History of Old Wide Awake Plantation
We’ve Been Entertaining Guests For More Than 200 Years
Depicted above in “Phase 3” of this historic home’s life, Old Wide Awake was originally located a few hundred yards from where it sits now. The original home site was inside what is now “Wide Awake Park.”
Perched high on her bluff overlooking the Stono River, also known as the Intracoastal Waterway, at the start of the 1800s she served as a 24-hour general store for the Stono Ferry that docked on her property. The 24-hour ferry carried people from the mainland over to what is now Johns Island.
It’s unclear just how long the “convenience store” operated, but it’s reasonable to deduce that after the ferry stopped running, the store also eventually stopped operating.
The property changed hands a few times throughout the following decades. In 1974, William Jarvis – founder of Jarvis Telephone – purchased the estate as a weekend getaway for his wife and 10 children. The estate on the bluff remained in the Jarvis family well after Mr. Jarvis passed away. In 1992, several of the children decided they wanted to sell and so the parcels of land on the riverfront were divided from the rest and the property and were subsequently sold. Apparently unaware of the historical significance of the building that stood on his new property, the new owner decided to tear down the house and make room for a much larger, more modern home.
Two of the Jarvis sons, Tim and Dennis, struck a deal with the buyer and purchased the home for $1.00. With considerable engineering help, they had the historic home moved to its present location, still on the original parcel of land purchased by William Jarvis in 1974.
Eventually, the new buyer of the waterfront property changed his mind about building a big new house on the bluff. Instead, he donated what is now “Wide Awake Park” to the Town of Hollywood.
The Site of Revolutionary and Civil War Battles?
No one has ever substantiated the stories that circulate throughout the area about Wide Awake’s significance during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. However, the occasional historical relic has been uncovered on the property.
At the time of the move in the early 90s, the home was raised from its slab to comply with codes. This change also allowed for additional space underneath the home; space that is now a casual bar and sitting area. The home’s signature ivy-covered entrance stairs and archways were constructed using reclaimed bricks from the original site.
In 2013, the upstairs veranda was expanded on both sides of the house, providing much needed shade and shelter for the first floor veranda.
In 2015, a 30’x70′ travertine patio was added.