Middleburg Plantation is listed as a National Historic Landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was added in 1970. The existing house at Middleburg was built in 1697 by Benjamin Simons, a French Huguenot planter and is located on a 326 acre parcel on the east branch of the Cooper River in Berkeley County, South Carolina outside of Charleston.
The nearest possible dating of the construction of the Middleburg house is found in the Bible record of the first of the Simon's children. The records state that the fourth child was born in December, 1697 in the house of "Maptica" but that "the fifth child is a girl born on Tuesday, 21st of April, 1699, at 6 o'clock in the evening in the house at Middleburg Plantation."
Although the entry road to the Middleburg Plantation stops short of the Cooper River, the boundry line continues directly northwest to the river. The Avenue of Oaks date from about 1832.
Aerial View of Middleburg Plantation
The property includes a 2500 square foot, six bedroom house, former slave quarters and the remains of other outbuildings and remains including a stable, servant's quarters, toll office and threshing yard.
The main residence is considered the oldest surviving wooden plantation dwelling in South Carolina. The Records of the National Register of Historic Places notes that Middleburg Plantation "appears to have been virtually unaltered since the end of the 18th century. Middleburg Plantation was named after the city of Middleburg, Zeeland, Netherlands where the builder and owner Benjamin Simons spent a portion of his youth.
There are a number of ponds and lakes on the property.
Plantation house with remains of servants quarters and the kitchen at rear. Estate inventories for Benjamin Simons II and Benjamin Simons III lists 87 slaves as living at Middleburg in 1772 and 89 in 1789. The house plan measurements together with the centrally located chimney suggests that the buildings were duplexes with two rooms measuring 14.8 feet square. The 1786 map shows three rows of houses.
The Commissary - 3rd. quarter of 18th century. Original site of slave cabins.
Babson Map of 1786 showing Middleburg Plantation & location of structures.
Mechanized Rice Mill
The area immediately around the Plantation House provides one of the most remarkable of "low-country" plantation environments remaining intact, representing extremely well the nature of the area on which developed the important example of early architecture we have in that house.
All 326 acres of the plantation have been granted to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, but 4 acres have been left open in case a future owner wants to build a modern home or other amenities on the site. The current owner purchased the property in 1981. Very few homes designated as a National Historic Landmark come on the market. Middleburg Plantation was on the market briefly in 2007 for $9.9 million. One of the last to become available and sell was the historic Carter's Grove Plantation in Virginia was sold by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 2007. The two story 1750s brick Georgian home on 400 acres was sold to CNet founder Halsey Minor for $15.3 million. Like Middleburg Planation, Carter Grove was sold with preservation easements to protect both the house and the property from development incompatible with its historic character. Reportedly, Minor planned on raising thoroughbred on the property. The 12 bedroom home required minor changes, upgraded plumbing, a new kitchen and a downstairs bath that was to be added by a New York firm that specializes in classical and traditional design.
Looking out from the front room at Middleburg Plantation. A small restored portion of one of the front porch columns is thought to have been a repair to damage caused by the sword of a British soldier who stabbed it with his bayonet during the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, two confederate generals signed a pane in the front window just before they fled from oncoming Union gunboats according to the present owner. Many of the main house's windows are original and still have a greenish tint.Take a tour of the interior of this historically important South Carolina Plantation home.
Excavations Conducted At Middleburg Plantation
Video Tour Of Middleburg Plantation By Bob Vila
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