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Pawleys Island: In sale of historic home, family is also a factor

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Historic homes on Pawleys Island don’t come up for sale often. So the marketing for the house at 452 Myrtle Ave. cast a wide net. But the buyers came from just down the road.

The Joseph Blyth Allston House, better known as the Pawley House, sold this month to Bruce and Betsy Bailey, who live at Waverly. The history of the property was a draw, but there was a deeper appeal.

“My wife and I hope it’s the place our children and grandchildren will come to,” Bruce Bailey said. “It’s such a special piece of property.”

The house was built in the late 18th or early 19th century, but doesn’t show up on plats of the island until the 1860s. Katherine Richardson, the historian whose work is the basis for the state historic marker in front of the house, thinks it could have been built on the Allston family property on the mainland and moved to the island.

The original story-and-a-half house was added onto over the years and after its sale in the late 1980s was renovated and expanded again, so it blends modern conveniences with historic details.

“We loved the original section of the house, the architecture, the look and feel of it,” Bailey said. “We didn’t grow up here, the idea of the history of the house, being moved out there from the mainland, appealed to us.”

The property went on the market in June for $2.89 million. It sold for $2.4 million.

“It was surprising. There was a lot more local interest than we realized even though we marketed it out-of-area,” said Lou Lachicotte, broker-in-charge at the Lachicotte Co. who shared the listing with Nancy Siau.

Even buyers from Oregon, Tennessee and Connecticut who looked at the house shared a connection with Pawleys Island, she said. “We knew we didn’t have to sell Pawleys.”

The Pawley House is one of eight homes with historic markers and only the second of those to sell in the last decade.

The house sits on .85 acre and includes 1.5 acres of marsh on Pawleys Creek. The ocean isn’t visible from the house, which sits behind some of the highest sand dunes in the state. That was a drawback for some potential buyers.

“Some people said you can’t see the beach,” Lachicotte said. “But you’re protected by those dunes. That’s why those historic homes are still standing.”

And for the Baileys, that means another couple of generations will be able to enjoy the house and its history.

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