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History of The Elliott House Inn

Our Charleston Historic District Hotel’s Rich Past

Soon after the establishment of Charles Towne in 1670 a wealthy planter, Bernard Elliott, purchased a three acre tract on the peninsula known as Schenkingh’s Square.  Over time the parcel of land was broken-up and ultimately sold.  William Mills developed on a plot of land from this tract, known today as 78 Queen Street, and over time erected the lot’s first structures.

William Mills, father of Robert Mills – architect of the Washington Monument and the United States first Fireproof Building located in Charleston – left 78 Queen Street to his daughter Sarah upon his passing, and on February 28, 1855 a local bookseller by the name of John O’Mara purchased the property from her for $1,500.

EHI Sign
Elliott House Inn

In 1861, an immense fire burned nearly one-third of Charleston, including 78 Queen Street.  Though many did not rebuild until long after the disaster, O’Mara constructed a three-story masonry single house shortly thereafter utilizing salvaged bricks from the fire.  This quintessential Charleston style home was constructed with piazzas to catch the cool sea breezes and a centralized private courtyard – The Elliott House.

In 1873 O’Mara’s daughter acquired the property from her father for $12,000. Toward the end of 1886 an earthquake of historic proportions nearly leveled the city of Charleston.  Evidence of this great disaster is still visible with the slanted third floor piazza and two askew second floor rooms.  As a result, earthquake bolts were installed to strengthen resistance to earthquakes and is often a feature of many Charleston buildings. They are still evident on the front and side façade of our historic district hotel.

Our Charleston boutique hotel served as a private home for over a century weathering fires, earthquakes and the Civil War, The Elliott House Inn began to welcome guests in 1981.  In 1989, Charleston experienced further turmoil from a destructive category four hurricane. Hurricane Hugo delivered sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and pushed a five foot wall of water over portions of downtown Charleston.

After cleanup and repairs from the storm, The Elliott House Inn continued to host guests until 2009 when the Inn underwent and extensive renovation.  The property reopened to guests in 2011 and continues to welcome guests to this day. We’re excited to welcome you to enjoy the fascinating history and modern accommodations of our Historic Charleston hotel.