Robert Scruggs, the builder of this cabin, was born just across the state line in North Carolina in 1800. Around 1805, his family moved to South Carolina near the Cowpens Battlefield and began farming. In the mid- 1820s, he married Catharine Connel, and to help the couple establish a household, Robert's father, Richard Scruggs II, gave them 200 acres of land.
Around 1828, they built their home, and began the hard work of clearing, planting and harvesting. The Scruggs family raised horses, mules, hogs, cattle and sheep, and planted grain (corn, wheat, rye, and oats to feed the livestock.
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From the earliest days of settlement through the 1800s, log cabins such as this one provided homes for yeoman (rural middleclass) farmers in the South Carolina backcountry. Typically built with the help of neighbors as a one-room structure, owners added onto their homes as their families grew.
The Scruggs Family
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Robert Scruggs House 1826
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In addition, they had a fuit orchard and grew peas, beans, and potatoes. They churned butter for their consumption and for sale. Although the farm was the main source of income for Robert Scruggs, he also ran a country store, which stood on the other side of the Green River Road, in front of this cabin.
The couple had eleven children, and as the family grew, they added rooms onto the house and covered the log walls with paneling. In doing so, they preserved the original walls of the cabin within the additions. Robert Scruggs died in 1890 at the age of ninety, and Catherine died less than two years later at the age of eighty-seven.
The cabin remained in the family until the mid-1970s, when the National Park Service purchased the property from their granddaughter, Rosa.
In the Southeast, many organizations preserve plantation structures. Although wealthy planters were influential people on the coast, it was yeoman farmers such as Robert Scruggs who were influential in the Carolina back-country. Therefore the National Park Service chose to preserve and protect his house, so that this type of 19th
century yeoman farmhouse architecture would not totally disappear.
To return the house to its 1828 appearance, the National Park Service removed the additions and modern improvements,