The original structure that now houses Annie’s Inn was a three story Greek Revival plantation home. Built in the early 1800s, it had shotgun halls with no bathrooms and the kitchen was located out back in a separate building. The large rooms with ten and a half foot ceilings and eight fireplaces made it necessary to have live in help who resided on the third story. All of the timber used in building the house and its numerous out buildings was grown here on the land and milled in their own lumber mill, including the original heart pine plank floors.
Truly an antebellum structure it survived the Civil War, but not without some scars. In February 1865 federal cavalry troops under the command of Brig. Gen. Hugh Kilpatrick entered what is now Aiken County near White Pond.
Kilpatrick and his troops battled confederate forces on Feb. 9, 1865. He stationed some of his troops in Montmorenci, commandeering this house because of its three stories, and the widows walk, which he used as a lookout. He then headed for Aiken with a force of 2000.
General Joseph Wheeler and 4,500 Confederate Calvary men skirmished with the union troops in Montmorenci and eventually he consolidated his forces in Aiken using the buildings to hide his true numbers. Gen. Wheeler planned to trap Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick and charge the main Union column as it entered town. On Feb. 11 the federal troops reached Park Ave., Richland Ave., and Barnwell St. in what is now downtown Aiken. An Alabama Trooper fired his gun prematurely tipping off the Union troops that they were walking into a trap. Brig. Gen Kilpatrick ordered his men to attack. All plans fell apart in the ensuing fight and the Federals fled back to Montmorenci where they barricaded themselves.
During the ensuing battle, surrounded by confederate troops the third story of Annie’s Inn was hit by a cannonball. When it was reconstructed, only two stories were rebuilt, with a huge attic.
Later in the century it was used as a country doctors residence with the second story used as a hospital. Perhaps as a result of that era, the ghost of a little girl has been occasionally heard roaming the halls calling for her mama. Many letters and artifacts have been found during the present owners reconstruction.
In the early 1900s the land, still intact, was a large producer of asparagus. Montmorenci was much larger then with a railway depot at the center of town. Asparagus was shipped daily to New York. Later when cotton once again became valuable the land was returned to its original crop. The present owners bought the old farmhouse with two acres and completely renovated the building and grounds to their present condition. They opened Annie’s Inn in 1984.