National DAR awards grant to Saluda Historical Society

September 25, 2013

SALUDA — The Saluda County Historical Society continues its efforts to restore the inside of the Marsh-Johnson house to make it a house museum safe for visitors.

The Marsh-Johnson House, an excellent example of a plantation plain house, has withstood the elements for over 200 years in its own little corner of Saluda County, symbolizing the owner’s prosperity and status in the Carolina upcountry in the 18th and 19th centuries.

“We are happy that old-growth Saluda County pine boards have been cut and fitted to become the inside walls and ceiling in the two shed rooms on the back of the house,” said Dr. Bela Padgett Herlong, chairman of the board of the Saluda County Historical Society. “I am even more pleased to know that the six-panel door will be incorporated into the Marsh-Johnson House.”

The six-panel door was salvaged from the Mount Willing house which was built in the 1770s by Jacob Smith, the grandfather of Saluda County native and Alamo hero James Butler Bonham.

The Mount Willing house was owned by 3Herlong’s father in the 1900s, and this door is one of the last few items to be rescued from the house.

The Saluda County Historical Society was awarded a $3,000 grant by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution on May 6. Funding was made possible through the sponsorship of the Old 96 District Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, in Edgefield.

“We appreciate the support of the DAR in helping us to achieve our goal of restoring the interior of the house and making it available as a house museum for years to come,” said Meade Padgett Hendrix, executive director of the Saluda County Historical Society. “Upon completion of the interior renovation our visitors and school children will be able to gain an appreciation of the hard work needed to establish a life during this time and will also appreciate a colonial home in the South Carolina backcountry as it would have appeared around the time of the American Revolution.”

The DAR grants program was started in 2010. Funding is awarded to support projects in local communities that promote the organization’s mission areas of historic preservation, education and patriotism.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War.

With nearly 170,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit For more about applying for a Special Projects Grant from DAR, visit

Contact Hendrix at 864-445-8550 or visit for more information.