Wealthy patrons for 50 years stopped at a fancy Summerville lodge on their trips south to enjoy horse-racing, golf and hunting.

"The Pine Forest Inn was a rambling three-story wood building that contained 200 guest rooms, dining rooms capable of serving more than 250 guests, ballrooms, private parlors, wine and smoking rooms," according to an online write-up by modern-day namesake Pine Forest Country Club.

Founded in the 1890s, the inn succumbed to the depression, World War II and the growth of Florida resorts. Workers dismantled the imposing structure in the 1950s.

Yet its legend remained.

Within 20 years or so, the Pine Forest name and prestige would be resurrected at the plush country club and neighborhood a few miles west of the original site.

As for the inn's old stomping grounds, the property by the middle 1970s would become the President Circle neighborhood within the town's historic district. Today, traditional homes with manicured lawns beckon to the days when Summerville hosted the rich and famous.

Those high-end residences include 122 President Circle, a 3,302-square-foot house that recently went on the market for $749,900. The home sits on a 1.01 acre tree-dotted lot overlooking a pond off Marion Avenue.

"This was one of the original homes (in President Circle), and the original owner is selling it," says Candace Pratt, broker-owner of Re/Max Pro Realty and the listing agent.

Built in 1976, the two-story custom house boasts heart pine floors and ample space including four bedrooms and three-and-a -half baths. The owner entertains quite a bit, which accounts for a large, centrally located dining room marked by a candelabra, Pratt says.

The home boasts an upscale kitchen. In her outline of the house, Pratt calls the culinary chamber "one of a kind" with granite countertops, custom brick floors, inset gas cooktop with arched brick surround and built-in stainless wall oven. A laundry-mud room snakes to the carport.

Kitchen counters separate the food preparation center from the breakfast room, which in turn ties to a cozy sunroom.

Accessible from the foyer, the large family room encompasses three broad picture windows and a "beautiful" brick fireplace that can be used as wood burning or gas.

The house devotes a first-floor wing to the master suite, which Pratt in her listing calls "a true masterpiece." Large enough for a full bed and adjacent fireplace, the bedroom provides views through a pair of windows. The master bathroom possesses a large tub, separate shower, walk-in closet and a custom granite vanity with dual sinks and fine wood drawers.

An elegant staircase spirals to the second floor from the front entrance. Three sizable bedrooms surround a recreation room complete with bar, bookshelves and a lockable case.

The entertainment area leads to a finished room over the carport, set up as a home theater with projector and screen in place, she says. A door opens on metal stairs that lead to covered bays for parking. The carport includes a built-in shed, which is one in a host of storage spaces in and around the house.

For all the home's interior luxury, the exterior may provide the most variety. A sprawling sundeck off the family room includes the extra wide gazebo stocked with a "full service" outdoor kitchen. Enormous oak trees shade the house and the backyard. Camellias and more oaks mark the front yard and porch. Copper downspouts complement the home's metal roof.

Pratt says the home benefits from its proximity to Summerville proper. "We can walk to town, or you can get on a bicycle" or a golf car, she says.

She also likes the residence's versatility. "I think it's a family property, great for the kids to grow up. It has the master's suite downstairs," so empty nesters could invite relatives to visit. "It can really work for anybody," she says.

The property sits on the southern side of the neighborhood. Traveling west, head on Interstate 26 to exit 199A, which is Main Street in Summerville. Follow Main through the downtown business district. Turn right on Carolina Avenue, and make the second left on Linwood Lane. Cross Salisbury Drive to the neighborhood. Follow President Circle as it loops to the left. Ahead on the right is 122 President Circle.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.


Agent: Candace W. Pratt

Office: Re/Max Pro Realty

Phone: 843-576-2710

Philosophy: "When marketing a home for the sellers you have to give it all your efforts. Remember we are just looking for that one buyer that is perfect for their home."