In 1810 a home was built on Edisto Island that became the prototype for all other grand estates in the area.
The Federal-style home features two-and-a-half stories set upon a raised basement. The gabled roof has dormer windows with views of the vast marshland the surround the entirety of the plantation. Two guest houses, a home for the caretaker, various sheds for equipment, two docks, a tea house, and various greenhouses also make up the 350-acre estate.
When the home was built, it belonged to William Seabrook. He was a planter who made an incredible fortune off of Sea Island cotton. Hes credited with being one of the first planters to make use of the nutrient-rich mud found in the marsh to help fertilize the soil of his crops.
Seabrook is also responsible for starting a steamboat line that ran from Edisto to Charleston. Steamboat Landing road, which still exists to this day, provided access to the dock where Edistonians would wait for the ferry. In fact, if you pay a visit to Steamboat Landing, the plantation it is named for can be seen off in the distance.
You may also recognize the name from nearby Seabrook Island, property he once owned.
As for the plantation, throughout the years, the home changed ownership several times. During the period after the Civil War, the home was abandoned by its owners, and taken over by members of the Union Army who were using the home as staff headquarter and provost.
Once the Civil War ended, the house provided a place of refuge for freed slaves.
Over time, the home has been renovated various times to keep up with modern advancements and trends, but maintains an elegance befitting of its past.
Now, more than 200 years later, visitors and locals alike are encouraged to help preserve Seabrook Plantation and other ongoing preservation projects at the fourth annual gala and auction sponsored by the Edisto Museum from 6-9 p.m. April 5 at the plantation, located at 7311 Jenkins Hill Road.
The event features drinks, hors doeuvres, and a silent and live auction. Items available to bid on during the auction can be seen under the special events section of the museums website edistomuseum.org. Reservations are $75 and can be made online. Reservations are limited, so be sure to get a ticket before theyre all sold out.
If you cant make the event, take a drive out to Steamboat Landing, and envision what the area looked like 200 years ago when the Seabrooks called Edisto home.