PoP's Southern Thangs: Historic Plantations Hit South Carolina Market In Tough Economy


Historic Plantations Hit South Carolina Market In Tough Economy

Via Kimberly

"Lord, please send me a rich Yankee"

The privately owned historic plantations that dot South Carolina's low country don't switch hands often, but a tough economy and generational changes in family ownership have resulted in a crowded market for the rare properties.

Finding buyers for the elite, antebellum plantations that once grew the indigo, rice and cotton that made South Carolina rich can prove quite the challenge.

Asking prices range from just over $3 million to $20 million for plantations of 350 acres to as many as 7,000 acres. Costly maintenance ups the financial pressure for any potential owner.

A plantation "is not for everybody," Charleston real estate broker Helen Geer said. "These places are very, very expensive to take care of, and people are cash-strapped right now."

At least eight plantations currently are for sale. They can be found at the end of gated, long dirt roads overhung by grand, centuries-old live oaks draped in Spanish moss.

Rural neighbors sometimes don't know the places exist, but they are heavy with history from colonial times through the Civil War.

The properties include Seabrook, a former sea island cotton plantation on Edisto Island with a house built in 1810 that once hosted General Lafayette. He attended a family christening and gave his name to the child, Carolina Lafayette Seabrook, whose portrait still hangs in the home.

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