There have been a few photographs and short articles here about the Hampton Plantation in the Santee Delta of South Carolina. Up until these images I had never been able to look inside the building, a ranger is not always on the property.
Building the initial structure first started in 1735. Final additions were the front porch and columns around 1790. During that time this was a rice and indigo plantation.
Note; Indigo was an important dye and crop to the world in the early 1700's, even long before Levi's jeans ! At first the dye plant was grown in the far east, then South America. Finally Eliza Lucas, the 16-year-old daughter of a wealthy planter, successfully cultivated indigo for the first time in the American colonies. It took years to find a suitable method for South Carolina, then the plant exhausted the ground quickly. New land was constantly taken from Native American tribes.
Below is from the entrance to main building. The house evolved over the years, the first part was a small central hall two story structure. Over time a two story ball room and a master suite were added. False shuttered windows were added for a symmetrical look outside.
The house is preserved as it was in 1971 when South Carolina received the property. Some walls and ceilings (below) were opened for expected repairs. None were needed based on the original solid construction. Black Cypress trees were used which are strong, do not burn well, and even swamp insects don’t cause damage.
The blue wall colors are similar to the original indigo blue that was used. Some of the walls still had the first indigo paint, my images didn’t catch the it though.
Being wealthy planters the wood work on the main floor was probably very expensive for the time. But why not, the plantation was in the middle of nowhere so what else do you have.
Above is an example of an early fireplace flue. Few houses had anything like this method to preserve the heat.
Last, I could only get a quick view of the ballroom.
Having taken a flat bottom marsh boat to get here we ran out of time and did not see the upstairs.
There are probably too many images in this article, I couldn’t help myself. This plantation is not just around the corner and the history here is amazing.
Hampton Plantation, Santee Delta, South Carolina.