Local home built during the Revolutionary War being restored by new owner

Published: Jun. 27, 2019 at 11:02 AM EDT
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Thursday, June 27, 2019

News 12 This Morning

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- You've probably driven by the big white house on Martintown Road. It's known as the Hammond House, and it was built before the Declaration of Independence was signed.​

For the last few years it's been empty, but thanks to a new owner it's now being rehabilitated.

James O'Neal remembers driving by the historic house with his family as a teenage boy.

"I remember in going to church my mother and I and her driving, and she'd always say that would be really nice for the family that had the house. I had no idea why that was always in her head she was just really impressed with the house," O'Neal told us.

Three years ago he saw it was for sale, and a year later he purchased it. The house is full of history, starting with it's name -- the Hammond House, after Charles Hammond.

"The Charles Hammond kind of legacy has to go all the way back to the Revolutionary War and he was a very well-decorated military person during that time," said Robyn Anderson with Historic Augusta.

Built more than 200 years ago, much of the original structure remains intact.

"This is as the wood was back in 1775, this wood here is older than our country."

Contractors put in more stable structures on the front but covered those with the original brick and wood. The inside of the house just needs a little touching up.

"We're going to keep all of it," O'Neal walked us through the house. "For instance, this particular room here we're going to go back with wallpaper but I am going to leave a section, perhaps frame it so you can come into the house and see this."

O'Neal plans to open the house as an Air BnB, one he hopes will make you feel like you're in another era.

"That I can take you back into time, that everyone can feel safe loved, have their family here for a quiet time right in the middle of our cities, North Augusta and Augusta, be a tourist attraction"

In O'Neal's words, it's a time capsule.

O'Neal is making some changes, like adding bathrooms, but the house has five bedrooms and an additional guest house.

He hopes to have it finished by the end of the year and ready to book for the Masters.

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