McLeod Plantation – James Island, South Carolina

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McLeod Plantation is located along the Wappoo Creek on James Island in Charleston County. It was named for William Wallace McLeod, who acquired the plantation in 1851.

McLeod Plantation

© July 2009 Beverly Christ of James Island

The plantation has had an especially important past serving as a hospital for the Confederacy, a camp for the famed 54th and 55th Massachusetts Volunteers, a burial ground for slaves and Union soldiers, and a headquarters office for the Freedmen’s Bureau. Until recently, it has also had a precarious future.

McLeod Plantation SC

© September 2011 Paul Mulkey of James Island

McLeod is unusual in that it lies in the heart of what is now a busy commercial district. The house, avenue of oaks, slave cabins, and lone remaining field are surrounded by a major highway, several fast food restaurants, a grocery store, and a multi-story medical complex.

The last living family member, William McLeod, died about 20 years ago. Having no heirs, he left his property to the Historic Charleston Foundation, hoping that this group would help preserve the plantation’s history and protect the land from development. In his will, he asked that the house remain a “single-family home” and that the foundation save “the Oak Avenues, and … provide that as much of the property as possible be restricted to single family residence or residences having the lowest possible density.”

Instead, the foundation decided to sell the property to the American College of Building Arts for use as a campus. The college, which was not financially stable despite receiving a large loan from the City of Charleston, eventually sold the plantation back to the Historic Charleston Foundation (a stipulation of the original sale).

The Historic Charleston Foundation then tried to sell McLeod Plantation to the College of Charleston, which planned to use the house for entertaining and the land for intramural sports. Strong opposition from Civil War historians, African-American historians, and the people of James Island led the college to forgo the purchase.

To the relief of the surrounding community, the plantation will be purchased by Charleston County Parks and Recreation later this month. The county plans to restore the site, which has fallen into disrepair, and open it for public use.

Beverly writes, “I grew up on James Island and many times as I passed this historical landmark, the word respite comes to mind – an interval of relief, or rest, as from pain, work, duty. The land is full of history with the earliest recordings in 1671.”

McLeod Plantation Info

Address: 325 Country Club Drive, Charleston, SC 29412

McLeod Plantation Map

McLeod Plantation – Add Info and More Photos

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6 Comments about McLeod Plantation

Patricia FoxworthNo Gravatar says:
February 13th, 2015 at 7:56 pm

I am of the McLeod descent and no one looked for me. I believe this a relative of my mother and family. Need to know more about the Mr. McLeod. Where can I find more information, please advise. Thanks.

Peter Joel Harrison / AuthorNo Gravatar says:
January 28th, 2014 at 7:20 am

I am very pleased you are restoring McLeod Plantation and look forward to visiting it. I am interested in the outbuildings, the privy in particular. After writing the book Garden Houses and Privies, it is nice to still find something I have not seen before.

J R StellingwerfNo Gravatar says:
July 23rd, 2013 at 9:20 pm

When will it be open to the public?

Curtis JonesNo Gravatar says:
June 13th, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I grew up on James Island and was always fascinated with the plantation. Where might I find more information on this property prior to 1851? Thank you.

J DavisNo Gravatar says:
May 15th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Where will any records be located of slaves that were born or buried there? Are there any records?

Kaye ShafferNo Gravatar says:
May 31st, 2012 at 11:56 am

Sounds good that Charleston County Parks will take over and hopefully preserve and give it the historical attention it so deserves. Your article is the first I’ve ever even heard of this history. thanks guys.


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