Loch Dhu Plantation  
OLD FIELD, LOCH DHU, AND
MOUNT PLEASANT PLANTATIONS
Kirk Family
 
 
3 Black & White
    
 
     There was a William Kirke in Carolina in the early 1700's, but according to articles written in the 1930's the Scot emigrant, who received land grants in Craven County and joined the trek up the Cherokee Path into Upper St. John's, had come from Scotland to Charles Town in 1741, and in 1749 received a royal grant for these lands. 
     In this "Upper Beat of St. John's Berkeley," Prof. F. A. Porcher states that Loch Dhu was formerly called "Old Field." It appears that the first settlement on at least the Loch Dhu part of the property was south west of the present (1983) house. It was at that Old Field house that Robert James Kirk was born in 1786. A second house was also built in that vicinity. It is not known as to what kind of house either building was or what happened to them. 
     It has generally been accepted that the front portion of the two stories clap board house was built by Robert James Kirk, son of Gideon and Grandson of William. Family tradition states that 1816 as the date of construction. In 1973 the discovery in a chimney of a brick with the date 1812 incised in it has led to the conclusion that the house might have been built as early as 1812 and certainly at some time between 1812 and 1816. The Waterman Report, "A Survey of The Early Buildings In The Region of The Proposed Santee and Pinopolis Reservoirs in South Carolina," 1939 states: "The interior of Loch Dhu possesses fairly simple but well designer trim. The woodwork of the drawing rooms has gouged and carved festoons and sunbursts in the friezes of the mantel and main cornices." 
     The Kirk houses were located on a stream and lake formed when a dam was placed across the stream from the Loch Dhu (Black Lake to form a mill pond. This pond was a favorite place for young boys to swim and for older boys to go at night with bateau, gig and lightwood torch for a good catch of fish. 
     It was thought that families living on rivers, swamps, and other bodies of water should move to the pine land each summer to avoid the '`miasmas" that were thought to cause Malaria and Hemorrhagic fevers that killed young and old annually; so the Kirks secured the abandoned Buck Pond house when Dr. John P. Thomas joined the migration to the up country in 1832. It was moved to the pine land northwest of the Loch Dhu house and the family made the half mile move annually to and from the pine woods until the McKelvey house at Fountain Head was burned and the Kirk (Thomas) summer house was used to rebuild Fountain Head. 
     Loch Dhu is said to have been used as a place to care for the Confederate wounded who were nursed by the local women. In the last day s when Hartwell's Raiders ravaged the country side, this house was to have been burned but escaped that fate when the women refused to leave the building. 
     Of the Kirks, William, Gideon, Robert James, Philip Couturier, Dr. Philip Sidney, and Dr. Richard Singleton Kirk have been associated with Loch Dhu and Mount Pleasant. 
     Probably the most colorful Kirk and the last one to live at Loch Dhu was Captain Kirk, I Henry Kirk, remembered as one of the last steam boat captains to carry freight and passengers down the Santee River from Granby Landing. Ben Bradwell still recalls the visits of this man to the Cross and Bradwell stores which supplied the planters of that area. 
     Over at Mount Pleasant the old house, which was considered to have been built before the Revolution, was destroyed by fire in 1887, and a few years later the house was built that stood when Santee-Cooper was constructed. This place had been owned by Glideon Kirk, eldest son of the emigrant. It went. to Francis (Dwight) Marion along with his marriage to Charlotte, daughter of Gideon Kirk. She only lived a year and he married her twin sister Harriet in 1801. She lived at Mt. Pleasant, planted its gardens and ruled Mt. Pleasant with a firm hand and the protection of a giant Negro woman. She willed the place to her grandson, Dr. Philip Sidney Kirk of Loch Dhu, son of Philip Couturier Kirk and Gabriella Marion (Dwight) Kirk. Dr. Philip Sidney served as a surgeon in the Confederate Army and his son Dr. Richard Singleton Kirk lived at Mount Pleasant. These physicians treated the ills of several generations in the Eutawville and Cross sections. I was one of the many persons in this section brought into the world by Dr. Richard Kirk (along with Dr. Fishburne). Dr. Kirk had practiced his profession in Charleston before returning home. He and Dr. Claudius Bradwell served the Cross area for a time, but Dr. Kirk took over the entire practice when Dr. Bradwell was moved to Charleston by his city wife. 
     When Santee-Cooper became a reality, the large Camellia Japonica planted by some early Kirk, was still there. This immense tree is now gone, but the family cemetery was moved and some of the descendants of William and Gideon Kirk are still returning at death to this spot selected in 1749 as a homestead for the family. 
     The Loch Dhu house is almost surrounded by the waters of Lake Marion which obliterated the Loch Dhu "fountains," lake and mill dam. The remaining fields and woods are now the property of Mr. and Mrs. F. K. Simons, Jr., who have added to and restored the original part of the house, and make Loch Dhu their home. This house is on The National Register of Historic Places. 
 
Information and Article from
"Historic Ramblin's Through Berkeley"
 written by and used with permission of
Mr. J. Russell Cross