Bay Street, soon becoming a prominent business and civic leader. He purchased the house from Sams in 1869. According to local tradition, the house survìved the great fire of 1907 by the efforts of the Waterhouse cotton gin workers, who formed a bucket brigade and used wet blankets to beat out the flames. The small one-room house in the back yard is thought to have been used as a wash house.

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