Borough House Plantation

Also known as: Anderson House
Rt. 261, 0.8 mi. N of intersection of Rt. 261 and SC 76/3 78, Stateburg, South Carolina


Borough House School Road (Cabin)

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress



Dr. Anderson's Office is a Greek Revival dependency of the Borough House plantation complex. Built of rammed earth c. 1821, it is one of six dependencies (in addition to portions of the main house) to be built of this material. This complex is of potential national significance because of the number of early Greek Revival structures it contains which were built of this unusual material. Dr. Anderson is reputed to be the first American surgeon to perform successful surgery for removal of a cancerous jawbone. The procedure took place in 1829, and may have been performed in this building. The Borough House complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Stateburg Historic District in 1971 and as an individual site in 1972. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-242)

Built ca. 1758, the Borough House, Stateburg’s oldest extant building, is significant architecturally because it and its dependencies form the largest complex in the United States of pise de terre (rammed earth) buildings. This material, a Spanish and French type of construction, is essentially hand-poured clay. The Classical Revival home’s beams are of heart pine, some 50 feet long, adze-hewn and pegged. The laths on the inside of the pise de terre walls are hand-hewn and secured with three-inch hand-forged square-topped nails. The base coat of plaster is over laths mixed with binding of rabbit fur. In 1821 the present pise de terre wings were added, in addition to the colonnaded one-story back porch with two bedrooms above and the second-story porch on the front. Pise de terre outbuildings include a two-roomed library with hipped roof and Tuscan colonnade on all four sides, a dry well, a doctor’s office with a temple front with four columns, a loom house, a summer kitchen/dairy, and a slave cabin/cook’s quarters. According to tradition, the Borough House served as headquarters for General Cornwallis in 1780 while he established a series of forts in the Wateree Valley. General Nathanael Greene and some Continental Army soldiers occupied the house in 1781. Dr. William W. Anderson, who redesigned the house in 1821, performed the first successful operation for removal of cancer of the jawbone here in 1829. On its grounds the state’s first tree farm was established in the early 1900s. Listed in the National Register March 23, 1972; Designated a National Historic Landmark June 7, 1988. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 23, 1972
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Landscape Architecture; Art; Conservation; Military; Literature; Education; Science; Politics/Government; Architecture; Agriculture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Agricultural outbuildings; Secondary structure
Current functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling
Periods of significance
1800-1824; 1750-1799
Significant years
1758; 1821
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 6
Contributing structures: 1

Update Log 

  • October 23, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Alternate Name", "Description" & "Street Views", Corrected "NRHP Status" to reflect its Inclusion as a National Historic Landmark and Imported Photo
  • October 23, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller