— Rose Hill Plantation © William Kirk 2009 — submitted by Robert and Robin White —
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 1830's. More recent information suggests the name comes from John Rose, the plantation's owner in the late 1700's to early 1800's.
- 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
- 1799 Upon Rose's death, the plantation was inherited by his step son, James Kirk.
- 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
- 1946 John and Betsy Gould Sturgeon purchased the house and completed it in a highly sophisticated manner.
- 1980 Rose Hill Plantation Development Company, a Welton family pursuit, purchased the land for development of a planned residential community.
- 1986 The house was opened to the public for tours, and an extensive rehabilitation of the house was completed.
- 1987 A fire severely damaged the house and it would sit empty for nearly a decade.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Brief History of Rose Hill Plantation: Click here
- National Register of Historic Places
Nomination form - PDF - submitted in 1983
Photographs, architectural overview
- Initial references: See #1, 2, 38, 44
- 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.