Properties with a History
The Orman House, Apalachicola, Florida
This two-story Federal style plantation house with Greek Revival details was built by Thomas Orman in 1837. Orman was a wealthy merchant and planter, who had the lumber for his house precut in Syracuse, New York and then shipped to Florida for assembly. The property included numerous outbuildings, including a kitchen, slave quarters and a barn. It also held a building called the “Charity House” which reportedly served as a convent, Civil War hospital and school during its existence. The house is now owned by the Florida Park Service, and is open to the public. Dr. Wayne completed historic research on the property, co-directed the archaeological survey, and wrote the project report for a Historic Structures Report for the Park Service.
Historic Haile Homestead, Alachua County, Florida
The Haile Homestead, originally called Kanapaha Plantation, was built in 1855 by Thomas and Serena Haile, Sea Island cotton planters who moved to Florida from South Carolina. The large one-a-half story frame house is built in a traditional South Carolina plantation style raised above the ground, with deep porches and a central hall extending completely through the house to mitigate the effects of Florida’s hot weather. The most unique feature of the house is its “talking walls.” Throughout its history, the Hailes and their guests wrote on the walls of the house, which were never painted or papered. The house remained in the hands of the Haile family until 1992, although it was never modernized, remaining without plumbing or electricity throughout its history. Today it is owned and operated by the Alachua Conservation Trust as a house museum open to the public. Dr. Wayne co-directed and reported on an archaeological survey of the property, wrote a history for the general public, and co-managed the house for three years. During that time she recruited and trained docents to lead tours of the house, prepared marketing material, led fund-raising, and coordinated both public and private events at the house.
Wando Plantation, Mt. Pleasant South Carolina
In 1931, Mrs. Henrietta Hartford, widow of A&P grocery heir Edward Hartford, returned to her home state of South Carolina. Mrs. Hartford, then one of the wealthiest women in America, commissioned society architects Delano & Aldrich to design a home for her on the site of the former Lexington Plantation. The thirty-two room mansion was furnished with fine antiques and art gathered from the Carolina Lowcountry and through buying trips in Europe. The famous Olmstead firm designed the landscape of the property, which included a salt-water swimming pool and a nine-hole golf links, as well as numerous outbuildings. Mrs. Hartford married Prince Guido Pignatelli of Italy in 1937, but the Pignatelli’s continued to use the Wando house as a winter residence. In September, 1942, the house was destroyed by fire, reportedly set by a disgruntled employee. It was never rebuilt, but portions of the Olmstead gardens were restored for the Dunes West golf course club house, which was built on the site of the Hartford mansion. Dr. Wayne researched the history of both Lexington and Wando plantations, co-directed the extensive archaeological studies, recorded existing historic structures, and prepared the project reports, as well as interpretative material for the general public.
Washington County Courthouse, Chipley, Florida
Dr. Wayne recently completed HABS Level II documentation for the Washington County Courthouse in Florida. The courthouse was designed by Alabama architect Frank Lockwood and completed in 1932. It was built in the Neoclassical style of yellow brick with cast stone trim. The building is a good example of the use of this style at a local level using relatively inexpensive materials. The documentation included historic research on the building, a description of the architecture, and archival photographs.
The Finley-Brooks House, Raphine, Virginia
This house is one of the original stone homes in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Built in 1780 by Michael Finley, a Scots-Irish immigrant who moved to Valley from Pennsylvania, the house remained in the hands of his descendants until the 1930s. The original portion of the house has solid stone walls built from stone obtained in the surrounding fields. Finley was an elder in the local Presbyterian Church and a community leader. His descendants included a superintendent of schools and a Confederate soldier. The house remains privately owned and the center of an active farm. For the descendants of the builder, Dr. Wayne researched the history of the house, including interviewing former owners.