History of Bloomsbury Inn
Inspected and Recommended by Select Registry and the South Carolina B&B Association.
Construction of Bloomsbury was completed by Colonel James Chesnut, Sr and Mary Cox Chesnut. At that time, Col Chesnut was the third wealthiest man in South Carolina. He owned Mulberry Plantation (seven and one half square miles in size today), Sandy Hill, Hermitage, Town Creek, Pine Tree, and Belmont. The home was build for their daughter, Sally Chesnut. Bloomsbury is named for his wife’s childhood home, Bloomsbury Court in Trenton, NJ
Col Chesnut and his wife moved to Bloomsbury to be closer to the telegraph and news of the Civil War.
Mary Cox Chesnut died at the age of 89 at Bloomsbury. For the last ten years of her life, she was bed-ridden with severe gout in both legs
The Civil War ended and General James Chesnut, Jr. (son of Col James and Mary Cox Chesnut) and his wife, Mary Boykin Chesnut, returned to Bloomsbury
Col James Chesnut, Sr., passed away at the age of 93 at Bloomsbury. His spinster daughter, Sally Chesnut, inherited Bloomsbury; her brother and sister-in-law, Gen Chensut and Mary Boykin Chesnut, continued to live with Sally
Gen Chesnut and Mary Boykin Chesnut build Sarsfield, three blocks east of Bloomsbury. They lived at Sarsfield until their deaths. Gen Chesnut died from a stroke in 1885; Mary Boykin Chesnut passed away from heart problems in 1886. David R. Williams II inherited Mulberry Plantation in 1885
Sally Chesnut died at Bloomsbury and passed Bloomsbury to her niece, Harriet Grant Stockton
David R. Williams II, Ms. Stockton’s cousin and owner of Mulberry, died at Bloomsbury
Harriet Grant Stockton sold Bloomsbury to Alexander and Lucy Kennedy. The first known photograph of Bloomsbury, 1915, features the Kennedy family
The Kennedy family sold Bloomsbury to John and Margaret Weeks of New York. Mr. Weeks, an investment banker, held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange from 1910 to 1926 and 1942 till his death. The Weeks enjoyed Bloomsbury as their winter retreat, extensively renovating Bloomsbury to entertain their friends. The kitchen moved from the ole’ kitchen house into the main house, first floor. The ole’ kitchen house became Mr. Week’s "man cave". The specifications by the architectural firm, Simons and Lapham of Charleston, exceeds 50 pages and still reside in Bloomsbury
After Mr. Weeks death, Bloomsbury was sold to Richard and Margaret Lloyd. They further renovated Bloomsbury by bringing the kitchen from the ground floor to the main floor, into the original butler’s pantry
1959— Mr. Lloyd sold Bloomsbury to his best friends, Henry and Elizabeth Savage. Mr. Savage was the Mayor of Camden and a published naturalist. His primary profession was law; he created of the law firm of Savage, Royall, and Sheheen which continues to serve Camden today
Bloomsbury was acquired by Dr. Robert and Shirley Kiger. They renovated the home by removing radiators/adding HVAC, remodeled the main floor kitchen, and completely updated the cosmetic aspects of the home
George and Joan Corbin purchased Bloomsbury. The fourteen columns of Bloomsbury are each made of a single pine tree. The Corbins replaced one column which was so badly damaged the roof over the rain porch was sagging
Bruce and Katherine Brown, both retired Air Force Colonels, purchased Bloomsbury and began an extensive renovation that continues today, including the ole’ kitchen house, the three-bay garage and grounds. In September of 2005, they opened Bloomsbury Inn as a bed and breakfast. Bloomsbury was designated as one of the top ten inns in the country; the Browns were named Inn Keepers of the Year for two consecutive years
For additional information, visit the extended historical video.