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Reflections with Sammy Way: Landmark on Main Street is razed to make way for store

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 10/5/19

This installment of Reflections remembers the removal of one of Sumter's most famous landmarks, the Elizabeth White house. This event took place in 1956 with the purpose of making room for a new business concern. This small two-story frame house was …

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Reflections with Sammy Way: Landmark on Main Street is razed to make way for store

Posted

This installment of Reflections remembers the removal of one of Sumter's most famous landmarks, the Elizabeth White house. This event took place in 1956 with the purpose of making room for a new business concern. This small two-story frame house was located at 115 N. Main St. and was reputed to be one of Sumter's oldest dwellings. The articles and photos used to complete this piece were taken from The Sumter Item archives.

Replacing the classic dwelling known as the Elizabeth White house was an air-conditioned brick building designed by Francis James of the architectural firm of James and DuRant, according to Miss Elizabeth White, owner. The new construction would house a men's haberdashery owned and managed by Charles H. James which opened for business on Oct. 1. Noah Graham Osteen, founder of the Watchman and Southron, noted that the framed structure once served as the First Presbyterian Church during the War Between the States; the large frame Presbyterian Church at the corner of Main and Calhoun streets was turned into a hospital for wounded soldiers. "According to Noah G. Osteen, several of the men from the federal forces were buried in the church yard." The Elizabeth White house was an architectural structure similar to a small brick building located in Williamsburg, Virginia.

When the building was dismantled in 1956, the wood was found to be long-leaf pine, cut to a size popular in the 19th century. Research notes that the building was once "used as the insurance office of Anthony White and his son, Willie White, who operated as A. White and Son. From the upper porch, children of family and friends viewed numerous parades. The Elizabeth White house was one of the last old structures remaining to be modernized in Sumter; the owner said that it fell due to a lack of appreciation of its very quaintness, simplicity and ancient beauty."