Antebellum manor homes, rice plantations, beautiful gardens, oak-lined drives, and timeless elegance are all a part of the deep South’s history. Some of these beautiful plantation homes are still intact with working plantations for over three centuries. Visiting one of these beautiful plantations will transport you back to the 18th century, and they are only a short drive from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Below are some of South Carolina’s historic plantations:
Hopesewee Plantation, 94 Hopsewee Road, Georgetown, South Carolina—Built in 1740, 40 years before the Revolutionary War, this South Carolina National Historic Landmark is a typical low country rice plantation dwelling. The beautiful plantation house features four rooms opening into a wide center hall on each floor, a full brick cellar and attic rooms. Constructed on a brick foundation and built of black cypress, it has a beautiful staircase and hand-carved molding in each room.
Hopesewee Plantation was one of the South’s major rice plantations and the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Only five families have ever owned this plantation, and it is currently a private residence which is open to the public for tours Tuesday through Saturday. Dining is also available and a hands-on workshop to learn the history of traditional sweetgrass basket weaving. For more information, got to www.hopeseweeplantation.com.
Boone Hall Plantation, 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina—Founded in 1681 by Major John Boone on the banks of Wampacheone Creek, it is currently one of America’s oldest working, living plantations. In 1743, the son of Major John Boone planted live oak trees in two evenly spaced rows in front of the plantation house. After two centuries of growth, the massive, moss-draped branches meet overhead, forming a natural corridor and a “must see stop” on any trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It is also America’s most photographed Plantation.
Purchased by the McRae family in 1955, Mrs. McRae furnished the house with antiques and began giving tours in 1956. The McRae family is proud to present the history of Major Boone and his family, who were influential in the history of South Carolina, the colonies and the nation for over 330 years. As guests tour each site on the plantation, the staff will help them understand the day-to-day activities of life on the plantation as well as the history of those who lived at Boone Hall. For more information, to www.boonehallplantation.com.
Mansfield Plantation, 1776 Mansfield Road, Georgetown, South Carolina—Established in 1718, on the banks of the Black River, Mansfield Plantation was once one of the largest rice-producing plantations in the country. A member of the National Register of Historic Places, it covers nearly 1,000 acres of pine forests, rice fields, and cypress swamps, and is one of the most well-preserved rice plantations in the United States.
Mansfield Plantation is now owned and operated by the descendent of the original Parker family owners, John Rutledge Parker, and his wife Sallie Middleton, Jr. Visitors can take a personalized tour of this authentic, pre-Civil War Plantation home and grounds as well as have afternoon tea. You can also experience true 18th century luxury and relaxation by spending a weekend at the Mansfield Plantation. For more information, go to www.mansfieldplantation.com. See excerpt from Charleston magazine article below:
“A national historic landmark, over 900 acres of antebellum authenticity, private entrances, handsome antiques furnishings, wildlife walks, sports and hunting opportunities galore, and a sumptuous atmosphere make for a weekend retreat to remember.”
Hampton Plantation, 1950 Rutledge Road, McClellanville, South Carolina—A National Historic Landmark, Hampton Plantation, built in 1730, is a Georgian-style mansion tucked away among live oaks and magnolias in the Santee Delta region. It is the remnants of a colonial-era rice plantation that stretched as far as the eye could see on the Wambaw Creek.
Hampton Plantation was also the home of Archibald Rutledge, South Carolina poet laureate, who gave it to the people of South Carolina as a legacy. Visitors can enjoy exploring the plantation’s mansion and visit one of the many historic cemeteries that are on the Hampton Plantation site. They can also explore the grounds where the rice fields once were and have a picnic under an old Southern oak tree overlooking a view similar to what George Washington saw when he stood on the Hampton family’s portico in 1791. For more information, go to www.hamptonplantation.com.
If you prefer, you can also go by boat via Plantation River Tours located at 1950 Wachesaw Road, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The Waccamaw Lady Plantation River Tour is a 2 to 2-1/2 hour river cruise along the historic Waccamaw River and plantations. Along the ride you will see rice plantations, trunk gates, slave cabins, moss-laden oak trees, alligators, eagles and osprey. Your narrator will be a local historian, educating you on the history, mystery and legends of the Rice Plantations.
Plantations along the cruise include:
- Arundel Plantation – This plantation received its name from Arundel Castle, seat of the Duke of Norfolk located on the Arun River, Sussex, England.
- Chicora Wood Plantation – Elizabeth Alston, RFW Allston’s daughter, acquired Chicora Wood after her mother’s death in 1896.
- Exchange Plantation – Owned by David McDowell in 1822. May be named because he got it in exchange for another piece of property.
- Hasty Point Plantation – Tradition says the plantation was named when General Francis Marion made a hurried escape from the British during the American Revolution.
- Squirrel Creek Plantation – The house that stands today is the second house built, the first house burned between 1827-1841.
- Willbrook Plantation – The Tucker family was the original owner. Jesse Metcalf, 1936; then sold to the Hunter family; and then to the Litchfield-by-the-Sea Partnership Inc.
The above information is cited from www.plantationtours.com.