Phillips-Saunders Home

Phillips-Saunders House – Exeter PlaceLocated in Exit this Greek revival house at the intersection of Lake Prince Drive and Exeter Drive is known as Exeter Place.  Edwin E. and Almedia Hancock Phillips acquired the farm from Joseph Scott in approximately 1825.  Mr. and Mrs. Phillips built the present house.  There is a story about an earlier brick house being torn down “because numerous infants had died of a fever, as well as older people, and it was declared unsafe for habitation.  This was passed down from two former slaves who remained at Exeter after the war – Uncle Andrew Hawkins and Aunt Anna Todd.”  The Phillips’ daughter, Mary Anna, ran the farm during the Civil War.  The plantation was used at times as a headquarters by Union Calvary forces as well as a hospital.  After the war she married Sydney Trexvant Ellis who farmed and managed the land.   They had two children, Edwin Sydney Ellis and Almedia Hancock Ellis.  Edwin Sydney raised his family of three children, Ann, Emil and “Trez”, there until 1937 when the depression caused the 325.75 acres to be sold at auction for $10,000.  (2)

The house and farm were bought by Thomas J. Saunders, III and his wife Elizabeth who raised their daughter, Mary Ainslie, in the beautiful Greek revival home.  They operated a “truck farm” there raising sweet potatoes, corn, peanuts and other crops Tommy would sell in area markets.  The beautiful home was surrounded by a white picket fence with unique free-swinging gates.  The farm property was sold in 1979 and developed into “Lake Prince Meadows”.  The house and lot have been passed through several owners including Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Moore who painted beautiful murals in several rooms.    (pic of house)