Rankin-Harwell House

Also known as: The Columns; Carolina Hall; Harwell, James House
6 mi. NE of Florence off SC 305, Florence, South Carolina


Historic American Buildings Survey, C.O. Greene, Photographer, May 28, 1940 FRONT ELEVATION.

Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey


Street View 


Built in 1857, the Rankin-Harwell House is an outstanding example of the Greek Revival, which was fairly prevalent in the antebellum South. The house has 22 giant order Doric columns, strict symmetry, and a painted white façade. The twenty-two freestanding Doric columns are brick covered with stucco and surround the house on three sides. The two-story frame structure rests on a raised basement. The façade has five bays. Two 6/6 double sash windows flank the entrance, which is a double doorway with transom and sidelights. Low-pitched hipped roof covers the house and portico. Two interior brick chimneys are painted white. William Rogers Johnson, original owner of the house, represented Marion District in both the South Carolina House of Representatives (1852-1856) and in the South Carolina Senate (1860-1864). He participated in the Southern Rights Convention of 1852 and, continuing his political activity in the post-war period, served as a member of the Second Taxpayers Convention. Johnson also practiced the professions of physician and planter; he lived at the house from its construction in 1857 until his death thirty-six years later. Corresponding to the image of the antebellum southern home, the Rankin-Harwell House served as a model for the setting of the 1934 movie “Carolina.” Listed in the National Register October 9, 1974. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 9, 1974
Reference number
Architectural styles
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival; Other architectural type; Doric
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1850-1874
Significant years
1857; 1852; 1874

Update Log 

  • July 5, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • September 5, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" and Corrected "GPS Coordinates"
  • July 7, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER