Historic Homes Along Santee
Threatened by Berkeley Lake 
 
Eutaw Springs Due to Escape Inundation,
Kirk Family Residence Would Sit on Island
and 'The Rocks' Be Submerged
 
By MARION SALLEY
 
       Ever since the first mention of the proposed Santee-Cooper canal and lake, lovers of beautiful and historic spots have been asking: 
     ''Will Eutaw battleground be covered with water? Will many of the fine old plantation homes of lower Orangeburg and Berkeley county have to go?" 
     And, the publishing of a map showing the plans for the project, set many minds at ease when Eutaw battlefield was shown, on the banks, rather than in the midst of the larger lake. But, naturally some of the plantations in the vicinity would he submerged, and recently the writer took a drive into the section, question several home-owners as to their opinion of the scheme. 
     Eutaw Springs were never more lovely than at this time, when the grey moss seems to have taken on freshness, the cedars and pines more verdant, the deciduous trees putting on new leaves, and the Judas trees in the height of their glory. 
 
In Four Counties
      Pointing out to a northern visitor the hole where tradition says an Indian emerged into the largest spring after following the course of the stream under the hill from a smaller spring, we followed the road on by "Blue Hole Lake" until the Belvedere house was reached. Although the old home and grounds are still kept up, only a caretaker seems to be on the premises since the death of General C. St. G. Sinkler, late owner. General Sinkler used to say that he had lived in four counties yet never changed his residence for Belvedere has been in St. John's parish, in Charleston county, in Berkeley county and now is in Orangeburg county, names and boundaries having changed four times within less than a century.
    The next stop was at "The Rocks," so named because it is said to be the only plantation in that section where large rocks may be found near the mill race, looking much more like the Upcountry than South Carolina, than the Low Country. The house at "The Rocks" was built about 1795 by a member of the Gaillard family and here lived the parents of David DuBose Gaillard engineer for the Panama Canal. 
     The home has been modernized but the original lumber and wood carving retained, and is now owned by Rutledge Connor. For many years, at the Christmas season lancing tournaments were held on the. huge green lot at the rear of the house, an ideal setting for such a sport. 
"The Rocks" Under Water 
     Rumor hath it that should the Santee-Cooper project go through, "The Rocks" Plantation will be submerged ten feet at least. Should such a thing happen, it is hoped that the fine old house will first be moved, intact, to some other beauty spot in that section. 
     From "The Rocks", a drive was then taken to "Numertia", the home of W. S. Gaillard. This is not one of the very old plantations of the community, for it was made up not more than a century ago of twenty tracts cut from adjoining plantations. In all it has only about fourteen hundred acres. An old plat in the possession of the owner gives the names of some of the owners of bordering lands as James McKelvey, David Owens, Henry Puckey, Peter Rye, J. M. Byrd, and others. A swamp was designed as "Devil-Go-Round-Bay". 
     The Gaillard home was erected about a hundred years ago by Thomas Porcher for his son, Richard Porcher, who later sold it to Christopher Gaillard, the father of the present owner. Mr. Gaillard does not seem very much worried over the prospect of "Numertia" being covered with water. He commented on present day affairs by telling of the reply of an old Negro woman whom he had told of the Townsend pension proposal. When asked what she would do with two hundred dollars a month, should she be given it, she old darky answered, "Great G--, den I'd hah coffee an' macaroni pie t'ree time a day". 
 
Huge Japonicas Here 
     Just two or three miles from the Santee, and near "The Rocks" is "Mount Pleasant", a plantation which has been in the Kirk family for many generations, and is even now the property of Mrs. R. S. Kirk. Here for years, lived Francis Marion Dwight, nephew and adopted son of General Francis Marion. ln a little graveyard perhaps less than a. hundred yards from the house lies buried Francis Marion Dwight and his two wives. He married, first, Charlotte Kirk, who died in 1799, and afterward her twin sister, Harriet, Francis Dwight, himself. died in 1833. 
     In the garden at the Kirk home is one of the largest camellia japonica trees ever seen by the writer, and it is said to have been planted by one of the Dwight wives. A little granddaughter of the present owner of "Mount Pleasant" tells of picnicking under the japonica trees on Thanksgiving. 
     On the grounds of this lovely old place, too, is a small lake but large enough for swimming, boating, and fishing. Domesticated ducks swam around its edges and as the visitors drove around it a flock of wood ducks lighted on the waters. Sheep, cows, and horses contentedly grazing made this seem an ideal country place, but 'tis said that if the Santee-Cooper project goes through the wonderful old home will be an island. 
     The last home visited was that of Mrs. Edmund Palmer, and known as "Springfield". Built in 1818 by Joseph Palmer, it has been in the family ever since, and is noted for its carved woodwork, as delicate asa Mechlin lace. Iris and violets were blooming in the front, numerous Rhode Island Red broilers populated the back yard. As for the proposed canal-well, they just forget it.