For Sale – Here is a listing we ran across the other day that we just had to share with our readers. For some reason the mansion just really jumped out at us and we thought, “What a great place as a B&B, wedding event venue, small conference center/resort/inn, class reunion venue, and the possibilities go on and on and are truly endless.”
The Woodlands Mansion, one of Summerville’s most famous historic properties, is up for sale with a price tag of $6.95 million.
The 11-acre estate is a privately owned event venue and inn well known for its architecture and scenic grounds.
It will likely be on the market this week, with plans to advertise nationally and internationally to both residential and commercial buyers, said David Smoak of Smoak and Associates.
The current owner, former state legislator Tom Limehouse, purchased the property in 2012 for $980,000 from Salamander Hotels and Resorts, according to Dorchester County land records. Salamander, which also manages the soon-to-open Hotel Bennett downtown, had operated the inn for about for six years starting in 2006 before briefly selling it for more than $2 million to attorney Johnny Linton’s Summerville Inns of Grandeur LLC. After that group ran into financial troubles, Salamander reacquired the Woodlands and sold it to Limehouse several months later.
Limehouse said “the time is right” for a new owner. “Since my acquisition of the Woodlands Mansion over six years ago, it has been my passion and mission to preserve, protect and improve this iconic property,” Limehouse said.
It’s important to Limehouse that the next buyer has a vision for the property and that they continue to improve it as well.
The 25,000 square foot mansion has 18 bedrooms, it features a large pavillion, grand dining room, courtyards, private bar, drawing room and a pool.
Limehouse said the mansion will continue with planned events for the fall and winter but won’t accept bookings past May 1.
There are plenty of ways the property could be used by its future owner but Limehouse said if he had his wish, the property would be used as a public space.
“If Summerville and Dorchester county was interested in the property, there would be a substantial hometown discount,” Limehouse said. “Because the property would then be preserved and protected for not just decades but centuries to come.”
Located at 125 Parsons Road in Summerville, SC.,, the property is being listed by Smoak and Associates out of Aiken, SC.
Woodlands Mansion History
In 1906, Robert Parsons, a railroad baron from Pennsylvania, bought 100 acres of land in Summerville and constructed his family’s Winter home, known today as Woodlands Mansion. The Parsons Family sold the property in 1939 to Mr. Alain White, a respected botanist and internationally known chess expert. The home served as hospice for his ailing sister, May.
During the Second World War, Mr. White felt it was his patriotic duty to entertain servicemen with extremely lavish parties on his estate. Debutantes were invited to these well-chaperoned events to engage in tennis, dancing, singing and even roller skating through the halls and rooms of the mansion.
Upon Mr. White’s death, the property was bequeathed to Mrs. Ruth Gadsden, who lived in the house until her death.
After extensive restoration under the loving care of Deborah and Antonio Diz, the Gadson Manor Inn opened in 1986, but closed in 1989 and fell from public view. In 1993 the property was sold to Joe Whitmore, of New York and Martha’s Vineyard, and underwent 18 months of restoration and reconstruction. A casual dining area called Pines was also added adjacent to the Grand Dining Room.
In May 1995 Woodlands Resort and Inn opened to the public as a luxury inn and dining room. In June 2006, Sheila C. Johnson, CEO Salamander Hospitality, LLC, based in Middleburg, Virginia, purchased the Woodlands, and set about refurbishing and refreshing all of the guest rooms and public areas of the house, as well as adding modern amenities.
In September 2012, the property was sold to local businessman, Tom Limehouse. While many wondered what would become of the historic property, Limehouse chose to reopen with an emphasis on corporate events and weddings. “With Charleston’s growing economy and thriving destination wedding industry, the demand for luxury event venues is increasing.
The ability to reserve the entire estate for an evening, a weekend or longer makes Woodlands Mansion very attractive to both destination brides and corporate planners. This rebirth allows Woodlands to continue its long and storied history of intimate gatherings and grand celebrations,” Limehouse said.
The entire mansion is still furnished as it was when a resort including the eighteen individually decorated bedrooms. Now, however, it combines those luxuries with the tranquility of a bed and breakfast creating what can only be described as a “casually refined elegance.”
The Mansion itself is an ideal event space because of its wide variety of venue options, such as the grand dining room, private dining room, private board room, enclosed courtyard and large drawing rooms.
Though Limehouse never reopened the restaurant, everything is still in place, to get it up and going. Additionally, a separate Pavilion building with two adjoining covered porches, adjacent large brick patio and pond view can accommodate functions of 200 guests.