Linwood Inn, at 200 South Palmetto Street in the heart of downtown Summerville, SC, is the quintessential Southern Victorian estate. It currently operates as the town’s most popular bed & breakfast, featuring 3 guest suites and an efficiency apartment in the historically-significant main house as well as 3 rental homes situated amongst its award-winning gardens. Although the name Linwood Inn does not imply it, the property has family ties to more famous Charleston plantations, Magnolia and Drayton Hall, as well as to prominent families the Draytons, Grimkes, and Hasties. Read on to learn its connections to Charleston history.
The main house was built in 1883 by Julia Drayton Hastie and husband William Hastie. Thus, at that time, it was known as “Hastie House.” The location was chosen because it was one block to the train station where William could take the “Best Friend” (the first regularly scheduled passenger train in the US) to his insurance office at 44 Broad Street in downtown Charleston. It’s also only 5 blocks from Main Street in Summerville. Julia and William lived there with her father, the Reverend John Grimke Drayton. Reverend Drayton was a nephew of abolitionist sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke. He owned Magnolia Planation and was the first to open it to tourists. He also brought camellias and azaleas from the gardens at Magnolia to Linwood’s romantic gardens. The original kitchen, which now houses a one-bedroom apartment, was on the ground level beneath the house. It also dates to 1883.
The house survived the earthquake of 1886 with significant damage. In the late 19th century, the fresh air coming through the pines made Summerville internationally known as one of the best places to treat tuberculosis and other lung and throat disorders. Accordingly, around this time, sleeping porches were added to the house. They are now enclosed and comprise parts of the Owners’ Suite and Guest Suites.
Rev. Drayton died at Hastie House in 1891, at which time Julia inherited Magnolia Plantation. However, she continued to live at Linwood until 1901, then moved to Magnolia. In 1914, 2 acres at the back of property were sold. This land had housed servants’ quarters, a shed, stables and the stable yard. The Guest Cottage was built in the 1920s and the Bungalow in 1970. Both of these charming 2-bedroom homes are now available as short-term rentals.
LINWOOD INN BECOMES A BED & BREAKFAST
Peter and Linda Shelbourne bought the property in 1979. They have furnished it with comfortable period antiques. Linda is a Master Gardener who lovingly restored the gardens after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The couple has operated Linwood Inn as a Summerville bed & breakfast since 1995. In 2007, they constructed the Hay Barn on the footprint of the original outbuilding of the same name. This 2-bedroom home with soaring fireplace and authentic theming creatively incorporates elements such as an old horseshoe and mill stone embedded into the entry, rakes and ladders repurposed as bath accessories, and hoof prints stamped in the floor.