This house, built ca. 1910 for Columbia businessman John Jefferson Cain (1869-1929), was designed by William Augustus Edwards (1866-1939), a prominent regional architect. Cain, who moved to Columbia in 1899, became one of the state's leading contractors and built such Columbia landmarks as the Arcade (1912) and the Palmetto Building (1913). He also financed, built, and owned the Jefferson Hotel (1913).
J. Pope Matthews, president of the Palmetto National Bank, lived here from ca. 1913 to 1931, when Arthur S. Tompkins bought the house. It remained in the Tompkins family until 1974, when the University of South Carolina acquired it. The house, threatened by demolition for several years, was designated a local historic landmark in 2002. It was renovated and opened as The Inn at USC in 2005.