Built ca. 1716 by the Huguenot planter Paul de St. Julien in St. John’s, Berkeley Parish (in the vicinity of present-day Pinopolis), Hanover House is notable for its Gallic-influenced design. The one-and-one-half-story house is distinguished by two substantial exterior end chimneys, a gambrel roof with a nearly flat upper section, and cypress framing and woodwork. The ground-floor interior walls are of batten board finish to simulate paneling, and the ceiling of the upper-story rooms is made of reversed shiplap paneling for water-proofing. An inscription at the top of one of the chimneys reads, “Peu a Peu”—a reference to the traditional French expression “The bird builds his nest little by little.” St. Julien named his plantation after the ruling house of England to show his appreciation for the support and assistance it gave to Huguenot refugees following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.
In the late 1930s Hanover was documented by Thomas T. Waterman, a pioneering historian of early southern architecture, as part of the federal Historic American Buildings Survey program. The site of the house and those of about twenty other early plantations were within the bounds of the area to be flooded by the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric project. Waterman found Hanover to be the most architecturally significant structure among the threatened buildings and recommended that it be moved and preserved. It was dismantled and relocated to the to the campus of Clemson University in 1941 and subsequently restored by the Spartanburg Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames. It is maintained as a house museum and is open to the public.
Stoney, Samuel G. Plantations of the South Carolina Low Country. 5th ed. Charleston, S.C.: Carolina Art Association, 1964.
Waterman, Thomas T. “A Survey of the Early Buildings in the Region of the Proposed Santee and Pinopolis Reservoirs in South Carolina.” Manuscript, 1939. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia.