Welcome to the Chesnut Cottage
– A Piece of History –
Built in the 1850’s, the Chesnut Cottage was home to Mary Boykin Chesnut and her husband, General James Chesnut. Mrs. Chesnut, a woman of wit and high intelligence, knew intimately the leading men and women of her day. She herself was a daughter of one of the finest families of the South and her husband was before the war a United State Senator.
During the Civil War, Mr. Chesnut served as Brigadier General under Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Mrs. Chesnut entertained Mr. Davis, where he gave a speech to citizens of Columbia from the front porch, and countless others in her Columbia cottage at 1718 Hampton Street.
While the façade of Columbia has changed drastically since the 1850’s, the Chesnut Cottage still stands strong on Hampton Street and invites guests of all ages to enjoy.
Modern Historical Elegance
For nearly forty years, the Cottage has flourished as an inn for travelers visiting South Carolina’s capital.
Today, The Chesnut Cottage Bed and Breakfast offers five rooms, each with its own unique character and history, for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
As one of Columbia’s “best kept secrets,” you’ll be able to take a step back in time and experience the same enchanting space that Mary Boykin Chesnut and her husband, General James Chesnut, called home for years.
A Diary from Dixie
As the home of Mary Boykin Chesnut, the Chesnut Cottage has stood in the historical midtown district of Columbia since the 1850s.
During the Civil War, Mary Boykin Chesnut found respite in the Cottage expressing her feelings in her now famous, “A Diary from Dixie.”
The Cottage has publications of the diary and other historical works related to the period.
The Civil War
Despite being surrounded by the destruction of war, the Cottage was spared from loss from the famous fire that destroyed downtown Columbia.
During his visit to Columbia, Confederate President Jefferson Davis occupied a room in the Cottage and delivered his last speech to the citizens of Columbia from the Cottage’s front porch.
Four months after President Davis’ visit, General William T. Sherman set fire to the City of Columbia. While nearly the entire city was reduced to ash, the Chesnut Cottage remained intact. Out of respect for General James Chesnut, Sherman halted the blaze four blocks before it reached the Cottage, saving both it and the historical buildings that surround it to this day.