Note; this is an incredible piece of history. The article is long, but fascinating.
This is the remains of one of the oldest plantations, Comingtee (later Ball’s plantation). It took us a long time, and very detailed directions, to finally find the property.
A land grant was given to Captain John Coming in 1669. The property was at the ‘T’ of the Cooper River, hence the name Comingtee.
The house dates to 1738, built by Elias Ball, Comings nephew. This place has tales throughout the history of the US. A well known book ‘Slaves In The Family‘ was published in 1998 by Edward Ball, a direct descendant. A family history, as well as the slaves, is documented back through the plantation and family origins.
The original entrance trail, from the Cooper River still exists,as well as the front gate posts, and the tree said to be the home of ghosts. Many stories talk about meeting spirits ‘at the gate’ area.
There were stories of buried treasure. Treasure hunters worked over the years finding nothing.
Until it was finally found, the lost Chapel silver. A treasure hunt that actually ended well.
Above is Strawberry Chapel that served the plantations out here. Today it is privately owned and maintained, an amazing piece of history.
The chapel silver was from 1685 and presented by the French Huguenots of Charleston.
In 1865, the US Civil War, Sherman’s troops were marching from Georgia (not far from here) towards Charleston. Keating Ball and his man servant Friday took the chapel silver and hid the box at Comingtee. The union troops did not burn the chapel, or plantation, but everything was looted.
The silver was well hidden and could not be found after the troops moved further north.
It was found in the 1940’s, by new owners, hidden in the old ruined mill. Click here to see details of the find on the South Carolina Picture Project (historical archives). You can find other images from me in the archive as well as an interview by a friend with the person who found the treasure.
When not out shooting wildlife we like to explore and photograph the history all around us. Tales like this make for a great adventure.