The house is much older than the city where it is located, and almost as old as the country. Its history spans more than 200 years and according to tradition it once served as a stagecoach. Now Hartley House in Lexington County has gained new life as a venue, thanks to the work of a local couple.
Crystal owner and manager Crystal Mustard and her husband heard from her sister last year that the then owners of the Hartley House in Batesburg-Leesville were interested in selling.
“We looked at him and just fell in love instantly,” Mustard said. “And I saw a vision for this place that it would be an amazing place for a wedding.”
Not many places can offer the history of Hartley House, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built around 1790, it has remained in its current form since 1830. Bonds-Bates-Hartley retained its ownership for more than two centuries before selling it in 2015.
Mustard says the house is ideal for weddings and other events.
“The house itself is a Greek Revival village house. So the four rooms downstairs are the same size and layout as the four rooms upstairs. And they’re about 300 square feet each, “she explained. The setting allows easy settings for small or large groups, and Mustard and her husband work hard to make even bigger events possible.
“In fact, we are renovating our entire backyard and setting up a more green reception area,” she said, adding that they hope the work will be completed by the end of this summer. “Then, if you have 150 to 200 people, you expand abroad. We plan to take a really huge tent and then do some really nice landscaping and landscaping there. ”
Mustard, who has experience in event management and fundraising, is the only full-time employee at Hartley House, with her husband, an engineer, helping with the new family business when needed. Both mustard are from the Midlands and now live in Batesburg-Leesville, a place they are happy to call home and eager to show off to visitors.
“Everyone in this town wants you to be here. Everyone is doing their best to get people to come out this way and show people what Batesburg-Leesville has to offer. This is the most supportive community I’ve ever lived in. Every restaurant you eat, every store you enter, always has a smiling friendly face. It’s such a great little town, “Mustard said. “Most people only know about Shealy’s Bar-B-Que and the Poultry Festival. I would like people to know that there is something to do here, like some great, cute little boutiques in downtown Leesville.
In addition to hosting weddings, the Mustards plan to host a festive party at Hartley House this year, as well as other special events open to the public. Through all this, they make sure, especially at weddings, to offer something that people can afford.
“We were able to renovate it and offer it at such an affordable price, because nowadays it is almost impossible to have a wedding with a decent budget,” said Mustard. “We are not like the budget place, but our prices are very competitive.”
Hartley House offers all-inclusive event packages, but the owners are very flexible.
“Everything is included if you want it, but we don’t require it. If you want to use your own suppliers, it’s fine with us, but if you want us to do everything for you, we can do that too. So you really have options here, “Mustard said.
Before Batesburg, Leesville or Columbia, Hartley House was there. Before the beginning of the 19th century, a family welcomed guests in the beautiful home. Now, in 2022, mustards are welcoming them again.
For more information, visit hartleyhouseevents.com.