This breathtaking plantation dates back to 1676 when Thomas and Ann Drayton built a house and small formal garden on the site. Its public gardens are the oldest in America, welcoming visitors since 1870. Today, the plantation is still owned by the Drayton family, and it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Check out the video below to have a look around!
Originally a rice plantation, African slaves from rice-growing regions created extensive earthworks of dikes and dams throughout the property. These Africans are notable for their Gullah language and culture, strongly influenced by the West African heritage they shared. Visitors to the plantation are recommended to take the "From Slavery to Freedom" tour, also known as Magnolia's Cabin Project. Featuring former slave dwellings that date to 1850, some were still being occupied in the late 1990s. Before exploring each cabin, guests will be allowed to participate in a discussion of African American history, from the 1800s, through Jim Crow, to the modern Civil Rights period.
The plantation became known for its beautiful gardens after the Reverend John Grimke-Drayton inherited the property in the 1840s. According to legend, the reverend developed the gardens in an English style to convince his bride-to-be to move south from Philadelphia. He is said to have introduced the first azaleas to America, for which the gardens became well-known, along with their live oak trees.
Other attractions at the plantation include a rice field boat tour and a swamp garden. The rice field boat tour, which lasts about an hour, allows visitors to "slip back in time" exploring the now-flooded rice field along the Ashley River. Visitors may get a chance to see alligators, egrets, fish, and frogs. The plantation describes its swamp garden as "a unique world where trees grow from the water, islands float, and everywhere wild creatures go about their secret lives." Wildlife lovers will be among thousands of species which call the swamps their home, including turtles, herons, and other waterfowl.
Tap the link below to visit the plantation's website. From there, you can explore its many tours and attractions, check ticket prices, and more.
Cover Photo in the Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14275202