Charleston SC Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens Charleston

Charleston SC Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens

Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens: Spectrum of history, horticulture, rich gardens, wildlife

The Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens is one of South Carolina’s oldest working plantations and today continues agricultural production for more than 300 years. The site offers to visiting tourists, varied facets of its history of southern heritage, the agricultural bounty from the plantation with an expanse of 470 acres, appealing views of its preserved marshland, creeks and wildlife, the rich blooms of its flower garden and a pavilion of more than a thousand butterflies freely flying in the garden..

Its beginnings are traced to the early part of 1680 when the 470 acres were gifted by Theophilus Patey to his newly-wed daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Major John Boone, who developed a rich plantation, which became known as the Boone Hall Plantation. The original home was built in 1790. A plantation during these times was a vast farming area with slaves doing work on the field. Major Boone’s family and descendants exerted a strong influence in South Carolina. 

Ownership changed hands through the years. And in the early 1900s, the new owner Thomas Stone desired a grand home in the Colonial Revival style that replaced the original structure. The last and current owner, the MacRae family furnished the first floor of the Georgian-design of its mansion with period antiques and transformed the entire land into a community tour site known as the Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, featuring the varied facets of its 300-year historical development from a 1681 settlement to the current status, to 200,000 tourists annually.

A grand and unique entrance awaits the site guests as a natural corridor of 88 live oak trees and one magnolia tree, evenly spaced line the 74-mile road to the home. This is called the Avenue of Oaks. In 1743, Major Boone’s son planted the oak trees and it has taken two centuries for the oaks’ branches to develop and reach the others’ branches overhead.

Boone Hall Plantation and Garden, with its rich southern heritage, a glimpse into both the grand times as well as difficulties of life in a plantation, is in the List of National Historic Places. And in the List of African American Historic Places in South Carolina. The USA Today 10Best has also marked the site as the No.1 Plantation in Charleston area in South Carolina.

Boone Hall Plantation and Garden also offers a venue for weddings, special occasions and events, with a variety of choices on location to accommodate 300 guests. Such as the spacious and majestic lawn fronting the mansion; the patio behind; the lawn behind which is by the marshland; The Cotton Dock; with creative possibilities for the special day. In 2012, actor Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively held their wedding rites at Boone Hall Plantation.

Tours within the Boone Hall Plantation

A Plantation coach tour

This is a 30-minute coach ride that takes visiting guests to see different aspects of plantation life, with its different crops for different seasons. During the 300 years of plantation, cotton and pecan were the original produce. Today, there are strawberries, tomatoes, pumpkins, Visitors pick fresh produce from the vine or stalks.

There are stores on-site offering particular products, such as a market for seafood, a market for agricultural produce, a “wine alley” with different regional wines; shops with crafted souvenir items, and homemade jams. Touring guests enjoy lunch or dinner at the Market Cafe, which serves salads, sandwiches, delicious meals with ingredients freshly picked from the farm. Wine and beer, smoothies and shakes of your choice are also served.

Flower Garden and Butterfly Pavilion

The tour takes you to the Flower Garden with its colorful variety of plants and flowers for every season. A rare garden feature are the 100-year-old roses. A garden of varied species of hundreds of butterflies gives special delight to young tourists who can see different stages of the butterfly life cycle.

Black History in America exhibit

The Boone Hall plantation presents a Black History in America exhibit, with an accurate perspective on slave history that traces how Black Americans have progressed. Along Slave street are 9 slave cabins, living quarters of the slaves built in 1790 to 1820, which are preserved on the plantation. Touring guests view the daily life of black Americans in the plantation, their struggles during different periods from their arrival to the present. The themes for the cabins feature the Black Americans’ life and family; work and life; archaeological discoveries, emancipation, and freedom; civil rights struggle; heroes.

Unique to the Boone Hall Plantation is the Gullah theater, at the end of Slave street. It presents live performances of this particular African culture. The Gullah are African Americans who live in South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia and developed a new culture combining different African cultures and developed creole language. Descendants of Gullah people present their history through storytelling and through song and dance at the Gullah theater.

Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens offers a rich blend of southern history, Georgian architecture, the spectacular avenue of oaks, seasonal field crops, preserved nature, and rich flower gardens for visiting guests of all ages. As such, it remains a favorite for tours and a special venue for memorable occasions.

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