For her first trip south Daughter had requested to visit a plantation. She must have missed some information in the AP Us History class last year because that is not really an option. In fact I took her to the historic Sheldon Church ruins just to show her how damaging the Civil War was. There are still plantation options but they either are mostly gardens or rebuilt homes. The closest I had come previously was Drayton Hall and that was on my list to visit with her.
Then on TripAdvisor I stumbled on McLeod Plantation while looking up reviews on Drayton Hall. Odd that I had never heard of this one or stumbled upon it on our last trip so I dug up some more information. This historic site was opened to the public in April of 2015 and is ran by the Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission. They offer guided tours four times a day that are not to be missed. I feel if you just wander the property you will be really missing some of the emotion of the site.
They preface the tour with a warning that this tour will make you uncomfortable at times. They do NOT skirt around slavery here and they address it head on, this the main focus of the tour. I will admit I was very uncomfortable and shocked at times. But this story needs to be told and being from the Midwest reading it in a history book was different than standing next to the slave cabins.
I would also add that older children will get more from this plantation than the younger kids. We had a few children on our tour and they just looked a bit bored. They were quiet and respectful but you could tell they were ready to be done.
This is the now front of the home that used to be the back entry. The exterior was updated in the late 1920s to early 30s. Changing the entry and the driveway to the other side of the home.
This was the prior front of the home overlooking the fields and land they owned.
This tour walks you through the long history of the home and its owners from 1741. Pretty impressive! When they talked about how much this plantation produced in the 1860s I could not imagine it. They had 74 salves in 23 slave cabins doing an unfathomable amount of work and not just in sea cotton. Prior to the tour I had never heard of sea cotton!
Several of the old out buildings are still standing and slowly being repaired. Even the old two-holer outhouse is still standing near the house.
And I loved this twisty old oak! It is said to be over 600 years old, some say 1,000 years old.
This is the old driveway to the house through the oaks and past the slave cabins.
We learned about both armies using the home during the civil war and then the Freedmen’s Bureau.
Our guide allowed us to peek inside a couple of cabins and it blew my mind that these were still rented and lived in during the 1990s. Farming had ended here in the 1940s.
I think our tour took about an hour. Our guide was very interesting and had an ipad with old photos from the family so we could see more history that she showed everyone.
Afterward you are welcome to enter the lower level of the home and look around the unfurnished home. The main home was build in 1858.
The county currently owns 37 acres, at one time the family owned 1,693 acres here.
There is a welcome center with bathrooms that was built in an adjacent parking lot. Here is also where you purchase your tour tickets. Guided tours are offered at 10am, 11:30, 1:30 and 3pm. Adults are $10 and children 3-12 are $6.
Tues – Sun, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Also open on President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day
- $10 Ages 13 & up
- $6 ages 3-12
- Free ages 2 & under
- Gold Pass membership allows free entry for 4 guests per visit
325 Country Club Drive
Charleston, SC 29412
More information here: https://ccprc.com/1447/McLeod-Plantation-Historic-Site