Visit the Historic White Home

By:Amy Holtcamp

Date:7/13/2011

A few years ago, after Historic Rock Hill’s five-year renovation of the town’s historic White Home, many locals who’d grown up there were left scratching their heads and wondering: “Why did they paint the White Home cream?”

Many who had grown up in Rock Hill had always thought that the house was called “the White Home” because of the white color of its paint, but the moniker actually came from the name of the family who lived there for five generations.

George and Ann White bought the lease rights to 153 acres from the Catawba Indians in 1837 and began to build their home. The original house had a much smaller footprint than the house you see today when you visit Rock Hill. Over the years owners remodeled the home, adding new rooms, porches and entryways.

The White Home has been beautifully refurbished, but what makes a visit here special is the wonderful information and artifacts on display in the house.

Historic Rock Hill was lucky to find a treasure trove of information about the house. Many of the renovations took place only after Ann White received an inheritance from her brother, Hiram Hutchinson. There was, however, an extended dispute over his estate. While she would eventually receive a large fortune from her brother, during the 10-year period that the will was contested, any money she spent from the inheritance had to be tracked by detailed receipts and records. As a result, the White Home has an unusual diary of its own; ledgers list every purchase made for its refurbishment spent over more than a decade.

In addition to this unusual record of the house’s changes, the White family lived in the home from 1837-2005. Historic Rock Hill bought the property from George and Ann’s descendents. The family was able to provide many pieces of furniture, personal items and family photos that, now on display in the museum, offer a fascinating insight into the family who lived here.

So, why is the White Home cream? Well, if you search the receipts displayed on the walls, you will see that there is one for gallons of cream-colored paint. Historic Rock Hill’s architect did a scratching and confirmed that that was, in fact, the house’s original color.

Volunteers are happy to share what they’ve learned about the home and the White family. The stories that have been passed down through the generations are just as interesting as the photos and relics on display. For instance, one story says that the home was about to be torched by Union forces when a Northern general, who was a Mason, saw Ann White wearing her husband’s Mason’s ring. When he saw the symbol of his brotherhood, he gave the command to retreat, and the family (and house) were saved.

The White Home is open Thursday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for youth ages 5-17 and free for children 4 and younger.

Click here for more information on the White Home and Historic Rock Hill’s other preservation projects.

Related Content

Visit 4 Historic Homes of South Carolina’s Declaration of Independence Signers
Four South Carolinians signed the Declaration of Independence, and you can visit each of their homes to discover a living history.
Explore Historic Sites Along SC’s Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway runs 115 miles along the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Georgia to North Carolina. With some of the most scenic views of South Carolina’s rolling hills, the highway is full of historic sites.
7 Revolutionary War Sites in South Carolina’s Olde English District
South Carolina saw lots of action in the Revolutionary War, and you can trace the path of British and Patriot troops in our Olde English District. From battlefields to working plantations, it’s a must-see for history lovers.

Featured Products

City of Rock Hill
Midlands

Rock Hill

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
In northern York County, this rapidly-expanding city is the county’s newest and largest. It was named for a cut made through white flinty rock during construction of the ...

Featured products and attractions in "Visit the Historic White Home"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}