Cross Keys Living History

Pictures of the Home Place

South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Cross Keys House, Union County (S.C. Hwy. 49, Cross Keys)

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Facade Left Oblique Right Elevation Interior



Built 1812-14 by Barrum Bobo, a prosperous merchant of an influential Union County family, the Cross Keys House is a fine example of a Georgian Colonial in common bond brickwork. Located on a knoll, the tall house with two full stories plus attic and basement is an area landmark. The house features a gabled roof with identical pairs of end chimneys, a massive raised first-story portico, and beautiful carving in its wainscoting, molding, and mantel. Between each pair of end chimneys a date stone is placed beneath the gable. On one of these is carved the date of the house’s completion (1814), original owner’s initials (B.B.), and crossed keys thought to be the insignia of the builder. Located at the intersection of the Old Buncombe Road and Old Ninety-Six Road, the Cross Keys House, center of a large and prosperous plantation, provided a welcome stop for travelers. As early as 1809, a post office was established at Cross Keys under the supervision of George Gordon, the first postmaster. Two old milestones indicating the distance to Union and Columbia remain in front of the house as evidence of early highway system. Tradition supported by diaries hold that Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and military escort dined here on their flight from Richmond. Listed in the National Register June 24, 1971.

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