Boone Hall Plantation | Boone Hall
In 1681 a land grant to Major John Boone created Boone Hall Plantation. Rice was the first crop grown at Boone Hall. Later cotton and indigo were the main crops grown here. But Boone Hall Plantation was also known for the large amounts of bricks produced here. Many buildings, in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, built in the early 1700s, were constructed using bricks made at Boone Hall. The abundance of red clay provided the raw material needed for producing thousands of bricks every year.
The plantation’s location, just a few miles outside of Charleston, provided it with a ready-made market for its number one product. Thousands of bricks from Boone Hall were used in the construction of houses and buildings in early Charleston.
In the early 1700s, the plantation was planted with oak trees. Rows of evenly spaced trees were planted, lining the mile-long drive to the main house. Many of these trees remain today. Now centuries old, their canopies have grown and met at their tops, creating not only shade, but amazing beauty for this plantations many visitors. These trees welcome visitors and give them a feeling for the experiences that are available to them during their visit. Boone Hall offers tours of the house, cabins and grounds that include exhibits explaining early plantation life.
Over the centuries, the owners of Boone Hall Plantation have done an excellent job of preserving this plantations history. Slave cabins made of brick are still standing in their original locations. It was uncommon for brick to be used in building these cabins. However, because bricks were one of the primary products made at Boone Hall, there was an abundant supply of them. This fact has helped these cabins and other structures, such as a smokehouse dating back to the 1790s survive all these years.
Today Boone Hall is one of the last working plantations in South Carolina. In 1956, the present owners, the McRae family, opened the plantation to the public and began giving tours and lectures. The plantation grows a variety of crops, including pumpkins and strawberries. There are fields where visitors can pick their own fruits and vegetables. The plantation also operates its own market for visitors to purchase crops fresh from the fields.