William Fripp House, "Tidewater" – 302 Federal Street, Beaufort SC

Built in: 1830

This superbly designed, well-proportioned house was built in approximately 1830 and is attributed to William Fripp (1788-1860), one of area’s wealthiest nineteenth century planters. Its two-story portico faces the river, and the excellent interior boasts a fan transom, a Palladian window, period mantels and carved plaster work. William Fripp was the son of Captain John Fripp and Martha Scott Fripp. A family sketch of William by a great-grandson, Frampton Ellis of Atlanta, says this: “He was a polished scholar, an extensive traveler, and a thoroughly Christian gentleman. He was generous and open-hearted, a large part of his income being set aside for the poor of his county. In fact, so well known were his benevolences and purity of life that he was known all over the state as ‘Good Billy Fripp.'” William Fripp married Sarah Harriett Reynolds Prentiss, a widow with many possessions, in May 1820. At the time of his death, Fripp is reported to have owned more than 3,000 acres of land on St. Helena Island, encompassing nine plantations and 313 Negro slaves.The Fripp family is documented as having owned the property at the time of the Direct Tax auction of 1862. Subsequent to the war, a Tax Claim was filed by his wife Sarah H. Fripp and daughter Juliana Prioleau. The house was acquired in 1936 by W. Brantley Harvey, Sr., a prominent Beaufort attorney who served in the South Carolina Senate. It remained in the Harvey family until 1997.

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