Chesnut Cottage

1718 Hampton St., Columbia, South Carolina


Chesnut Cottage, Left Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Chesnut Cottage is significant architecturally as an example of a “Columbia Cottage,” an adaptation of the standard Classical or Greek Revival-based cottage to local conditions and requirements. Historically, the Chesnut Cottage is significant as the home of General James and Mary Boykin Chesnut during the Civil War period. General Chesnut served on Jefferson Davis’s staff. Mary Chesnut provided future generation with eyewitness accounts of happenings during the 1860s with her Diary from Dixie, edited by Ben Ames Williams and published in 1905. In the fall of 1864, Davis was entertained at the Chesnut Cottage and from its front steps made a speech to a large crowd of the citizens of Columbia. Built ca. 1855-1860, the cottage has retained its original appearance. The one-and-one-half-story frame house, with a central dormer with an arched window has an unusual balustrade combining ironwork and wood. The portico, supported by octagonal columns, shelters a front doorway with sidelights and transom. Listed in the National Register May 6, 1971. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1971
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival; Other architectural type; Columbia Cottage
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Medical business/office
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1855

Update Log 

  • October 8, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo