JEREMIAH PITTS, SON OF WHO?
Jeremiah Pitts, born about 1770 in South Carolina, died 17 May 1841, Sumter District, South Carolina.
Thought to be buried in the High Hills Baptist Church Cemetery in Sumter, S.C.
From Historical Sketches of Sumter County, Its Birth and Growth by Cassie Nicholes: Page 245:
"Within the restored home the present occupants, Mr. & Mrs. Loring Lee, Jr. have provided for their comfort near the back of the house with a spacious family room with all the modern conveniences that one would wish, together with heirlooms that give a historic touch to the atmosphere. Here are the old ladderback chairs and a beautiful rocker - all designed and made by Jeremiah Pitts, Reminiscent of Mrs. Lee's ancestry is an old desk made on a Smyth plantation in the Summerville area.
Here, too, hangs an old land grant record made to Jeremiah Pitts, the great, great, great grandfather of Mrs- . Lee and signed by Gov. Paul Hamilton great, great grandfather of Mrs. Lee.
An original wardrobe has been made into a gun cabinet. On the
inside door is a note dated 8th of May, 1861, which says, "Tell Miss Polly, Howdy." Miss Polly was Mr. Lee's grandmother. Hanging beside the fireplace is Capt. Lucius Pitts Loring's sword used in the Confederate War.
Behind this room is the bedroom of Mr. & Mrs. Lee - the room in which members of each generation since 1841 were born. It is a bright and airy room that presents a perfect view of the lake and the many flowers that bloom all during the year.
The massive four-poster bed in this room has large maple posts. This bed was originally owned by Mr. Lee's Loring ancestors and the small desk used as a telephone table came from Rev. Philip Gadsden, an ancestor of Mr. Lee. Reminder of the many babies cared for in this room is an unusual iron crib which came from Charleston. The rocker and chairs were made by Jeremiah Pitts.
Upon entering the parloe which is the oldest part of the house, one is carried back to 1841 when this section was the home of the young couple for whom the house was planned and built - Capt. Lucius Pitts Loring and Marsena Brunson Loring. Looking down from the vantage point on the wall are the portraits of Daniel and Rebecca Matilda Pitts Loring, parents of the first owner. This room is much the same as it was in the beginning, having even the same door knobs and keys. The chandeliers in this room and dining room (if not the original ones) date back beyond the knowledge of the present occupants.
In the dining room, also a part of the original structure, are many relics of sentimental value. On a Duncan Phyfe table (part of a banquet table) is a Carriage Box or Cellarette with the original hand blown, hand etched bottles used in traveling. This unique box was brought to South Carolina by Jeremiah Pitts when he came in the 1780's
Keeping watch in this room are the portraits of Dr. Thomas Briggs and Sarah Ann Ragin Briggs and their daughter (Mrs. James Adger Smyth, ancestors of Mrs. Lee. In the room are several pieces of ancestral furniture: an Empire sideboard from the Brunsons, a tip-tilt candle table and chairs from the Col. Christopher Gadsden family.
In the North wing is a bedroom which is furnished with a high four-poster bed dating around 1850; bedsteps, bureau and desk, brought from Charleston, also of 1850 vintage; a high crib from the Brunson family, dating back to around 1800; rocker and ladderback chairs made by Jeremiah Pitts at the end of the 18th century.
Another bedroom is in the south wing. Here can be seen a dressing glass and mahogany chest of drawers of the early 1800's. Here also is a spinning wheel, with a hanker, the latter made by Jeremiah Pitts. A piece of special interest is a luggage rack made from one end of a folding cot which went through the Confederate War with Captain Loring. At night his servant, who accompanied him at all times, would set up the cot for him to sleep. The spool bed in this room, dating to the early 1800's is of curly maple and walnut. The bedspread is more than 100 years old.
A desk of the early 1800's that belonged to Timothy Lee, father of Col. George Washington Lee, stands in the hall. The brass drawer pulls, originally a part of this desk, were taken off and donated to the Confederate cause. Here, too, is a water stand made by Jeremiah Pitts.
