Bloomsbury History


History at Bloomsbury In Bed and Breakfast in Camden, SC

History at Bloomsbury In Bed and Breakfast in Camden, SC_1 History at Bloomsbury In Bed and Breakfast in Camden, SC3 History at Bloomsbury In Bed and Breakfast in Camden, SC

1849-1854  Construction of Bloomsbury was completed by Colonel James Chesnut, Sr and Mary Cox Chesnut.   At that time, Col Chesnut was the third wealthiest man in South Carolina.   He owned Mulberry Plantation (seven and one-half square miles in size today), Sandy Hill, Hermitage, Town Creek, Pine Tree, and Belmont.   The home was built for their daughter, Sally Chesnut.  Bloomsbury is named for his wife’s childhood home, Bloomsbury Court in Trenton, NJ.

1862  Col Chesnut and his wife moved to Bloomsbury to be closer to the telegraph and news of the Civil War.

1864 Mary Cox Chesnut died at the age of 89 at Bloomsbury.  For the last ten years of her life, she was bed-ridden with severe gout in both legs.

1865  The Civil War ended and General James Chesnut, Jr. (son of Col James and Mary Cox Chesnut) and his wife, Mary Boykin Chesnut, returned to Bloomsbury.

1866  Col James Chesnut, Sr., passed away at the age of 93 at Bloomsbury.  His spinster daughter, Sally Chesnut, inherited Bloomsbury; her brother and sister-in-law, Gen Chensut and Mary Boykin Chesnut, continued to live with Sally.

1873  Gen Chesnut and Mary Boykin Chesnut build Sarsfield, three blocks east of Bloomsbury.   They lived at Sarsfield until their deaths.  Gen Chesnut died from a stroke in 1885; Mary Boykin Chesnut passed away from heart problems in 1886.  David R. Williams II inherited Mulberry Plantation in 1885.

1889  Sally Chesnut died at Bloomsbury and passed Bloomsbury to her niece, Harriet Grant Stockton.

1907  David R. Williams II, Ms. Stockton’s cousin and owner of Mulberry, died at Bloomsbury.

1911  Harriet Grant Stockton sold Bloomsbury to Alexander and Lucy Kennedy.   The first known photograph of Bloomsbury, 1915, features the Kennedy family (top photo above).

1930  The Kennedy family sold Bloomsbury to John and Margaret Weeks of New York.   Mr. Weeks, an investment banker, held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange from 1910 to 1926 and 1942 till his death.   The Weeks enjoyed Bloomsbury as their winter retreat, extensively renovating Bloomsbury to entertain their friends.   The kitchen moved from the ole’ kitchen house into the main house, first floor.   The ole’ kitchen house became Mr. Week’s “man cave”.   The specifications by the architectural firm, Simons and Lapham of Charleston, exceeds 50 pages and still reside in Bloomsbury.

1952  After Mr. Weeks death, Bloomsbury was sold to Richard and Margaret Lloyd.   They further renovated Bloomsbury by bringing the kitchen from the ground floor to the main floor, into the original butler’s pantry.

1959  Mr. Lloyd sold Bloomsbury to his best friends, Henry and Elizabeth Savage.  Mr. Savage was the Mayor of Camden and a published naturalist.  His primary profession was law; he created of the law firm of Savage, Royall, and Sheheen which continues to serve Camden today.

1983  Bloomsbury was acquired by Dr. Robert and Shirley Kiger.   They renovated the home by removing radiators/adding HVAC, remodeled the main floor kitchen, and completely updated the cosmetic aspects of the home.

1985  George and Joan Corbin purchased Bloomsbury.   The fourteen columns of Bloomsbury are each made of a single pine tree.   The Corbins replaced one column which was so badly damaged the roof over the rain porch was sagging.

2004  Bruce and Katherine Brown, both retired Air Force Colonels, purchased Bloomsbury and began an extensive renovation that continues today, including the ole’ kitchen house, the three-bay garage and grounds.   In September of 2005, they opened Bloomsbury Inn as a bed and breakfast. The Browns have continued to update and restore Bloomsbury since opening.