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Travis takes over Greenleaf Villa
Greenleaf Villa old
An exterior photograph of the south front and east side of the Greenleaf Villa taken in April 1960 by renown National Park Service (NPS) photographer Jack E. Boucher. The photograph is one of two Boucher took which is now part of the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey. According to data compiled with the photographs, the former Samuel Flake house at 1307 Broad St. was constructed in 1803. - photo by Library of Congress Online Catalog

A doctor’s house. A Confederate hospital. An antiques store. A home for the former KershawHealth Foundation and the hospital’s marketing department.

Now, with more than 200 years behind it, the Greenleaf Villa is the new home of Travis’ Salon.

“We knew as soon as we walked up the steps to the massive wrap-around porches and through the front door of this house that it had everything we were looking for,” co-owner and business namesake Travis Vincent said. “The grandeur and essence we felt was almost overwhelming.”

Vincent believes the house has “many, many stories” to tell, being on both the Camden historic registry and National Registry with the Library of Congress.

“We have managed to keep the ‘Classically Camden’ aesthetics throughout -- our look worked perfectly,” he said.

According to a National Park Service (NPS) Historic American Buildings Survey form filled out in 1983, the stucco on brick rectangular home -- once known as the Samuel Flake House -- has a 35-foot by 50-foot west end and south piazza. At the time, the survey noted there were quoins (masonry blocks at the corner of a wall), an ornamental stepped gable on the east end and the wooden two-story piazza along the south side and west end. It also noted there were major alterations to the piazza in the mid 19th century.

The information and two accompanying photographs -- taken in 1960 by the NPS’ Jack E. Boucher -- are now part of the Library of Congress’ online catalog. Samuel Flake reportedly built the home in 1803, although other records appear to indicate it may have been built some time later. After 1826, it became the home of Dr. Joseph Lee, a cousin of Gen. Robert E. Lee, and was used as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War. In more recent history, it has housed antiques and other retail stores as well as the local hospital’s foundation and marketing department.

For now, Travis’ is taking up the bottom two of the historic building’s two and a half stories. On the ground floor are the waiting room, stylist’s chairs, a “wet” room for shampoos and dryers and retail space. This is where you’ll find Vincent and employees Anna Hughes Raulerson, West McNehan, Kimberly Street and Sherrie Colby.

The second floor is given over to local artists Midge Bremer, Ginny Caraco and Beryl Kaye, as well as Vincent and partner, Scott Park’s offices. And there’s more to come.

“Travis’ Salon relocating here gives us the opportunity to expand our offered services and add more retail, art and artists,” Vincent said. “We plan to add more in time. This also gives us the opportunity to look to the future where we plan to become a venue destination for weddings, receptions, dinners, etc. We see and hear there is a need for somewhere else: new, different.”

Travis’ moved to Camden in 2009, starting off with 800 square feet of space and no clientele. Within eight months, its client base increased to where it needed to move into a 2,000-square-foot space.

“We have grown by leaps and bounds,” Vincent said, noting the need to move yet again into an entire building of its own.

The Greenleaf Villa is across the street from the main (Camden) branch of the Kershaw County Library. It is maintaining the same hours as at its previous location: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment only. Its phone number, email address, Facebook page and website are all the same, Vincent said.

Travis’ can be reached at (803) 272-0575.