The view has barely changed through the front windows of Bluffton’s Pine House from the time it was built in 1903 until today. Looking out over Heyward Cove and the May River, the occupants could watch the mist melt off the water or catch sight of fishing vessels passing by.
Nestled amongst the Spanish moss-draped trees near the end of Boundary Street, the Pine House was built by Savannahnian Dr. Freeman Valentine Walker. It later passed into the hands of Gaillard and Lucille Heyward, who bought the property in 1943.
The Heywards, whose early South Carolina ancestor Thomas Heyward Jr. signed the Declaration of Independence, enjoyed rare indoor plumbing and the only concrete basement in Bluffton. Following the death in 1992 of his mother Lucille, the late Thomas G. Heyward inherited his childhood home. He and his wife Joan researched the possibilities of salvaging the building and restoring it to its original condition.
Web extra: Scroll down to the bottom to enjoy a slideshow of photos from before and after the rebuilding of the Pine House.
“We felt like we were entrusted to save it for future generations,” said Joan. “Tommy felt like his parents would have wanted that.”