Friday, February 20, 2015

A Charleston Bed And Breakfast That Has Stood The Test Of Time

Strolling down Broad Street, you can't miss it. Standing proud and adorned in the finest iron works, the John Rutledge House has stood the test of time--with a little help. During its two hundred and fifty-two year history, it has weathered two natural catastrophes, quenched a conflagration of a great magnitude, and evaded the destructive forces of political dissension. Inspired by love, it is now a prominent, 4 diamond rated bed and breakfast.

John Rutledge was a leading figure in the countries early years. He was a delegate to the South Carolina Assembly, the Stamp Act Congress, the Continental Congress, the U.S. Constitutional Convention, where he signed Constitution, and six years the Governor of South Carolina. He built the home on Broad Street in 1763. It was a wedding gift for his young bride Elizabeth Grimke, the daughter of Charleston lawyer Frederick Grimke. Elizabeth is known in the history books for having breakfast with George Washington when he was a guest at the Rutledge House while on a Presidential visit to Charleston in 1791.

The house went through a renovation in 1853. A third floor was added at this time along with architectural enhancements, Italian marble fireplaces, parquet floors and the elaborate palmettos and eagles ironworks believed to be the work of famed nineteenth-century wrought iron manufacturer, artisan, and entrepreneur Christopher Werner.

On Dec. 11, 1861, Charleston would experience a night of terror and disaster. It would be called the Great Fire of 1861 and it consumed much of the cities famed landmarks. With the flames literally at the home's doorstep, surprisingly, it escaped the conflagration, but the building next door was completely destroyed--St. Andrews Hall was the location where the Articles of Secession were drawn up. The house did take a hit from a Union cannon ball that put a hole in the upper right side on the front.

For more than a hundred years after the Civil War, it served as a residence, office, and a school. Eventually, its hallowed halls fell silent. It remained that way for several years. Then, in 1989, an effort to return it to its former glory with a major restoration was undertaken. When completed, the beautiful inlaid floors, decorative plaster work, and welcoming staircase that was inspired by love and presented as a gift were back in place along with an array of modern conveniences and ready for the next phase of its continuing history. It opened for business as the John Rutledge House Inn.

The Inn has 19 rooms and suites, all elegantly appointed with period pieces and reproduction furniture--some suites have 12 foot ceilings and whirlpools. Two secluded carriage houses are also available. For a view overlooking Broad Street, you can sit on its piazza, and for a more intimate setting, there is the private courtyard--both ideal places to enjoy the complimentary breakfast and afternoon teas offered by the Inn

The rates range from $260 for a Ground Floor suite to $445 for the Grand Suite with prices in-between depending on accommodation. The Inn is pet friendly.

Surrounded by the best of Charleston, the John Rutledge House Inn is ideally outfitted for you and your family to absorb the ambiance of the cities famed hospitality and historical charm. With a glorious history of its own reaching back 252 years, for a brief moment you will live like a Charlestonian Rutledge being served the traditional afternoon tea and evening brandy. Inspired by love, it has stood the test of time.

Just a short walk down Broad Street from the John Rutledge House Inn is Fast and French.

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