The Curse of Boynton House

37 thoughts on “The Curse of Boynton House”

      1. My Dad grew up in that house. His name is William Skinner Boynton. He will be 86 in April. I visited the house in August and took pictures. My Dad, grandfather, uncle and aunt rode in lancing tournaments. They rode in tournaments in Charleston (The Azalea Festival) , Orangeburg and Beaufort to name a few. my grandad even rode in a tournament with the reins in his mouth because his arm was broken. My Dad says he could do it because the horse he rode was awesome. His name was the Knight of Cheeha. My Aunt Dottiemwas known as the Lady of Green Meadows. She was one of the few that rode. My Dad, Bill, was known as Billy then. You can an article in which they interviewed My grandmother about how plantation life had changed in the News and Courier Nov 1, 1942 archive.

      2. I also meant to add that I am fairly sure Ms. Presley is wrong. My Dad even has an oil painting of the house. My Grandfather was Evander Ashton Boynton. My uncle was Evander Ashton Boynton Jr. my cousin is Evander Ashton Boynton III He is a pathologist in Lakeland , Fla. I have several cousins still living in Colleton County. one of which is Theresa Boynton McCleod (Terri). she knows a lot of history on the house.

  1. Hello. I read your entry with great interest. The Boynton House belonged to Vannn Boynton, my great uncle. In 1999 I took my mother to this site and was amazed as she told me stories of visiting here as a child. Her father and Vann’s brother, William Boynton, lived and farmed Hutcchinson island. She would come by boat to Bennets Point and would be met by her Uncle Vann.Your pictures capture the beauty of this home. The house was in disrepair when we were last there and we were afraid to go in. She described gas lights,the fireplace in the front room. Apparently their was no electricity until the 1940’s. Vann Boynton loved animals and had lots of cats. He also never owned a car! He traveled around this area on horseback! I REALLY enjoyed the pictures and your adventures that day. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Sincerely, Jean Boynton Hartzog Presley

    1. Jean – thank you so much for the background on the house! This place fascinates me every time I visit, and I’ve always wanted to know its story. I would love to know more about its history.

  2. I can tell you a little more, but not much. The house was built in the early 1900’s by Vann and area laborers.I think the long porch area was added later.I know that when my mother was growing up, there was no electricity. In order to get to Charleston, they had to catch a train at Airy Hall, which is on the Bennetts Point Road. Vann was somewhat of a loner,was married, but never had children. I don’t know who the house passed to at his death or how it became a part of the ACE Basin. He loved the outdoors and this area. My grandfather,William, his older brother farmed Hutchinson Island for their sister Catherine (Kate) and gained ownership of it in a settlement over disputed payment for his work! Vann also visited Huthchinson Island and enjoyed the solitude of the island. My grandparents, William and Alma Boynton and mother lived on Hutchison Island until around 1930. They then moved to Green Pond which is just a few miles from the Boynton House you photographed.( Boynton house in Green Pond burned in the 1940’s, but the store my grandfather ran is still there!) I came across your entry as I was searching for more Boynton family information. This is an old family with few descedents. The parents of Vann were Thomas E and Sarah Boynton. Thoams was born 1830. Vann was born in the 1870’s. My grandfather, William DuBose Boynton was born in 1863 and didn’t marry until he was over 50! My mother was born in 1918 and died in 2011. She was an only child as am I. Vann had 2 sisters and 2 brothers and to my knowledge the girls did not marry and the other brother had only 1 or 2 children. This house and the store in Green Pond is about all that remains of this family. I do not know where Vann is buried. I’m curious if any of the tombstones you photographed were of Boyntons? Thanks so much for your interest. I love this area too!

    1. Jean, I don’t know if you’ve visited the find-a-grave site. After your first comment I started doing my own search, now that I had a few names. This page…

      …has lots of the names listed, including your grandfather’s. I haven’t photographed any of the headstones of your family, but I’ll certainly be looking for the Boynton name next time I’m down that way.

      From my search I began to wonder if “Vann” was a nickname for “Evander”, which appears several times in the Boynton family. Those names are listed on the RootsWeb page here…

      However, the dates don’t match what you’ve described above, so I’m not sure they are the right ones.

      1. Yes, Van was/is a nickname for Evander. Mr. Van was my great grandfather-Stephen Evander Boynton. Most of the Boyntons are buried in Hendersonville SC, although my father and grandfather are buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Walterboro SC.

        1. Hi, I have not been on this site for a while and have just read your post. Could we talk more about this? My grandparents are buried at Stokes in Hendersonville. I do not know the names of my great grandparents and would love to know more about them.

    2. Jean P,

      What store did in Green Pond did your grandfather run?? I am quite curious as I purchased an old store and house in Green Pond, and I am very interested in knowing its history.

      Thanks in advance,


      1. Jean is my Dad’s cousin. A friend of the family contacted me via wikitree and posted some info about Jean’s family! Enjoy!!!!

    3. Ms. Presley:

      I remember your grandparents quite well from when I was growing up in Walterboro in the late 40’s and early fifties. Your grandfather and my father were great friends. (If I remember correctly, “Miss Alma”s maiden name was Smetzer, and she had a sister who married a Barnwell from Edisto Island.)

      Along with my parents, I attended your Grandfather Boynton’s funeral. It had been raining continuously for several days, and the cemetery was ankle-deep in muddy water, and the gravesite was completely full of water. I remember one of the pallbearers saying “If we set Mr. Boynton down in this mess, he’s liable to think he’s back on Hutchison Island!”

