This home was built on the site of the first residence in Edgefield, dating from approximately 1762. The present house was built, circa 1843. In 1873, Alfred J. Norris, a prominent Edgefield lawyer and businessman purchased the property. In 1875 his daughter, Mamie Norris, was born here. She later married James Hammond Tillman who became Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.
Tillman became notorious for shooting Gonzales, the editor of The State newspaper at point blank range and then being acquitted of murder charges in a court of law. Tillman purportedly shot Gonzales because he was printing unflattering things about him in the newspaper.
In 1929 the house was given to the Edgefield County Historical Society for use as their headquarters. Interesting artifacts in the house include portraits of Arthur and Margaret Simkins. Simkins is called “the father of Edgefield” because he donated land for the first courthouse and Public Square. There is also furniture belonging to several native Edgefieldians who became South Carolina Governors and a special room dedicated to the life and times of Senator Strom Thurmond. Tours are available by appointment only.
320 Norris Street
Edgefield, SC 29824