Own the Home of South Carolina's First Congresswoman.

589 Van Exem Road, Ridgeway, South Carolina, 29130




MLS: 39032-09730

17.2 Acres

2,899 SqFt

3 beds

2.00 baths

What You Should Know

  • Antebellum on 17.17 Acres
  • 800 Square Foot Guest Cottage
  • Large Barn/Stable
  • Fenced Pasture/Room for Riding
  • Updates to Wiring/Plumbing
  • New HVAC/New Roof
  • Turkey/Quail/Deer Hunting
  • Handy to Columbia & Charlotte

Why You'll Love It

Cedar Tree Plantation

Elizabeth Hawley Gasque Van Exem, South Carolina's first congresswoman called this one and one-half story 2,900 square foot Antebellum home, known as Cedar Tree Plantation her home.


Built in 1853 by Edward G. Palmer and is set in a very private and secluded area of Ridgeway, SC.  Cedar Tree Plantation remained in the Palmer family for many years, and since their ownership it has belonged to the DesPortes, Burlows and Van Exems. 

Mrs. Van Exem was one of South Carolina’s charming great ladies.  Her first husband, Allard Henry Gasque, was a member of congress until his death just hours after the close of the Seventy-fifth Congress.  His wife, Elizabeth “Bessie” Hawley Gasque, was the first woman elected from South Carolina to serve in congress.  She filled Gasque’s unexpired term winning in a special election until January, 1939.  Mrs.Van Exem holds the record for the oldest living U.S. Representative, sitting or former.  She was also known to be an author, lecturer, writer, dramatist, patron of the arts and became a master tree farmer.  She remained in the home until her death at 103 in 1989. 

The property consists of the main house, an 800 square foot two bedroom cottage, a large barn and various outbuildings all set in 17.17 acres of mature trees, fenced pasture, meadows and many ornamental bushes and rare shrubs including Cherokee Roses planted over 100 years ago.

In later years Cedar Tree Plantation was also known for its traditional upland bird hunts for Pheasant, and Quail on acres of prime, natural habitat and reopened pasture land.  

The plantation house, with its striking front porch flanked by large columns, contains a first floor master suite with a full bath and sitting room, formal living and dining rooms, library and kitchen.  The first floor is completed by a spacious enclosed back porch that runs the full length of the building and provides the common access to the grounds and outbuildings.  The second floor provides two additional bedrooms, a full bath and attic storage.

The current owner began extensive repairs last year, many of which have been completed, including extensive foundation work, tree and brush removal, new HVAC, new roof, plumbing and wiring updates, and significant redecorating.  More are in the works but the kitchen, in particular, remains a blank slate for a new owner to complete in accord with their personal taste.    

The barn could be restored for active use (the contractor has said it is sound).  This property is very well-priced for this location and the potential it offers!  Located just six minutes from I-77, this location is an easy drive to Blythewood, Columbia, SC or Charlotte, NC and only a few hours from either the coast or the mountains. 

Contact Sean Schaeffner at 803-718-0909 or info@carolinarealestatecompany.com for more information.      

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Where You'll Find It

  • Street Address: 589 Van Exem Road
  • City: Ridgeway
  • State: South Carolina
  • County: Fairfield

Sean Schaeffner

Broker In Charge
See Website