History/Previous Owners of 82 Queen Street, Charleston, South Carolina How was it that a property was only owned for an average of four years before purchased by someone else? Maybe because the life span was shorter in the 17th century or perhaps because those who purchased the property resided elsewhere and thought that they no longer needed the property at 82 Queen Street. This is most likely the reason for the estimated 32 times the ownership of the property traded hands.
All of who will not be mentioned, but those that are seemed to have more importance in the history of the property. Keep in mind that the property lot sizes kept decreasing due to specific reasons, one including the cost of the debt and legacies of Elliott. The property known as 82 and 82 ? Street today were previously addressed differently and separated into lot numbers. This property was part of Schinckingh’s Square, which holds great history in Charleston and consisted of lots 109, 110, 111, 112, and 140. The above property was contracted to Barnard Schenckingh on January 1, 1688.
This was a three acre tract that was surrounded by Queen Street on the south, today’s Meeting Street on the east and today’s King Street on the west. Barnard was an immigrant from Barbados and a planter and office holder until he died in 1692 when his widow, Elizabeth Schenckingh passed on the property to their son Benjamin Schenckingh who greatly accepted this property. Elizabeth was therefore granted an annuity of 620 Sterling per year. Benjamin took after his father with his planter abilities and while doing this he acquired thousands of acres of land.
He helped to overthrow the Proprietary rule in 1719 and was included in South Carolina’s King’s Council for 10 years. Benjamin in 1733 passed away and at that time he had no will, so the land wad divvied up to some distant relatives named Katherine and William Elliott. Elliott became one of the largest landholders and planters in the 1680’s. Elliott and Kathernine deeded their property to their fourth son Barnard Elliott another planter. Barnard had great losses during the fire of 1740 losing more than 16,000 Sterling from his property in Charlestown.
He resided at today’s 72 and 74 Queen Street. Barnard Elliott passed away in 1758 and was succeeded by his wife Elizabeth, but his estate was not settled so his property was sold at auction. The properties were then split once again because of the debts and legacies that had to be paid. The ad in the Gazette described the property as follows: “…that excellent LOT, with the large, genteel and peasant tenement on it, in Elliottt’s buildings, situate on the corner of Metting and Queen-streets, now in the occupation of Doctor Clitherall. “Also, that other elegant and spacious Tenement, being the northern one in the said buildings, occupied by Doctor Turnbull – Together with the two vacant adjoining Lots. ” It is obvious that these buildings were all occupied at the time by tenants, mostly doctors. The property was then split into 15 smaller lots that are shown in the plat attached. Lot number 10 in the plat was present day 82 and 84 Queen Street. All lots except 10 were sold at the auction. So therefore lot 10 remained in Elliott’s estate until 1792 when at another auction, Rev.
William Nixon was the high bidder and bought the property for 6,439 Sterling. Four years later, he sold the property for 61,050 Sterling to a carpenter named Gilbert Chalmers. Chalmers, like the previous owners resided elsewhere and sold the property to Joseph Peace in February 1800. Peace purchased the property for the same amount that Chalmers bought it for in 1796, that amount was 61,050 Sterling. So the value of the property went down since Nixon obtained it, even though he noticeably improved the property in the four-year period according to an 1800 advertisement.
Perhaps the market was not the greatest during the early 19th century. Peace was an established attorney and partner of Langdon Cheves whose office was located at the State House Square known as the Court House Square today. Peace and his wife resided at the square as well. The property was then sold to Joseph Alexander on August 6, 1806 for $5,000. Alexander moved from his Church Street address to Queen Street by 1809 where he died before paying back his mortgage to Peace.
Peace requested that the city sell the property to satisfy the debt, so the Master in Equity, William Hasell Gibbes sold the property at an auction. Peace was the high bidder at $6,836. 58 in 1814. The property was described in the deed as “Containing Two Separate Lots,” and measuring in front on Queen Street, 44 feet, one inch; on the back line, 43 feet; in the depth on the east line 156 feet and on the west line 149 feet 6 inches. It also stated that a “House of Wood” stood on present day 82 Queen and a “Brick Building” on 84 Queen with an archway” in between and in the rear was a garden, which all of these still stand today. The “garden” area is the current outside seating area for the restaurant. After all of this fuss about the property, Peace and his wife Anna Maria moved to Pennsylvania and so the property was sold “as is” at an auction. It was purchased by Louis DuBois in 1818 for $7,400 who held an upholstery and paper-hanging business in the brick house. He died and left the property to his wife and in the deed he made it clear that she was to keep the business and live there until she died.
Louis DuBois stated, “I give and devise to my beloved wife for & during the term of her natural life and no longer, the House Lott & premises with the appurtenances where I now reside in queen st.. and Carry on the business of upholster and paper hanger. ” The other lots on the property traded hands a few times until Mrs. DuBois died of hepatitis in 1856 and the property on 84 Queen was granted to her three daughters and their husbands in the Court of Equity on May 27, 1857, but the court demanded that the property be sold at auction where William Ufferhardt took it with the higher bid of $3,500.
Ufferhardt owned and resided in the brick house on 84 Queen and next door was a wooden house owned by John O’Mara, where there is a dining area today. O’Mara also owned 78 Queen which was occupied by slaves. Then in December of 1861 the great fire ruined the buildings causing a property loss of $5-7 million. The fire destroyed every building in the block of Queen Street except the present day Mills House Hotel, which was said to have been saved by the employees who wafted wet blankets over the eaves and windows.
After the great fire, few started rebuilding because of the uncertainties of what was going to happen with the Civil War. In order to begin building again, the City Council of Charleston in 1866 implemented a law titled “An Ordinance to aid in rebuilding the Burnt Districts and Waste Places of the City of Charleston. ” This ordinance allowed for 7% coupon bonds which could not exceed $2 million, the purpose of this was to begin to rebuild the Queen Street block in which the fire destroyed. There were many restrictions to these loans.
Some included, that the money had to be exhausted within six months in “the erection of stone or brick buildings, with roofs or coverings and cornices of incombustible material, upon said lot of land. ” An additional loan could be taken out only if the loan did not exceed the appraised value of the building itself. No loans were given out for a lot containing a wooden building or a building less than two stories. This is when John O’Mara took advantage of this loan and started to rebuild the buildings. As the time progressed the property once again exchanged hands many more times.
The current owners today are Joe Sliker, Steve Kish, and two other investors. They own the property presently known as 82 and 82 ? Queen Street who paid approximately $300,000 for it in 1981. Kish started out as the head chef and has now has promoted himself to manager/owner. Kish stated in an interview that the building and the property today is worth between $3-5 million. So, looking back at the previous owners and some of the uses of the houses, this property really has some great history. Bibliography Interview with Steve Kish (restaurant owner) November 30, 2010 Packet from Preservation Society, no specific author mentioned.