Kilburnie History


Listed on the the National Register of Historic Places in 1979


Kilburnie, believed to be the oldest surviving dwelling in Lancaster, South Carolina, began as a federal-style cottage built about 1827 by Lancaster dentist Joseph Lee.


In 1999 Kilburnie was relocated to historic Craig Farm and has been transformed into a welcoming and luxurious Bed and Breakfast Inn.



Ann Beard Phifer-Crawford, daughter of Elizabeth Locke and Col. Martin Phifer and recent widow of John Crawford of the Waxhaws, purchased the property on North White Street in 1834, probably provided its name honoring her husband, after the ancestral home of the Crawford's, Kilbirnie Castle in the Parish of Kilbirnie, Scotland. The spelling of the name was altered as was the Crawfurd family name.

(for more Crawford information please go to the bottom of the page)

Ann Beard Crawford added a second story and piazza to the house thereby transforming Kilburnie into a Greek Revival structure, giving it the style of Robert Mills' splendid courthouse nearby. Its "grounds" were the entire east block of North White Street, bordered by Meeting and Barr Streets. In February 1865, the federal army occupied Lancasterville, and surviving letters describe how the Crawford family hid in the attic, watching the Union Calvary ride into town.


Kilburnie was sold to John D. Wylie in 1869, who rented the house to a number of families over the years, including William and Julliet Boyd Drennan - whose daughter Amanda married John Edgar Craig at Kilburnie in 1883. The building's current owner is one of that couple's descendants. Kilburnie was deeded in 1898 to Wardlaw T. Witherspoon, who embellished the exterior with Victorian ornamentation. In 1909, the dwelling passed into the ownership of Miss Annie Witherspoon, a member of the old Presbyterian Church whose Missionary Band of children met at Kilburnie every month. In 1926, Kilburnie was sold to Mrs. Essie M. Williams, who with her husband William Greene Williams restored the dwelling and resided in it until the late 1950s.


Kilburnie was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, its significant antebellum architecture being described as "outstanding in its style and grace." After standing vacant for nearly forty years, Kilburnie was faced with demolition in 1998. With the encouragement of numerous Lancastrians, it was rescued by John E. Craig, Jr. and Johannes L. M. Tromp, who moved the structure on February 6, 1999 to historic Craig Farm just north of Lancaster. The meticulous restoration of the old structure and construction of an architecturally sympathetic rear addition included faithful copying of the parlor's original elaborately modeled ceiling in the restored parlor and dining room.


At the official opening ceremony on May 21, 2000, South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges cut the ribbon opening Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm, and with his wife Rachel and sons, joined Lancastrians in celebrating the restoration of a much-loved structure.




Kilburnie is now a celebrated bed and breakfast with rooms named for the personalities and families of old Lancaster County history and the building's architectural forbears. Each guest room features a collection of prints, maps, and paintings reflective of its namesake's life, and the public halls feature artist Jim Shore's paintings based on historic events in Lancaster. The owners' hope is that guests will encourage friends, relatives, and business associates to think of Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm, as a "home away from home"- a place to step back in time and history, in the quiet and comfort of a unique private dwelling.



The following information was provided by Mr. Jack Bethea, June 2006


Although some difference of opinions exists on the part of experts as to the origin of the surname Crawford, most antiquarians suppose it to have been derived from the Gaelic Cru meaning bloody, and ford a pass or way thus standing for "The Pass of Blood." This, probably, was reminiscent of some warlike conflict between the Roman invaders and the Aborigines in in ancient Britain. A few other authorities have derived the name from the ancient words CRODH and PORT, which when combined signify "A sheltering place for cattle." Early in the 12th century the most remote ancestor of the family of Crawford in Scotland, Reginald, youngest son of Alan, the fourth Earl of Richmond, accompanied King David the First to the north country, and there received extensive grants of land in Strath Cluyd of Clydesdale. There his immediate descendants remained, adopted the name of Crawford, and formed one of the largest baronies in all Scotland.


The first Crawford to use the surname was one Galfridus de Crawford, this name first appearing as the signature of a witness to a Scottish document executed about the year 1189. Thus it appears that the family of Crawford, established at a place of that designation, adopted the fixed surname of Crawford; and as time passed and surnames were more commonly used it became the family name.


In Scotland the Crawford's were barons; and while Scotland remained a separate kingdom they ruled the country as members of the council of barons.


Reginald de Crawford, known also as "Reginald the good", was great grandfather to Margaret Crawford, wife of Malcolm Wallace, and mother of that world-renowned Scottish hero, William Wallace. It was Thomas Crawford who on the 2nd of April, 1578 took the castle of Dumbarton, an achievement remarkable in the annals of medieval Scotland, since Dumbarton at that time was considered impregnable.


Kilburnie Castle and Kirt were possessions of the family in ancient times. There at the castle, on the front of the gallery, and emblazoned the armorial bearings of twelve families with with the Crawford family allied.


The name Crawford, so favored in the annals of Scottish history, find honorable mention in the chronicles of America as well. Many Crawford's came to this country in colonial times. Earliest of them, and recognized as the common head of the American family, was John Crawford born in Ayershire, Scotland in 1600. He emigrated to Jamestown, Virginia, and was killed in 1676 during Bacon's rebellion. He had one son, David, born in 1625. This son had two sons and three daughters; the sons where Capt. David and John. Capt David married Elizabeth. they had three sons: David (1698) who married Ann Anderson, John (1707) who married Elizabeth Terrell of South Carolina. In America the name of Crawford has taken on numerous spellings. The more frequently recognized forms of the original name are: Crufford, Croffard, Craffard, Caford, and Crofut.


Inter marriages of different branches of the family have rendered predominant certain Crawford traits and characteristics. A high moral sense and a sense of personal dignity is common throughout the family. Physically they are recorded as being of large stature, strong, and of considerable endurance. Dr. N. H. Crawford, a family historian, refers to the "firmness, and fearlessness" of the Crawford's. Longevity is another Crawford trait. One historian records that those who arrived at maturity lived to an average of 87 years, while one Crawford is said to have lived to the age of 115.


Christian names appearing frequently in the annals of the family are: Ann, Charles, David, Elizabeth, John and Robert.


Crawford's from New York who took part in the American Revolution were Alexander, Ais, Daniel, David, Henderson, James, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Nathan, Robert, Samuel, Stephen, Thomas, Uriah, and William. There were Crawford's from other states also.