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Moorhill Plantation receives historic marker by Bishopville organization

BY SHELBIE GOULDING shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 1/25/20

Stateburg, Sumter County's treasured land mass in the High Hills of Santee, is known for many historic 1700 and 1800 homes, as well as the large acreage that was once owned by Gen. Thomas Sumter.

Many of the residences in Stateburg have become …

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Moorhill Plantation receives historic marker by Bishopville organization

Posted

Stateburg, Sumter County's treasured land mass in the High Hills of Santee, is known for many historic 1700 and 1800 homes, as well as the large acreage that was once owned by Gen. Thomas Sumter.

Many of the residences in Stateburg have become historic landmarks over the decades, and on Dec. 6, 2019, Moorhill Plantation received its bronze marker thanks to the Teige Cantey Chapter of Colonial Dames 17th Century, a charitable organization formed in Mayeville.

The National Society Colonial Dames 17th Century is an organization of women who are lineal descendants of an ancestor who lived and served prior to 1701 in one of the original 13 colonies of the United States of America. The local chapter donated the marker to honor the historic property and its history.

Located on Raccoon Road, the site is indeed a hill, emphasizing how it received its name, and part of the large 250,000 acres Gen. Sumter owned in Stateburg.

Sumter County Museum Archivist Charles Broadwell said the plantation has had some significance to it over the years and had many names. From Moore Hill to Moore's Hill and Moor hill to now Moorhill, it was first known as the Claremont Academy.

Broadwell said in 1786, the hill first housed an academy for the local youth as Gen. Sumter was interested in education.

"Moorhill was the home of an early school belonging to Thomas Sumter," Broadwell said. "The land goes back to the earliest time, back to the 1800s."

As years went by, the academy ceased to exist and became a residence for the Sumter family in the mid-1800s, when Thomas Sebastian Sumter, grandson of Gen. Thomas Sumter, acquired the property.

In 1885, Moor Hill was purchased by deSaussure Bull, who took the site of the residence and moved it down the hill 300 yards, building a new structure with the same concepts of the original.

After generations of the Bull family occupied the residence, the house was purchased by the Shermans in 1950, who made renovations to the late 1800s home.

However, in 1997, the present owners, Boykin and Retta Sanders, saw even more renovations needing to be done to Moorhill, as the wings of the house were lopsided. The Sanderses spent six months renovating the home. They fixed the lopsided wings by removing the east wing and replacing it with a modern kitchen and pantry that matched the west wing size. They also renovated the home with a fresh coat of paint, new wiring and plumbing, a new roof and heating and air system.

The property today sits on 23 acres of the original tract.

"It's one of the best houses out there (in Stateburg)," Broadwell said. "The view from the house is great."