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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.

Katherine Schneider of Mount Pleasant, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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.

Hampton Plantation SC

Carmen Pinckney of Ridgeland, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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 Harriott 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!

Sharon Cumbee of Shulerville, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on the Washington Oak

Special thanks to Katherine Schneider of Mount Pleasant, who painted Evening Shadows at Hampton Plantation in July 2009. You can see more of her artwork by visiting Paint Charleston Daily.

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

Hampton Plantation – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Hampton Plantation, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

12 Comments about Hampton Plantation

Sally Simmons Wilson says:
March 13th, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Having lived in the South my entire life…from the mountains of North Carolina to the coastal area of South Carolina…..Hampton Plantation is one of my top favorite places. Located along Santee River Delta and Hampton Creek you find a place of beauty and solitude. A good book to anyone to read is 'Home by the River' by Archibald Rutledge. He gives the history of Hampton….his years there as a child….to his return and restoratioin of Hampton.

As far as the 'dark history'…..there is dark history surrounding each of us whether in our personal family hisotiries or local or regional.

However as a native Southerner my opinion has been one that we have no one apologizes and have nothing to be ashamed of. Can we learn from the past???….most certainly we can……life changes and we change with it. However to sit in judgement of the generations who came before us is not fair. For to be fair the generations who came before would need to sit in judgment of us who are living today. For many of us…….we might not like what they have to tell us.

Live the life we are given….give thanks each day for what we recieve ….and try to leave this world a better place…… for our days here are numbered.

Bill Hills says:
March 13th, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Hampton sits on Hampton Creek, not Wambaw Creek. Fyi.
As far as dark history…..every historic era has dark sides. Look for the good. Get on with life, don't own slaves, treat people good, enjoy this great life.

Tegan A Beechey says:
October 30th, 2015 at 3:14 am

Reminding people of the darkness in our shared past is the opposite of burying the past. As for political correctness, it is just another term for respect. It is your fellow citizens asking you to consider their feelings. You can decide not to, all you are guilty of is being rude. I would hardly call respect and manners fascism, and I think the people who have died at the hands of fascism would agree.

Ella Simon says:
May 13th, 2015 at 11:49 pm

Some people may look at these big house as beautiful plantation homes as beautiful that is only on the out side, but there has been has been a lot of innocent blood shed, If their children were the slaves who instead of the slave master I wonder how beautiful these houses would look than. A rose maybe beautiful but if you’re not careful you might get stick by it thorns and thistles which could cause you to bleed. Matthew 8:21…21 Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." 22But YAHUSHUA/Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead
Luke 9:60
Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
Let Spirititualy dead bury the physically dead in today's world people spirtitualy deadand they are physically killing each other.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
December 29th, 2014 at 9:31 am

Hi, Tiara. Hampton Plantation in a SC State Historic Site. For more information on visiting the property, go to the website above the map.

TiaraNo Gravatar says:
December 28th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Do they allow receptions or events, and if so, what are the price ranges?

T. A. SterplazNo Gravatar says:
September 1st, 2014 at 12:13 pm

A very nice plantation home, especially from the mid 1750s. Would be fun and educational, and a nice life memory to live there for about a year, just to get the “flavor” of the place. Too bad it’s now being called a “interpretive site” so that history can be politicized. The house, its architecture, history of people who lived in the house, and the history of county and area should be the focus.

Pamela CompherNo Gravatar says:
November 1st, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I spent the afternoon at this wonderful place; time is frozen here. I felt like I’d stepped out of Gone With the Wind, sitting on the front portico rocking on the joggling board. I loved every minute of my visit. Please, South Carolina, do not do not change a thing – leave it natural and untouched. The history here is so overwhelming.

victoria campaniniNo Gravatar says:
October 7th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I love visiting Hampton plantation and reading “Gods Children.” My great-great-great grandfather was a slave by the name of Prince Alston who married a Boykin. I love learning the history.

Sally SpitzliNo Gravatar says:
August 3rd, 2012 at 4:15 pm

In 1958 I wrote a biography of Archibald Rutledge for an English assignment. I wrote him requesting an interview and a few weeks later my parents took me to Hampton on a chilly March Sunday. We spent the afternoon with him, walking around the property and then sitting in his personal living room having a cup of tea and cookies. Mr. Rutledge and his wife were so gracious. Before we left his home, he gave me two autographed books–“Santee Paradise” and “The Everlasting Light.” I treasure these books, as well as the memory of that beautiful day when I was privileged to spend time with Mr. Rutledge.

Dodie SchuetzNo Gravatar says:
February 22nd, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Love this picture! My mother’s family were the Rutledges of South Carolina and she had, which I now have, a copy of “Home by the River” inscribed to “my dear cousin Yvonne”, by Archibald, with whom she had frequent correspondence. I was lucky enough to visit Hampton some years ago. Beautiful place!

L. W. BagwellNo Gravatar says:
April 14th, 2011 at 7:28 am

I met Mr. Rutledge at his home in Spartanburg when I was in high school. I had read most all his books. He was very kind to two young kids that just wanted to meet him.

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