The History of Boone Hall Plantation

The History of Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall is home to one of the most historic plantations in South Carolina. Just a thirty-minute drive from downtown Charleston, the plantation was founded over 330 years ago. A 470-acre plot of land was gifted to Theophilus Patey in 1681, the start of the plantation’s rich history. John Boone, the husband of Patey’s daughter, received the land as a wedding present. The plantation’s owners have ranged from Boone himself, to farmers, businessmen, and a Georgian prince. John Boone and his descendants set several important precedents: planting over 80 oak trees which became the famous Avenue of Oaks, building the original wooden farmhouse, and, unfortunately, introducing slave labor.  

West African slaves began cultivating rice, then later cotton and indigo in the South. In 1817, the Holbreck family purchased the plantation and opened up a brickyard. They used slaves to make bricks on the plantation and then sold the bricks to architects who built many of downtown Charleston’s homes and stores. The nine original slave cabins on the plantation are open to visitors who can learn more about the history of slavery in the South and on the plantation.

After the end of the Civil War, the plantation began growing pecans as its main cash crop. At one time, Boone Hall was the largest producer of pecans in the United States. In 1935, the plantation’s next owner, Canadian Thomas Stone, tore down the original farmhouse built by Boone’s descendants and constructed the house that stands on Boone Hall today with bricks from the abandoned brickyard.  

The plantation’s current owners, the McRaes, bought Boone Hall in 1955 and opened it to the public in 1957. Boone Hall offers tours of the Colonial-Revival style house, the scenic property which continues to grow crops, and interactive exhibits in the former slave cabins. Visitors can learn about the history of the families who have called Boone Hall their home, as well as the slaves who worked on the plantation 150 years ago. The plantation also hosts a variety of educational programs for students in addition to seasonal events.

The plantation has grown in size from 470 acres to 738. Seasonal produce of strawberries, pumpkins, tomatoes, peaches, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables can be hand-picked or purchased at the farm. Boone Hall offers a full calendar of special events, including October’s infamous Fright Night, Christmas festivals, wine tastings under a canopy of oak trees, weddings, oyster roasts, live concerts, Scottish Highland Games, strawberry festivals, an annual pumpkin patch, and so much more.

Boone Hall will continue to be an important cultural symbol of Charleston’s past, present, and future. To learn more, book your historic tour of this breathtaking plantation on one of the Adventure Sightseeing buses!

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