120 Mary St. - Mid-19th century house and site of former dairy in Mount Pleasant's Old Village melds history, quirky features, modern-day perks

The wood frame house at 120 Mary St. in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant dates to 1850. Leroy Burnell/Staff 6/23/2014

To put it mildly, this east of the Cooper property built in 1850 has no shortage of character.

The site originally was home to a local farm that supplied milk and cream. Its pre-WWII owners were instrumental in developing Charleston's classical music scene.

As an heirloom, the residence houses a stove won in a contest in 1910. In back is a 1,200-square-foot four car garage with bathroom and attached open bay boat house. The garage's workshop with commercial grade epoxy-coated floors includes race car prototypes, San Francisco street car bells, old gas station signs, road markers and at various times, classic cars being restored.

The basement - an unusual Lowcountry feature in itself - boasts a music room and bar distinguished by local artist Charles DeSaussure's hand-painted mural showcasing jazz musicians, a Model T Ford pickup and the old Cooper River Bridge.

An upstairs bathroom remains in its mid-20th century style, complete with steps to an upper level with sink and tub.

And, in the backyard, an elaborate tree house recently sprung up "to add that special touch for young and old," says Donna Caldwell, Realtor with Carolina One Real Estate who is listing the home.

According to her listing write-up, 120 Mary St. "has been completely renovated taking great care to preserve its original heritage."

The house sports three full baths and four bedrooms. "You could have five bedrooms if you use it like a mother-in-law suite," she says. There are heart pine floors, three fireplaces with original chimneys and a modern kitchen with high-end cabinets and stainless steel appliances, all on a three-quarter acre lot.

Situated in Mount Pleasant's Old Village, the 164-year-old residence is priced for sale at $1.5 million.

"It had everything going for it, the basement, the uniqueness of the old Village," Caldwell says. "I've had interest" from potential buyers, she says.

Roots can be traced to Acorn Dairy, which opened in the 19th century on what was known as Acorn Hill. Materials from other houses were used to build 120 Mary St.

Pat Flynn, who owns the 4,788-square-foot residence, is a civil engineer who got involved in restoring homes.

His grandfather Michael Flynn played the violin, viola and trumpet. With his wife (and Pat Flynn's grandmother) Ruth Gotjen, they helped launch the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. The Flynn family bought 120 Mary St. in 1938 as a summer retreat.

In her brochure of the property, Caldwell says, "The home sits on a double lot surrounded by a majestic oak tree in the heart of the Old Village."

The first floor sports 10 foot ceilings. There's a formal dining room, adjacent living room, a library with built-in black walnut shelves, family room, kitchen with breakfast nook, a screened porch in the front of the home and a large elevated deck on the back, according to Caldwell.

"I can imagine having a wedding reception here," she says.

The first floor master bedroom touts a fireplace. There's a large study with bookshelves, and a washer and dryer. Some windows come with stained glass.

The back of the house, which includes the kitchen, "was a screened porch at one time," Flynn says.

Caldwell cites the residence's convenient locale, walkable to Shem Creek and its cluster of restaurants and a short drive downtown and to MUSC.

The house provides space for someone who wants to work from home. It's large enough for a family. Noting that Mount Pleasant schools have a good reputation, she says, "There's plenty of room (and) a great yard."

The 120 Mary St. house is close to the entrance to the Old Village. Traveling north, cross the Ravenel Bridge and stay to the right onto Coleman Boulevard. Continue across Shem Creek and steer slightly right to Whilden Street (Royall Avenue). Make an immediate right on Live Oak Avenue, a left on Bennett and a right on Mary. Ahead on the right is 120 Mary St.

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

Agent: Donna Caldwell

Office: Carolina One Real Estate

Phone: 843-814-2516

Philosophy: "Helping people find the home of their dreams is a privilege and an exciting adventure. I am committed to understand my clients' needs and provide service in a timely and professional manner."