The steps leading up to a door with green garlands lining the rails and a wreath on the door.

Garlands picked from the South Carolina Botanical Garden adorn the staircase of the Hanover House.

CLEMSON — Clemson University’s department of historic properties will host a free holiday open house at the 301-year-old Hanover House from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Foothills Garden Club members will decorate the house with fresh greenery from the South Carolina Botanical Garden on campus, where the house is located. During this celebration, the Joyful Harps musical group will perform colonial and other traditional music and play the home’s 200-year-old Kirkman piano while guests have refreshments. The event will also commemorate the wedding supper of William Moultrie that took place at Hanover House in December 1749.

Visitors also can tour the house and learn more about its place in South Carolina and Clemson University history.

Hanover House was built in 1716 for French Huguenot Paul de St. Julien in Berkeley County. It was planned as a three-story, brick and cypress house and was considered very luxurious at the time. The original design was simple, featuring balanced symmetry, a gambrel roof, dormers and French details. St. Julien honored his French heritage in the mortar of one chimney where he inscribed “Peu a Peu” from the French proverb “Little by little the bird builds its nest.”

The house remained in the St. Julien and Ravenel families for nearly 150 years. In the 1940s, progress threatened to destroy the home, as it was in the path of the manmade Lake Moultrie. The Historic American Buildings Survey of the Santee-Cooper basin noted that Hanover was of national significance. So Hanover House was moved 250 miles north to the campus of Clemson University, home to the state’s architecture school. It was relocated to the South Carolina Botanical Garden in 1994 and now overlooks an heirloom vegetable garden.