I have lived in Greenville for nearly 20 years, and am a lifelong resident of the Upstate -- yet I had never heard of the Kilgore-Lewis house until I found it on Tripadvisor while searching for something new to see in town. Having been on very many historic house tours in places like Charleston and Savannah, I was curious as to what I'd see at this historic home. Although I certainly didn't expect it to be on par with the homes I'd visited in other locales (especially since admission is free!), my husband and I were still a little disappointed.
This home is run by the local garden clubs, so we were greeted by a very friendly volunteer as soon as we entered the house. She seemed to be knowledgeable about the house and its contents, and cheerfully answered all of our questions. We did find the home to be filled with some interesting (though not original) items that were donated from various members of the community, including a beautiful piano and harp that were both from the 1850s. However, the house has been modified to suit the needs of the garden club, so that it now contains a modern kitchen, restrooms, an office, and a meeting room. Also, the remaining rooms were not necessarily presented as they would have been originally used; for instance, the master bedroom did not actually contain a bed! This is because it is now used as a dressing room for the bride and her attendants when the house is rented out for weddings (which is how the house is financially supported, given that the tours are free).
We did tour the grounds as well, but mid-November was obviously not the best time for that. Most of the plants were dead or in the process of dying due to the season. I can definitely see that it would be extremely lovely during the spring and/or summer, and plan to make a return visit then. Despite the season and the cold weather, it was a lovely and peaceful walk, and it was surprising to find that we have such a largely undiscovered place so close to downtown. The well on the property was also interesting, and is listed on the National Historic Registry.
All in all, I'm glad we visited, and you definitely can't beat the price of admission. Just don't expect a house tour similar to what you'd find at a home dedicated to historic tours, and you'll enjoy yourself.
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