Hampton Plantation – McClellanville, South Carolina
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Hampton Plantation sits along the Wambaw Creek in McClellanville, inviting visitors in to wander its sprawling grounds. The Georgian home was built in 1735 and expanded in 1757. Once a wealthy rice plantation, it is now an interpretive site where people can learn about the history of slavery and rice.
Many prominent South Carolina families have lived at Hampton Plantation, including the Horrys, Pinckneys, and Rutledges. President George Washington even visited the plantation in 1791, which is how the great “Washington Oak” in front of the house received its name.
Today, the plantation is perhaps best known for having been the home of noted South Carolina author Archibald Rutledge.
Hampton Plantation is listed in the National Register, which says the following:
(Hampton Plantation State Park) Hampton, erected in 1735, greatly enlarged after 1757, and with final additions made in 1790-91, is an excellent example of a modest sized frame structure that evolved through organic growth into a large, unified Georgian frame country house. The structure includes one of the earliest examples of the use of the giant portico in American domestic architecture, and Hampton is South Carolina’s finest example of a large two-and-one-half story frame Georgian plantation house. The original house was a four-room center hall structure, with two more rooms on the second floor, built by Noe Serre, a Huguenot settler. The one-and-one-half story frame building on raised brick foundations was 40 feet long and 34 feet deep, and had two interior chimneys.
In 1757, the plantation came into the possession of Daniel Horry through marriage, and shortly thereafter he more than doubled the size of the original house. A second full story was added and extensions made to both ends, bringing the structure to its present size. The present hipped roof, with two dormers in front and rear, was built over the entire house, and each new wing had an interior chimney. In 1790-91, the south façade assumed its present unified appearance, when a six column wide giant portico and pediment were added across the center portion of the original house. Rosettes, panels, and flutings adorn the frieze of the portico, and the pediment contains a circular window with four keystones.
Washington Oak – Hampton Plantation
The famous Washington Oak stands on the grounds of Hampton Plantation. According to legend, the tree received its name when Eliza Pinckney Horry asked President Washington whether she should have the tree removed. She was concerned that it blocked the view from the house. Washington told her she should leave the tree, and thus it remains today.
Over time, the oak has grown to be a beautiful, massive tree. Now, instead of blocking the view, it is the view!
Reflections on the Washington Oak
Katherine writes, “I took advantage of the cooler weather today to paint “en plein air” (on location) at Hampton Plantation State Historical Site. The magnificent Washington Oak framing the plantation house’s stately front portico with moss draped branches is the subject I chose to paint this afternoon. The tree is said to have been saved from being cut down to provide a better view from the newly built front portico by President George Washington during his visit to Hampton Plantation in 1791.
“Now a mighty live oak, the tree was named in his honor. The lengthening evening shadows falling through the tree’s branches and across the front lawn create an interesting value contrast in my plein air painting of Hampton Plantation, the stately home of South Carolina’s first poet laureate, Archibald Rutledge.”
Hampton Plantation Info
Address: 1950 Rutledge Road, McClellanville, SC 29458
GPS Coordinates: 33.198333,-79.437778
Hampton Plantation Map
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