Not only on the inside of the old home are reminders of days gone by but over the whole plantation are signs of these days when Jeremiah Pitts carried on his many lucrative enterprises. Remains of the old brick kilns are still visible, as well as sunken places where Daniel Loring ran his iron foundry. The old canal, though its walls have been partially destroyed, can still be seen, reminding one of the hour upon hour of labor and the engineering skill that went into construction.
Other than the ponds themselves, the best perserved evidence of the activities carried on at the large plantation is the old grist mill house. On the inside can be seen the old hopper where the corn was poured for grinding. Still intact are the ancient gates that can still be raised or lowered to regulate the water supply. The old "gadget" is still there that used to regulate the coarseness or fineness of the grist or meal being ground. And there is another "contraption" to change the speed. It can be seen how the stones that actually ground the corn could be removed and sharpened, a task that was done four times a year.
On a hill nearby is the place where the miller lived, so that he could look after the mill. The saw mill that was on the other pond was washed away many years ago by a freshet.
The two ponds, one containing 30 acres and one, 75, are fed from what has been known as Suicide Branch or Mush Swamp. It is said that the water was used to produce electricity. Large alligators have been sighted in these ponds, one said to have been approximately 13-1/2 feet long.
The present owner of the old plantation and home, W. Loring Lee, Jr., is one of Sumter's outstanding citizens. He attended the local schools and The Citadel. For a number of years he farmed and managed a Farmer's Exchange.
In 1954 he became acting Postmaster in Sumter and a short time later was named Postmaster. During his tenure he was highly regarded by patrons and co-workers alike. In 1961 he became trainer Postmaster.
In 1972 he was honored as the Outstanding Postmaster of South Carolina, receiving the Olin D. Johnston Award.
Active always in Civic affairs he was president of the local Red Cross, the Community Chest, Sumter County Historical Society, local Chapter of Sons of the Confederacy and a member of the County School Board. He has held many other posts of importance in the county. He is a member of the South Carolina Society of Colonial Wars.
He is a dedicated member of the Episcopal church, serving as junior and senior warden, treasurer, president of the Men's Club, and Sunday school teacher in the Church of the Holy Comforter, as well as holding important posts in his diocese.
On Memorial Day in 1972 the Sumter Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy awarded him a military cross of service - an award that is given for patriotic devotion to duty by men of Confederate ancestry.
Mr. Lee is now retired and enjoys gardening, hunting and following other interesting hobbies. He no doubt also likes to stroll through the wooded acres that were so familiar to his pioneer ancestor more than a century and a half ago.
Mrs. Lee, a lover of history, has a special attachment for Millwood because of its historical value, the family sentiment involved, and its unique beauty. A charming hostess, she enjoys showing guests the special points of interest in the home and surroundings and relating legends handed down through the years.
Possessor of the proverbial "green thumb," she has flowers of many varieties on the outside and pot plants within.
In addition to her household duties she finds time to trace family histories and weave them into interesting stories. She also finds time to make dainty little dresses for her granddaughters. She is busy, too, with church and club work.
So the quaint old Millwood home stands nestled among the trees, some of which were no doubt neighbors and companions of those from which its enduring timbers were hewn by skilled and loving hands so long ago. Had it the power of speech, it would doubtless express satisfaction and contentment that at least it is back where much of it had a beginning and that it is being treated with affection and care by those living within its walls.
Someone has said that, "The preservers of history are as great as its makers." In the restoration of this old home the history of one of Sumter's leading families and its outreach is truly being preserved."
"Millwood" built for Capt. Lucius Pitts and Marcena Brunson Loring in Sumter in 1841 and moved to Loring Mill Road in 1966. (Photo used by The Sumter News, courtesy the Lee family.) - Page 255
Note: The above abstracts are from : Historical Sketches of Sumter County, Its Birth and Growth by Cassie Nicholes: Page 245, and are placed here in hopes for a connection to other Pitts lines. I am researching the line of Charles Pitts b, 1677 and Sarah Ann Hardy b. 1680 who may have had had a son Jeremiah Pitts b. between 1699-1750, although there is no proof, only family lore. I am seeking information and sources of information as to his parentage. We now KNOW that the Jeremiah in Sumter County is NOT the son Jeremiah who some are submitting as a son of Charles b 1677. Charles b, 1677 died 1750. Jeremiah of Sumter, S.C. states he was born PA c 1780.
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