      Uncle Van Boynton’s full name was Stephen Evander Boynton. He is buried (along with his wife, Lillie White Boynton) at Black Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, near the Hendersonville Community in Colleton County.(I remember Uncle Van (whose wife was a distant relative of mine)quite well, as he lived a very long time, and I was ten years old when he died in 1947.

      Lonnie Stokes

      1. I am so glad that you shared this information with me. I never knew my grandfather and from what I understand, he was close to 50 years old when he married my grandmother. You are correct, she was Alma Melchers Smetzer before her marriage and her sister Earline did marry a Barnwell from Edisto Island. I recently went to Black Creek Cemetery, Hendersonville,Stokes Cemetery and Green Pond. The only building left in Green Pond is the store. Both houses that my grandparents lived in and the school are gone. There is s monument at the site of the school recognizing Lois Keels Williams years of service. I was fortunate to know her as well. Do you still live in the area? It is so beautiful and will always be a part of me. Thank you again for sharing your memories. I would love to hear more.

        1. I was pleased to hear from you. Many year ago, my Grandfather Stokes, who practiced medicine in Walterboro, owned Bowles, Ash and Beet Islands, all of which are adjacent to Hutchinson Island. There was a very modest house on Bowles Island, but Ash and Beet Islands were uninhabited, and may have been partially underwater at high tide. (My grandfather and my father raised Whiteface Hereford cattle on Bowles Island.)

          To my everlasting regret, I haven’t lived in the Lowcountry since I graduated from Wofford in 1959. (My wife and I have been living in Tennessee since 1980, but I love the Lowcountry, and am convinced that anyplace that doesn’t have live oak trees, palmettos and Spanish moss is unfit for human habitation.) Here is something you would probably enjoy: There is a wonderful short (7 minute) video of Airy Hall Plantation on YouTube (just google “Airy Hall Plantation-YouTube”) The people who owned Airy Hall back in the Forties and Fifties hosted many equestrian events there, and I’m thinking that they may have even had a racetrack (I know that there was one somewhere around Green Pond, but I don’t remember the exact location.)

          My mother grew up in Hendersonville, and her parents, grandparents, and two of her sisters are buried at Stokes Cemetery. I also have many relatives buried at Black Creek Cemetery, and at the Salkehatchie Presbyterian Cemetery, between Hendersonville and Yemassee, and at the Jonesville Cemetery, off U.S Highway 21, not far from Black Creek.

          The reason that I’m familiar with your Grandmother Boynton’s family is because Earline Smetzer Barnwell’s grand-daughter, Harriet King, is married to my oldest and dearest friend. Do you happen to know Harriet and her husband?

          Best wishes,

          Lonnie Stokes

          1. I do not know them, but have heard of them from my mother. Once she left the area she did not have a lot of contact with her cousins. I think Harriet is one of the family members that visited my grandmother as well as another cousin, Liz Jenkins Young.
            I’ve read all of these posts with great interest. I remember “Little” Ashton and his wife attended my wedding in 1979. I’ve never been sure of their exact relation, but I know my mother was so happy that they were there.

      2. Hello Lonnie:

        I purchased the old store in Green Pond from Miss Alma, and I was wondering what information you have of it. Maybe some old photographs? I would really like to restore the old building and any history would be fantastic.



    4. Well, actually, they caught the train at Wiggins. Also, Mr Van did indeed marry. His son, Evander Ashton Sr, was my grandfather. He had another son, but he never married. Aunt Maggie May lived in Hendersonville.

  3. Absolutely fascinating read…thanks for the contribution (blogging). Question: What information do you have of Billy Fields?

  4. I want to thank you for posting the original story. I grew up hearing stories and seeing an oil painting of the Boynton House in all it’s glory hanging in my parents house. I have learned so much about my family and my roots because of your post. I have also connected with Jean and Lonnie. You have blessed me with this while my Dad is still alive.

  5. I have a pic of my Dad in a stroller in front of the house but I don’t know how to post it. I would love for you all to see it.

    1. Tamara, if you can post it to a photo sharing site, you can link to it in the comments. If not, I’d be happy to post it for you. Just let me know, and I’ll send you a way to get it online.

  6. Hey Tamara-

    I have many wonderful memories of my grandparents (your grandparents) living there. I still remember the layout of the rooms. We also have home movies (taken by Daddy). I see all the wonderful azaleas are gone. And the camellias.


    1. Jennifer, are any of those videos in digital format? Would you be willing to share them? I’d love to see the house in its original condition.

      1. Tom-

        No, the movies are not in digital form. We have family photographs taken back them, though. Also of Billy Fields-mainly working with cattle.

        BTW, the horse my grandfather (Evander Ashton Boynton) is riding in the lancing tournament was a quarter horse mare from the King Ranch in Texas named Mrs. Jiggs.


    1. Jennifer , Daddy said Mr.Jiggs was so awesome Granddaddy almost didn’t have to hold the reins. PM me Little Sara’s number I would love to give that to Daddy for his 89th in April. Just got a CD from the Library of Congress with our great uncles Steven D and Moses M Boynton in their Confederate uniforms.

      1. Tamara-

        I found that online. I’d love to have a printed copy. I think Stephen died during the war. Have you read the book Arab? Written by Prioleau Henderson and touches on the Boyntonss

        Will PM-check your email-is it still the same?


  7. Hello to all, I am from upstate SC and have been hunting Donnelley WMA, since 2001. I have often wondered about the history of these properties, Botany Bay, Bear Island and others. Reading the story, reminded me of all the good times I’ve had hunting with my son and friends while enjoying what this land has to offer. Donnelley has been my favorite place to hunt for many years but reading the comments and learning more about the people and history, I will look closer for what it offers. Thanks for your contribution.

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