Conway's oldest homes offer comfort...and ghosts?
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Some of the oldest homes in Horry County are in Conway and they each have a unique story to tell.
"Our oldest son, when he was 12, during the day in the morning...saw a full body apparition of a man sitting on the bed next to his, and the man turned and smiled at him. And it kept Luke from sleeping upstairs for six months," laughed owner Leslie Wilson.
The family thinks the man was the original owner of the house, William Gurganus. The house was built around 1862 and Gurganus died in 1870.
"But I'm convinced...Luke said he was smiling. So I said maybe he's happy we're here and we've fixed his house up and we're going to love it and have a wonderful family here that he didn't get to live out," reasons The William Gurganus House owner.
Gurganus moved to Conway with the Burroughs family and became business partners with Burroughs and the Collins family, just to drop a few names.
"They came down here to settle for the homestead act on a piece of property and they opened up a place called the Gully store which was catty corner across the street from this house," details Wilson.
This happily haunted house on Elm Street is featured on Conway's Ghost Tour, but more importantly it's a home where the Wilson's get to make happy memories. Not all of the historic homes in Conway are private residents.
"We've just been diligently working for 11 years to come to this time when the city was ready and we were ready to open it up as a bed an breakfast," begins Tina Arms, who is opening a bed and breakfast.
Tina and Perry Arms dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast, but when they bought the Collins A. Spivey house a city ordinance wouldn't allow it.
"Luckily and thankfully they saw the vision and the value of opening up old homes like this to the public for people to enjoy," Arms concludes.
Over a decade later, they are ready to open for business. The grand opening is November 9.
"We're going to open up the house from 10 to 6 for the public. For any folks that want to come and see what we've done. Introduce yourself to us and let us meet you. Tell us a story if you have one about the house or property, we'd love to hear it," smiles Arms.
Tina and Perry have embraced the charm the historic house has. You'll notice the original basket weave tile and the comforting creek of the same hardwood floors the house had when it was built in 1935. In the closets you'll find a sweet record of the children that lived in the Spivey House.
"We come to realize real fast that they were well known, well loved, and very prominent in the area. So that just excited us even more that we've got to preserve the history of the house," explains Arms.
And in keeping with the authenticity of the house, there's no internet access and the only tv you'll find is in the home's sitting area.
"We do all of that so people will come and they'll relax and they'll retreat and take advantage of all the things going on downtown," Arms justifies.
Most of Conway's historic homes are just blocks off of Main Street. This means you can come have a bite to eat, stroll the streets and soak up the history of Conway.
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