In its heyday, Beneventum Plantation was one of the first successful rice plantations in Georgetown, the 3rd oldest city in South Carolina. At the time, one-half the world’s rice was grown and supplied from this area.
The plantation dates to the mid 1740’s when the original house was built and the land was owned by Christopher Gadsden. The original house is the oldest plantation home in Georgetown County that remains intact.
Gadsden was a representative of the Carolina Colony and a revolutionist who was most noted for designing the famous “Don’t Tread on Me” flag bearing a rattlesnake. He eventually became Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.
The plantation was sold to at least two other prominent men including John Julius Pringle and Joel Roberts Poinsett( for whom the poinsettia is named). The house underwent extensive renovation and additions in the early 1800’s. Winston Churchill has stayed there.
In 2006, Miller-Few Investments LLC teamed with the current plantation owner to create a joint venture. Their vision is to develop the 190 acre tract into a private planned community along the Black River, using the plantation home as the heart of their vision. The home is currently on the National Historic Registry.
Shouldering the plantation are more than 460 massive oak trees draped with Spanish moss. One such grove surrounds the house and provides shade and privacy. The home faces the Black River and what used to be rice fields, now marsh with remnants of the rice canals still in existence. Many of the oaks are more than 300 years old. To guard the integrity of the trees, all homesites will provide building pads so that the homes will fit amid the trees rather than causing them to be taken down.
Plans for the historic home include it to serve as a private Bed and Breakfast used exclusively by property owners and their guests. Portions of the downstairs will be converted into a “museum” displaying artifacts and history of the renowned plantation. An area of the home will also be converted into a gathering place for property owners.
For boaters, there will be a series of docks and a River Club House which will feature a pavilion type set up with fish cleaning stations, cooking facilities and a gathering place for family and friends.
Formal gardens will grace the property surrounding the plantation house and will be encased by a crushed shell road surrounding the home. Quiet sitting areas will be strategically placed throughout the property for the owners’ enjoyment. Historic brick and period architectural design techniques will be used, including arches and walkways reminiscent of colonial times. A swimming pool to match the colonial design scheme will also be constructed.
Several lagoons will grace the property and homesites which will surround them. In addition to the lagoon views, these homesites will offer views of cypress swamps, woods, river, and the marsh.
Residents will share the tranquility of this property and all common areas. Walking trails will invite them to experience nature first hand. In essence, Beneventum Plantation will offer them the opportunity to live and share a piece of this benevolent history.