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East Battery mansion in Charleston on the market for nearly $7 million

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A towering 181-year-old peninsula home that survived Civil War shelling and is considered among the more preserved properties overlooking Charleston Harbor is on the market.

The 19th-century Shackleford-Williams House at 31 East Battery can be secured for $6,995,000. Lyles Geer, broker with William Means Real Estate, is the listing agent.

According to the real estate firm, the 7,505-square-foot house is for sale for the first time in five generations.

"This house is a historic gem in the heart of downtown Charleston and offers amazing views of the harbor and Fort Sumter," Geer says. William Means Real Estate is an exclusive affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate. "The rare architecture and storied past make this classic Charleston home an enviable offering," he said.

William Means Real Estate describes the six-bedroom, five-bath residence as "an exceptionally well-preserved antebellum mansion and one of the oldest homes on East Battery."

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The 31 East Battery St. site boasts a storied history, according to the real estate agency, including:

  • Wharf merchant James Shackleford purchased the property in 1837 and constructed the home. Three years later, the house became the family residence for banker Daniel Ravenel.
  • The first shots of the Civil War in April 1861 in Charleston Harbor were visible from the mansion. "Throughout the war, it stood unprotected as Union troops bombarded the city for more than 500 days, destroying many homes on East Battery," the realty firm says.
  • Henry Porter Williams purchased the house in 1903 from the Ravenel family. For the next two years, Williams renovated the house, mostly demolishing the outbuilding and enclosing the rear piazza. After Williams died in 1947, the house passed to his daughter Winifred Geer and her husband. Descendants maintain ownership today.

William Means Real Estate cites present-day attractions, such as unobstructed views of the Charleston Harbor from bay windows, patio and upper piazzas on the third story. Alterations in the early 20th century made it possible to include modern perks and sufficient parking without messing up the residence's antebellum appeal.

"From Civil War bombardment to natural disasters, its historic details have withstood the test of time," the agency said. "Interior wood paneling and custom Tiffany-designed details still reflect the Charleston families who ensured its preservation for centuries."

Dating back 85 years, William Means Real Estate is one of Charleston’s longest-running real estate firms and now has offices on Broad Street downtown and in Mount Pleasant. Helen Lyles Geer has held the positions of president and broker-in-charge since 1999. Visit

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