On this site Nicholas Marcellus Hentz conducted a girls’ school. Native of Metz, France, Hentz was a painter, entomologist, author, and was once a professor at University of North Carolina. Experimenting with silkworms, he planted groves of mulberry trees around this section of town. His wife, Caroline Lee Whiting Hentz, native of Massachusetts, assisted in the academy. She also wrote plays, poems, stories, popular novels, and a significant diary of her years in Florence.
Built in the 1840’s, acquired by Edward Asbury O’Neal. Occupied various times during the Civil War by Federals and Confederates. Edward A. O’Neal (1818-1890) attended LaGrange College; lawyer, Colonel of the 26th Alabama Regiment, C.S.A.; appointed brigadier general. Governor, 1882-1886. Emmet O’Neal (1853-1922), lawyer; Governor, 1911-1915; lived in nearby Courtview.
Built in 1926 in the Spanish Revival architectural style, this is the first structure in Florence erected with a steel skeleton supporting the floors, walls, and roof. The framework is strong enough to support two more stories than were actually built. This building was individually listed in The National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Named for Ferdinand Sannoner, who surveyed the town of Florence for the Cypress Land Company in 1818, the district contains twenty-five structures of historic and architectural significance on North Court and North Pine Streets. Wealthy planters, lawyers, and merchants occupied the six fine antebellum homes: Courtview (1855), Governor Edward Asbury O’Neal House (1840’s), Irvine Place (1843), Conner Place (1854), Wakefield (1820’s), and Hickory Place (James Irvine House, 1832). Other structures date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.