I awoke this morning with the elegant personages clearly in my mind’s eye of Dr. and Mrs. Fraser Wilson. Were they asking for my help on behalf of their sons, or their beloved historic house at 9 Limehouse Street? Dr. Fraser Wilson and I had a life long relationship; he delivered me at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, Nov 6, 1956. He and his lovely, refined, yet approachable wife, Adele Simons Wilson, were very popular and were at all the downtown parties, particularly for the debutantes he delivered. I knew him also from the Edmonston Alston House, a museum house at 21 East Battery, where his blue and white Cantonware dishes were on loan on the dining room table. I knew them as the parents of my friends, Preston and Fraser Wilson. Then when I married Preston Hipp, I knew them as the close friends of my parents in law and distant relative of my mother in law, Delia Joyce Preston Hipp.
Their huge house was their home since 1956, one hundred years after it was built. South of Broad Street, it sits on five lots of the original Limehouse Farmlands, unusual for the narrow peninsula of Charleston. To protect it for future generations, an easement was given to the Historic Charleston Foundation, which meant that the land could not be subdivided and sold. The eye needs that much land to carry off that much house, he said. The expanse of land brings in the peaceful bird songs so that you do not know in which century you are, so far removed is 9 Limehouse from the trappings of the modern world. The doors open onto the piazza where the kitty cat stretches lazily outside on the ancient joggling board. I pinch myself that I am privileged to visit my friends’ house with my guests on my tour.
Two years ago Preston Wilson inherited this magnificent property from his father. He and his wife, Chris, and their two children live here. Dr. Wilson was an avid collector of all things old and useful; consequently, the house and closets and even drawers were chocked full of odd treasures. Preston wisely married an organized woman who has made an inventory of it all and has amicably divided it with Preston’s brother, Fraser. There is still an ample supply of everything old and historic to furnish their cottage bed and breakfast.
There is a dependency on the property that was simply being used as storage for more old things, originally having been used as a boat house. This dependency has been sorted through and restored into an elegant bed and breakfast for two, just completed 2010. It is simply called, “The Cottage at 9 Limehouse Street”. It is the ideal getaway for a couple who want to be far from the Madding Crowd yet in the heart of historic Charleston’s residential neighborhood. It should be discovered by newly weds, because it is far enough away in the garden that you can feel all alone in your own honeymoon cottage.
Having been booked up this past first year, they now have some openings in September and October with Hurricane Season giving would be travelers the jitters. Hurricane policy is that if you book your stay and do not come because of the real threat of a hurricane, you can cancel with no penalty. If you make a reservation for my tour and are able to find an opening at the Cottage at 9 Limehouse for more than one night, tell them you are coming on my tour, and they may be able to work with you on the price.
The Cottage at 9 Limehouse has a full modern kitchen, elegantly appointed sitting room, antique four poster queen sized bed, and a full bath and half bath. For more information, call Chris or Preston Wilson at 843-723-7288, http://www.thecottageat9limehousestreet.com
You can get also get a rate for staying a week or a month as well as two nights.
The spirits of Dr. Fraser and Adele Wilson and their ancestors and descendants smile a welcome in a desire to share their tranquil oasis in the heart of Charleston.
–Laura Wichmann Hipp (843-577-5896)