Middleton Place



Middleton Place, on the Ashley River which provided access to the outside world, is a carefully preserved 18th-century rice plantation.
Henry Middleton owned a total of 800 slaves, 50,000 acres, and 20 plantations; Middleton Place was only one of them.
The 1741-started gardens in the French and English traditions were created by 100 slaves over 10 years (in the off-season).
The one 900-year old life oak and the many trees over 400 years old were incorporated into the design of the gardens.

The Big House was destroyed by Union soldiers and the 1886 earthquake.

The historic marker tells the story of this plantation, among whose owners was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Only one of the three residential strucutures was rebuilt in the 1870s.

Slaves, who were experienced growing rice in West Africa, drained the cypress swamps for paddy rice all along the South Carolina coast.
Rice was the most lucrative crop before cotton became associated with plantation agriculture.
The flooding of the paddies occurred as the ocean high tides pushed the sweet river water through the canals; at low tides, the paddies were drained.

The rest of the plantation consists of family buildings and one restored wooden slave cabin.


 


Created by Ingolf Vogeler on 5 March 1997.