Thanks to a national home builder’s gift, a military structure built 154 years ago to defend the South Carolina coast in the Civil War opened to the public last month.
D.R. Horton donated land around Fort Palmetto to the town of Mount Pleasant and contributed a conservation easement providing public rights of way “now and in the future,” officials say.
The protected battery, thought to be the only one of its kind in Mount Pleasant, sits next to the builder’s new Oyster Point community.
Plans call for D.R. Horton to build 593 homes in Oyster Point, which is located at the end of Six Mile Road in Mount Pleasant.
Neighborhood attractions include a swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, crabbing pier, walking trails, playground, a private island and access to Fort Palmetto grounds, according to the builder.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page took part in a dedication ceremony in late May that also included Town Council members, the town Planning and Development Department and Mount Pleasant Historical Commission. The event formally opened Fort Palmetto, which is on the National Register.
In 1861, slaves were brought to the East Cooper site from across the Lowcountry to construct a 2.5-mile-long fortification. Completed in a month, the structure stood 18 feet high in some areas.
General Robert E. Lee arrived in Charleston in early November 1861 to oversee design of South Carolina coastal defenses and protection of Charleston and Savannah, according to historical accounts.
Fort Palmetto held a 160-foot-long by 80-foot-deep battery, mounted with a 9-inch gun and two rifled 32-pound weapons.
According to historians, the fort’s high elevation “provided excellent visibility over Hamlin Sound while presenting a formidable appearance.”
D.R. Horton took steps beyond the land donation and easement to assist people in learning about the fort and its significance.
The builder set up a gun platform near the site so visitors can envision what the fort’s defenders saw. Also, D.R. Horton installed educational guideposts such as “interactive signs and cutting edge technology” so people can view reenactments and hear historical commentary, according to the company.
More than $46,000 poured into the coffers of a local dropout prevention program as the result of fund-raising that included a local real estate brokerage.
Carolina One employees and associates did thousands of push-ups to raise money for Communities in Schools, celebrating 26 years of serving at-risk Lowcountry high school students. The effort was part of the company’s Carolina One Cares program.
Eight teams from Carolina One Real Estate took part in the fourth annual Push Up and Up competition for the Communities in Schools.
More than 50 agents and staff from Carolina One combined to crank out 18,470 push-ups in 30 minutes, or about 12 a minute per person. They combined to raise $6,126 for Communities in Schools.
Carolina One wound up as the Top Fund-raising Corporate Team. Meanwhile, the agency’s Summerville Main Street office won the Team Spirit Award.
During the 2013-14 school year, the drop-out prevention venture served 14,187 young people in 30 schools, according to Carolina One. In the past year, 96 percent of the Communities in Schools students were promoted to the next grade level and 93 percent of CIS seniors graduated from high school.
“Carolina One had eight teams that did more than 18,000 push-ups in 30 minutes and raised more than $6,000 to support at risk youth,” says Dave Sansom, the real estate agency’s chief operating officer, chief financial officer and teams coordinator.
“But equally important and as part of our corporate wellness program, we got four dozen of our people involved in a healthy and competitive exercise.”
As a new way to show off its custom dwellings to prospective buyers, an Ohio-based company has opened new floor plans and a well-stocked design center off Interstate 26.
Schumacher Homes unlocked the models last week to the public.
“Up until now we have displayed the quality and unique features of our homes through the use of one-stop-shopping design centers in the Charleston market,” says Paul T. Schumacher, president and founder of Schumacher Homes. The local facility was established in Summerville.
“We just felt it was important to give our customers something they could ‘touch and feel’ to really illustrate the quality that goes into every Schumacher Home. This new location will also include a unique and expansive design studio that will provide a shopping experience that is unmatched in our industry,” he says.
The Lowcountry location stands at 271 Treeland Drive in Ladson, off I-26 exit 203 for College Park Road.
Schumacher displays two models, the Heritage D and the Abigail A. Named for the founder’s parents Mary and John Schumacher on their 60th anniversary, the Heritage title stems from the couple’s “role model” status with the family.
The two-story, 2,163-square-foot model house features three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
According to Schumacher Homes, further features include:
• Enormous kitchen with large party-starter island “ideal for entertaining.”
• Custom wood-ceiling accents in the foyer and “owner’s retreat,” which is like a master suite.
• “Stunning” wood floors and custom ceiling beams to provide a stand-out architectural look.
• Built-in entertainment center in the great room, designed for “relaxing and getting away from it all.”
The Abigail, meanwhile, encompasses 3,420 square feet with five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and a three car garage. There’s an open great room, expansive kitchen and attractive lighting fixtures.
Moreover, the house takes in bead board ceilings, “junior suite that could serve as an infant room, sprawling loft that doubles as a gathering place and U-shaped staircase with wrought iron balusters.”
Also at Schumacher’s model homes sits a new design studio patterned after the Pikes Peak style from the Earnhardt Collection.
Shoppers can see and choose from floor surfaces, counter top options, roofing materials and kitchen cabinets.
“From the moment you view the expansive peak that lets in an abundance of natural light, (until) the time you first step foot into this world-class design studio you will be delighted by everything that is on display,” the builder says.
Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, Schumacher Homes has raised more than 30 model homes spread about 32 communities in 14 states.