But if you take a tour of Boone Hall Plantation, you’ll learn a lot more than just the history of those who lived in the house. Boone Hall Plantation educates visitors on everything from the slaves that were on the property to how the main crops were grown.
The history of Boone Hall Plantation covers centuries, so read on to learn about the expansive history behind the estate.
Boone Hall Plantation History
Encompassing more than 700 acres, Boone Hall Plantation came about in 1681 when Englishman Major John Boone arrived in Charleston and established a lucrative plantation on the banks of Wampacheone Creek.
In 1743, the son of Major John Boone planted live oak trees, arranging them in two evenly spaced rows.
The massive, moss-draped branches now meet overhead, forming a natural scenic corridor that is unmatched in its splendor. One can easily be inspired by this stunning work of nature that reflects the charm of the Old South.
The plantation offers house tours, tractor tours and garden tours that meander throughout the property. Depending on the season, the gardens are simply spectacular.
I happened to visit when the azaleas were in bloom!
Boone Hall Plantation’s History With Slaves
Boone Hall Plantation does not skirt around the issue of slavery, but discusses it openly as part of the plantation’s history.
The Black History in America Exhibit at Boone Hall Plantation features nine historic dwellings that were built between 1790 and 1810. (Which is amazing!)
Visitors are able to see the different aspects of daily life, how black Americans worked and lived, as well as follow different periods of historical progression from their arrival in America up to present day.
Themes for each cabin are:
Cabin 1 – Praise House
Cabin 2 – Heritage Of Sweetgrass Baskets
Cabin 3 – Life & Family
Cabin 4 – Archaeological Discoveries
Cabin 5 – Work and Life
Cabin 6 – Emancipation & Freedom
Cabin 7 – Struggle For Civil Rights
Cabin 8 – Heroes and Leaders
Cabin 9 – Exploring The Gullah Culture
The slaves quarters at Boone Hall Plantation are some of a very few that still exist in the United States today. They are made of brick that was manufactured on the property.
Gullah Traditions Are A Part Of Boone Hall Plantation History
Boone Hall is the only plantation in the Charleston area to present a live presentation of the unique Gullah culture adapted by African slaves.
True descendants of the Gullah people present the history of this culture through storytelling, song, and dance. The presentation is not only educational, it is also entertaining, and at times…very moving.
I love learning about different cultures, and this presentation is highly recommended.
Boone Hall Plantation History Of The House
From the Avenue of Oaks, visitors will see the house sitting behind brick gateposts topped with ball finals. Formal wrought iron gates and a brick serpentine wall enclose the front courtyard of the house.
It’s not hard to imagine visitors arriving to the house in the 19th century by carriage, driving through the tunnel of oaks and past the slave quarters to the left of the road.
Behind the elaborate iron gates stands a beautiful, two-storied Colonial-Revival mansion. The house has a symmetrical façade, side-gabled roof, and a centered-entrance, accentuated by 4 columns.
Many people are surprised to learn that the mansion at Boone Hall wasn’t built until 1936. Nevertheless, the first floor showcases what a house would have looked like in the 18th century.
The home that once stood on the site of the current one was likely similar to a typical Lowcountry farmhouse instead of the grand mansion seen today. The original house was demolished by then-owner Canadian Ambassador Thomas Stone, who mentions in his diary that demolition was started on Thursday October 17, 1935.
In 1955, the current owners (the McRaes) bought the property, opening it up to the public in 1957.
The Gardens At Boone Hall Plantation
The main garden at Boone Hall Plantation is unique because of its elegant shape outlined with brick pathways and enclosed with a boxwood hedge along the perimeter. The section closer to the house is filled with a collection of camellias that are shaded by sweeping, white Crepe Myrtle trees.
Farther out is a collection of antique roses that are mixed with vibrant and colorful perennials and annuals.
The grounds of Boone Hall Plantation are stunning and are part of the reason it has earned the title of “America’s Most Photographed Plantation.”
They even have a small garden planted with cotton so that Northerners like me can see how it grows. I found that very interesting!
Of course, I could not do a post without showing a picture of at least one ancient tree. Imagine the things it has seen in the last 200 years!
You can plan to spend a few hours at Boone Hall, especially if you enjoy walking. Early mornings are especially pleasant.
If you don’t want to walk the grounds, you can take a plantation tractor tour across the entire 738 acres, and of course, see the diverse gardens which are a showcase of color throughout the year.
Boone Hall Plantation History With Hollywood
Needless to say, this Southern gem hasn’t escaped the notice of Hollywood!
Most people know it as the location for the legendary TV miniseries North and South, but the romantic movie The Notebook was also filmed on the planation grounds.
Boone Hall is said to have been the inspiration that inspired the entrance to Ashley Wilke’s Twelve Oak plantation in “Gone with the Wind.”
Visiting Boone Hall
Boone Hall Plantation is located in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., eight miles from downtown Charleston. It is one of the many plantations located around Charleston, South Carolina. If you have time, I highly recommend a visit to the nearby Middleton Place Plantation.
If you want to a see a beautiful Southern mansion but you live in Virginia, check out historic Long Branch Plantation.
Boone Hall Plantation
1235 Long Point Rd.
Mt. Pleasant, S.C. 29464
Each general admission ticket includes the following:
- Covered wagon tours across the entire property (as long as weather and road conditions allow)
- Live presentations of “Exploring The Gullah Culture”
- Guided tours of the first floor of the plantation home.
- Black History In America Exhibit on display in nine original slave dwellings
- History talks presented outdoors in front of historic dwellings
- Access to outdoor gardens
- NEW – Stable tours now available
- Free parking
Ticket prices as of this post are as follows:
- Regular Adult Admission $28
Children (6-12) $12
Children 5 and under admitted free with adult.
Getting To Boone Hall
DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON:
Take Highway 17 North towards Mt. Pleasant. Go approximately 7 miles and turn left onto Long Point Road. You will see signs for Boone Hall Plantation and Charles Pinckney NHS. Follow Long Point Road and the entrance to the site will be on the right.
DIRECTIONS FROM MYRTLE BEACH:
Take Highway 17 South towards Charleston. Turn Right onto Long Point Road. You will see signs for Boone Hall Plantation and Charles Pinckney NHS. Follow Long Point Road and the entrance to the site will be on the right
DIRECTIONS FROM I-26:
Take I-526 East towards Mt. Pleasant. Take the Long Point Road exit. At bottom of exit turn Left. The entrance to Boone Hall will be 2 miles up on the left.