Today we’re touring the historic Redcliffe Plantation for an antebellum walk through history.
In 1855 James Henry Hammond, a former governor of South Carolina and state senator who popularized the phrase “cotton is king,” purchased property in Beech Island, South Carolina. He then decided to name the property Redcliffe for the red bluffs that stood in front of the home. The Greek Revival mansion was built between 1857 and 1859. It’s a two-story mansion with a raised basement, an attic, and originally featured a cupola (observatory) at the top of the house.
The home also features heart pine flooring, sycamore doors and fireplace mantles, and 14-foot high ceilings on the main level. Prior to the Civil War, Redcliffe was a 400-acre country estate with just the one mansion and four separate slave cabins. The property became home to four generations of the Hammond family from 1859 to 1975, as well as numerous African-American families, like the Henleys, the Wigfalls, and Dewalts.
The property was donated in 1973 to the state of South Carolina, and is currently one of 47 parks in the state park system. The grounds are open for free seven ways a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with tours given Thursday through Monday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. for a small fee.
The grounds at Redcliffe were designed in the 1860s by landscape architect Louis Berckmans of Fruitland Nurseries, which later became the Augusta National Golf Course. The property’s iconic magnolia allee features 150-year-old magnolias which came from Fruitland Nurseries.
If you ever have the time, I recommend you check out this beautiful site. If you have any real estate-related questions in the meantime, be sure to give me a call or send me an email.