The Bonham House, officially known as Flat Grove, was the birthplace of James Butler Bonham, an Alamo hero, and is the only remaining home in existence that once belonged to an Alamo veteran. Edwin Matthews dedicated the dilapidated home to the Saluda County Historical Society in 1989. The home’s interior is currently being restored to its original 19th century appearance and will eventually open as a museum. Visitors to Saluda, South Carolina can take a tour of the property and see the famous home, as the outside has been fully restored.
Backstory and Context
The 2-story, hand-hewn log home was built on Richard Creek before the Revolutionary War and offers visitors a glimpse of early plantation life in South Carolina. The home was built by Bonham’s grandfather Jacob Smith and was originally was a 4-room dog-trot log home, but 2 rooms, a kitchen, a pantry, and a back porch were added in the 1800s.
During the Texas Revolution, James Butler Bonham was a messenger for Commander William Barrett Travis and “twice rode out of the Alamo while it was surrounded to attempt to secure troops to assist the small group inside” (“The Bonham House”). Bonam’s younger brother Milledge Luke Bonham was a Brigadier General during the Civil War and South Carolina’s governor during Sherman’s raid. Milledge and his son Milledge Lipscomb Bonham, a South Carolina Chief Justice, were both born at Flat Grove as well. A statue of Bonham is one of the 4 statues at the Alamo in Texas.