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"R" is for Rain Porch

South Carolina from A to Z logo

"R" is for Rain Porch. A sheltered exterior residential living area, the rain porch consists of a roof structure with freestanding supports, in an anterior arrangement to a pier-supported, balustraded deck. This vernacular form is typically found on houses built between 1820 and 1860 in the counties north of the Santee River and east of the Wateree and Catawba rivers. With westward migration, it became an important architectural form in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana where it was referred to as a "Carolina porch." Its origins are unknown but likely emerged in the state from assimilated building traditions and as a means to preserve a much-used outdoor living space. Notable examples of Carolina rain porch dwellings include Tanglewood in Camden, Magnolia in Bennettsville, New Market in Williamsburg County, and Myrtle Moor in Sumter County.