Birdsong, as the farm is called, is just the sort of place you might have found in the early 19th century on Wadmalaw Island, just south of Charleston, South Carolina. The classic Greek Revival–style house is at first glance modest and unpretentious, with gracious proportions and handsome features. A lovely porch looks over the water and invites the sea breeze. Triple-hung windows filter the golden Low Country light. A passerby might nod appreciatively and carry on her way.