Ready to roll: Cherrydale should make its four-mile trek
to campus March 7-8. The Expert Construction Company
of Virginia Beach, Va., the same company that has been contracted to move the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, will transport the historic mansion, which was constructed
before the Civil War.
A wide load
Cherrydale, Furman’s new alumni house, is ready to roll.
The image of Cherrydale, a 19th-century, 4,960-square-foot mansion, ambling up Poinsett Highway on the way to its new home at Furman will surely be a lasting one.
And the “wide load” sign draped across its back could contend for understatement of the year honors. But it’s likely that few will see it.
Poinsett Highway and Old Buncombe and Duncan Chapel roads will be closed as Cherrydale makes the four-mile trek from the old Umbro manufacturing plant to campus early next month.
Tentative plans are for the Expert Construction Company of Virginia Beach, Va., the same company that has been contracted to move the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, to hitch up Cherrydale shortly before dawn on Sunday, March 7.
All lanes of Poinsett Highway will be closed that day until Cherrydale reaches the dirt area near the McDonalds and Wok Inn, where it will remain during the night. The building will be moved to campus Monday via Old Buncombe and Duncan Chapel roads.
For those wishing to witness the move, Marketing and Public Relations will chronicle Cherrydale’s journey by posting photographs on the Furman Web site throughout Sunday and Monday. The site will be easily accessible through the Furman home page.
Cherrydale, Furman’s new alumni house and the former summer home of James Clement Furman, will be located in the wooded area between the Minor Herndon Mickel Tennis Center and Timmons Arena — the highest point on campus. Alumni Affairs, currently located in the basement of the administration building, is planning to relocate to Cherrydale by June 1.
“Cherrydale will truly give us a place to welcome alumni,” says Michelle Burnett, associate director of the Alumni Association. “This will be a real compliment to our alumni, because we currently don’t have an attractive space to host them.”
At the entrance of Cherrydale are two large rooms that will be ideal for receptions and gatherings. A glass-enclosed garden room, also on the first floor, will serve as a meeting room.
The upstairs rooms, each of which has its own bathroom, will be converted to administrative offices. Furman also plans to add a conference center adjacent to the mansion, which will further enhance the building’s appeal.
Cherrydale is currently located on the former Umbro International, Inc., plant site in northwest Greenville. The house served as James C. Furman’s home in the mid-1800s and was donated to the university by AIG Baker, the company which is purchasing the property from the Stone family. The former Umbro plant is being developed into a shopping center.
Although the exact date of Cherrydale’s construction is unknown, the Greek Revival dwelling was built sometime in the late 1840s or early 1850s by George Green. The house was sold in March of 1857 to James Clement Furman, the first president of Furman.
Since the house was a good distance away from the university’s then downtown location, the Furman president’s main residence was on University Avenue in a house owned by the college. It is believed that James C. Furman lived at Cherrydale in the summer and farmed the surrounding property.
The Furman family owned the property until 1939, when it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene E. Stone III. Cherrydale was completely refurbished two years ago.
In 1976, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a result of the move, Cherrydale surrendered its place on the National Register, but the university plans to reapply for the registry status later this year.