— Rose Hill Plantation © William Kirk, 2009 —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)
Much of the information on this page was contributed by Robert and Robin White.
- Location Colleton River, Bluffton, St. Luke's Parish, Beaufort County
Located on Rose Hill Way off US 278
- Origin of name Two theories have surfaced over the years regarding the name Rose Hill. One is that the plantation was named after a little girl (Rose) in the 1830s. More recent information suggests the name comes from John Rose, the plantation's owner in the late 1700s to early 1800s (7).
- Other names Kirk's Folly, John Kirk House, Rose Hill Mansion
- Current status Privately owned, available for special occasions, and open for tours by reservation
- 1718 Earliest known date of existence
Granted to Sir John Colleton. It was once a part of Devil's Elbow Barony.
- 1790 The plantation became under the ownership of John Rose (7).
- 1799 Upon Rose's death, the plantation was inherited by his step son, James Kirk (7).
- 1830s The plantation was given to Dr. John and Caroline Kirk as a wedding present from Caroline's father James Kirk.
- 1858 House built (completed in 1860) by Dr. John and Caroline Kirk (7).
- 1946 John and Betsy Gould Sturgeon purchased the house and completed it in a highly sophisticated manner.
- 1981 Rose Hill Plantation Development Company, a David and John Welton pursuit, purchased the land for development of a planned residential community (8).
Mrs. Welton spent nine months working with a rehabilitation team which repaired and completed an extensive rehabilitation of the house (8).
- 1982 The house was opened to the public for tours (8).
- 1987 A fire severely damaged the house and it would sit empty for nearly a decade (1, part 2).
- 1996 Rose Hill Plantation House was purchased by the Middleton-White Foundation and is currently being restored as a private home.
- 2009 Rose Hill Plantation House has been lovingly restored by Rusty and Robin White of the Middleton-White Foundation.
- Number of acres 12.5 in 1996 (1, part 2)
- Primary crop Sea island cotton
- Chronological list Sir John Colleton (1718-?); John Rose (1790-1799); James Kirk (1799-1830s); Dr. John and Caroline Kirk (1830s-?); Pinckney; John and Betsy Gould Sturgeon (1946-?); Rose Hill Plantation Development Company/Welton (1980-?); Robert L. and Robin White (1996-present)
- Number of slaves 154 (7).
- The house is of Gothic Revival design. Although a 1987 fire severely damaged the home, much of the original characteristics and materials have been salvaged and restored. Click here to see photos of the house and grounds.
References & Resources
- Brief History of Rose Hill Plantation: 1 | 2
- National Register of Historic Places
Nomination form - PDF - submitted in 1983
Photographs, architectural overview
- 30-15 Plantation File, held by the South Carolina Historical Society
- William P. Baldwin Jr., Plantations of the Low County: South Carolina 1697-1865 (Westbrook, ME: Legacy Publishing, 1994)
Order Plantations of the Low County: South Carolina 1697-1865
- Lawrence S. Rowland, Alexander Moore, and George C. Rogers, Jr. The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: Volume 1, 1514-1861 (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1996)
Order The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: Volume 1, 1514-1861
- Carolina W. Todd and Sidney Wait, South Carolina: A Day at a Time (Orangeburg, SC: Sandlapper Publishing Company, 2008)
- Information contributed by Robin White
- Information contributed by Iva Welton
- Rose Hill Mansion
199 Rose Hill Way
Bluffton, SC 29910
Website: Click here
More about Beaufort County
- Learn more about historic Beaufort County, including the lovely town of Beaufort SC as well as Hilton Head. We have helpful guides to Beaufort SC history and Beaufort SC libraries and museums – plus Beaufort SC restaurants, Beaufort SC bed & breakfasts, Beaufort SC hotels, and Beaufort SC real estate.