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Hanover House was built in 1716 for French Huguenot Paul de St. Julien in Berkeley County, S.C. St. Julien honored his French heritage in the mortar of one chimney where he inscribed, “Peu a Peu,” from the French proverb, “Little by little the bird builds its nest.”
The house’s original design featured balanced symmetry, a gambrel roof, dormers and French details. The siding was hewn from black cypress timbers and massive triple-flute chimneys accommodated its roomy raised basement with warming kitchens.
The house remained in the St. Julien and Ravenel families for nearly 150 years. In the 1940s, progress threatened to destroy the home, as it was in the path of the man-made Lake Moultrie. However, the Historic American Buildings Survey of the Santee-Cooper basin noted that Hanover was of national significance. Thus, Hanover was moved 250 miles north to the campus of Clemson University, home to the state’s architecture school. It was relocated to the South Carolina Botanical Garden in 1994 and now overlooks an heirloom vegetable garden.
Hanover House serves as a monument of an early French Huguenot colonial structure as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Spartanburg Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America aided in furnishing the Hanover museum with 18th and 19th century artifacts.
René Ravenel accompanied Pierre St. Julien Sr. and Jeanne LeFibure de St. Julien — grandparents of Paul de St. Julien — when they fled Vitre, France in 1685 to escape religious and political persecution. The group immigrated to South Carolina in 1686 by way of England. He and wife Suzanne LeNoble Ravenel had a son, Henry Ravenel, who married Mary de St. Julien. The daughter of Paul de St. Julien, Mary inherited Hanover when her father died in 1741.