In 1974, when the Kuwait Investment
purchased Kiawah Island, I asked for permission to go on location to
paint the historic Vanderhorst Plantation House. I was
off with my easel and paints to sit in the woods with sand gnats and
mosquitoes to make my record of this historic building.
The house was constructed in 1802 by General Arnoldus Vanderhorst, a Revolutionary War hero, Mayor of Charleston, and later governor of South Carolina. The house was a retreat home for the Vanderhorst family. Kiawah Island and the house was occupied by Union Troops of the 55th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers Infantry during the Union’s 1863-1865 seize of Charleston. Graffiti messages were written on the walls of the top floor of the house, “How are you, General Beauregard?
In 1994, The South Carolina Department of Archives and History granted permission to the grandchildren of developer J.C. Long, to restore the Vanderhorst mansion. Today the house has been fully restored and is used again as a family retreat.