It was a hot June day when I drove into Hampton Plantation. Nonplussed by the heat, I first got the stamp for my State Park book, then marched over to the plantation house. It is quite impressive. Straight out of the movies, or, I guess I should say, right out of the history books. It’s a massive affair, two-and-a-half stories high up on a raised foundation. With its porch and columns one can almost expect people dressed in the latest antebellum fashion to come walking out.
I walked under the porch and found it nice and cool. This is where I’d hang out on hot and sticky days.
The plantation was established way back in 1735, at the same time the house was built. The owner was a Frenchman, a French Huguenot, by the name of Noe Serre. At that time, the place was a two-story with a central. A later owner, Daniel Horry, expanded the building even adding a two-story ballroom! Other famous owners include the Pinckney and Rutledge families. Archibald Rutledge, SC’s first state poet laureate, was the last private owner. In 1971, it was acquired by the state.
One can tour the house, there’s a fee, but I opted not. I wanted to explore the grounds. It’s the remains of a colonial-era rice plantation. Most of the rice fields have reverted back to its natural state. It’s free to wander the grounds.
From the rear of the house, I wandered down a path toward Wambaw Creek and the remnants of those rice fields. There’s a two-mile loop trail, the Hampton Plantation Nature trail that circles an abandoned field. There’s a cool art/interpretive piece that allows one to see a slave cabin in the woods.
How to Get There: From US17, south of the Santee River, turn west onto RD857. Links: https://southcarolinaparks.com/hampton What's Close By: Santee Delta WMA Georgetown Francis Marion NF Cape Romain NWR