Fort Hill was the home of John C. Calhoun, South Carolina’s pre-eminent 19th century statesman, from 1825 until his death in 1850. The antebellum plantation home, office and kitchen are furnished mostly with family artifacts.
We often think of Fort Hill, the land that would become home to Clemson University, as starting with John C. Calhoun. But the female influence began with his wife, Floride, who owned the land herself. Actually, it began with her mother.
Floride’s family had come into much Upcountry land in 1802. Fort Hill, then known as Clergy Hall, was built in 1803 as the manse for Old Stone Church just a few miles away. When Fort Hill came up for sale, Floride’s mother purchased the property.
Floride inherited the title to Fort Hill upon her mother’s death in 1836. (She and husband, John C., were already living there.) When John C. died in 1850, Floride Calhoun became the sole owner of Fort Hill House and 1,341 acres of land. When she died in 1866, portions of the property then went to their daughter and sole surviving child, Anna Maria, who had married Thomas Green Clemson. The Clemsons’ daughter, Floride Elizabeth, also inherited a portion.
Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson willed her share of Fort Hill to her husband, Thomas Clemson, who inherited it when she died in 1875. Thus it was through a succession of the Calhoun-Clemson women that Fort Hill came into Thomas Clemson’s possession. He willed that Fort Hill “shall always be open for the inspection of visitors.”
After an extensive two-year restoration project, Fort Hill reopened in spring 2003 for its bicentennial year. Fort Hill was named a national treasure by the Save America’s Treasures program, and its artifacts are currently undergoing a comprehensive conservation program funded by this federal grant and matching funds.
Fort Hill is located in Clemson, S.C., near the intersection of Fort Hill Street and Calhoun Drive in the center of the Clemson University campus, 11 miles from I-85, two hours north of Atlanta and less than one hour south of Greenville, S.C. Click here for directions to Clemson.
Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Closed University holidays.
Additional hours by appointment.
Visitor parking passes are available at the University Visitors Center located on Alumni Circle. Handicapped parking is available.
Help preserve the mansion
Gifts may be donated for the preservation and restoration of Fort Hill. Contact the Clemson Fund, 110 Daniel Drive, Clemson, S.C. 29634-5602, or call 864-656-5896 or make a secure gift online
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