South Carolina Picture Project

Comingtee Plantation Ruins – Cordesville, South Carolina

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The ruins of this plantation stand along the Cooper River in the 11,000-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area. The tract is composed of acreage from Comingtee and Stoke plantations, two distinct but associated parts of the same larger plantation. Comingtee Plantation is one of South Carolina’s earliest plantations, established on land granted to Captain John Coming of England in 1669. The tract sits where the east and west branches of the Cooper River form a ‘T’, which gave the property the name of Coming’s T; the name was later altered to Comingtee. Following the death of Coming in 1695 and his wife, Affra, in 1698, Comingtee came under the ownership of Coming’s nephew, Elias Ball. Ball eventually built the plantation home at Comingtee in 1738 and later a brick addition, the ruins of which remain in the Bonneau Ferry WMA (seen below).

Comingtee Plantation Ruins

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Comingtee was a rice plantation, and the growing of rice depended on a property’s proximity to a tidal river and the work of many slaves. The average cotton plantation used the labor of around 25 slaves, while rice plantations required about 225. Many plantation owners added rice mills to their property to aid in the production of the rice. The rice mill seen below was built in the late 1820s or early 1830s. It was in operation by the early 1830s and was built of three course common bond, which became prevalent in this part of South Carolina in the 1830s.

Stoke Rice Mill

Kenneth Dodds of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The mill and surrounding outbuildings, including a barn, a well, and slaves’ quarters, were referred to as “Stoke,” though the grounds were part of Comingtee Plantation, and the plantation house was called Comingtee. Stockentine Head in Devonshire, England – also spelled Stokentin Head – was Elias Ball’s birthplace. It is widely suspected that Ball named this section of Comingtee for his ancestral home, as geographical features near Stockentine Head are called “Stoke,” such as Stoke Ford.

Stoke Rice Mill Ruins

Kenneth Dodds of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Comingtee remained in the Ball family until it was purchased in 1927 by United States Senator Joseph S. Frelingheysen of New Jersey for use as a hunting lodge. In 1949 West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company (later Mead Westvaco) bought the property, and unfortunately, the plantation house was then left to fall into disrepair. Mead Westvaco then sold Comingtee to the South Carolina Department of Resources in 2004. The SCDNR still owns and manages the property, which consists of pine savannas, bottomland hardwood forests, and wetlands. The ruins of the rice mill (above) and the plantation home (below) are open to the public on days excluding scheduled hunts.

Comingtee Ruins Interior

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures of the Comingtee Plantation Ruins

Comingtee Plantation Historic LOC

Comingtee Plantation

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Comingtee Plantation

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Comingtee Plantation

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Comingtee Plantation is listed in the National Register as part of the Cooper River Historic District:

The Cooper River Historic District, which is a 30,020-acre section of the region centered along both branches of the Cooper River, is a remarkably intact historic and cultural landscape. In the mid-eighteenth century, the Cooper River served not only as a principal transportation route for plantation goods, services and people, but also played a vital role in the successful production of rice. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries most of the plantations in the district were acquired by wealthy Northerners looking for a warmer climate in which they could create hunting preserves for their own pleasure and leisure-time activities. These new owners left their mark on the landscape by building stately new residences but they also played an important role in preserving the earlier landscape. Many historic buildings, structures, and objects from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries are still standing, and archaeological remains of settlements, machines, barns, and other structures that supported agricultural activity are generally intact. In addition, landscape features such as rice fields, banks, canals, dams, reservoirs or reserves, causeways, roads, avenues, upland fields, fence lines, and cemeteries – many of them present on eighteenth and early nineteenth century plats and maps – can be seen on the ground today. Numerous outbuildings are also included with several of the properties.

Comingtee Plantation Ruins Info

Address: Comingtee Road, Cordesville, SC 29434
GPS Coordinates: 33.078414,-79.924649

Comingtee Plantation Ruins Map

Comingtee Plantation Ruins – Add Info and More Photos

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