— Medway Plantation, East Elevation © Brandon Coffey —
- Location Back River (a branch of the Cooper River), Goose Creek, St. James Goose Creek Parish, Berkeley County
Located three miles east of US 52 on Medway Road
- Origin of name Wanda W. Smith shares, "It has always been my understanding that the plantation was named "Medway" after the Medway River that flows near Exeter, England, the home of Thomas Smith, the first Landgrave [a Landgrave was the head of a territory]."
- Other names Jan Van Arrsen's House
- Current status Privately owned, not open to the public; home to many bird colonies and protected with conservations easements prohibiting commercial development
- 1686 Earliest known date of existence
John D'Arrsens, from Holland, was granted land and all the rights of Barony by the Lords Proprietors (3, p. 2).
- 1686 House built by John D'Arrsens (3, p. 2)
- ? John D'Arrsens died a short time after acquiring the grant and his widow married Thomas Smith. D'Arrsens' land holdings were granted by the Lords Proprietors to Thomas Smith, Landgrave (a Landgrave was the head of a territory) (1).
- ? Elizabeth and Edward Hyrne acquired the property.
- 1704 The house burned (5, p. 18).
- 1705 New house built by Elizabeth and Edward Hyrne (5, p. 18).
- ? The Hyrnes encountered legal and financial woes. These including never obtaining a clear title to the Medway property. As a result, Medway was returned to Thomas Smith II (5, p. 19).
- ? Thomas Drayton owned the plantation and sold it to John Bee Holmes (1).
- 1797 Holmes did not pay his taxes and Medway was sold by the sheriff to Theodore Samuel Marion (8, p. 68).
- 1827 Theodore Samuel Marion died willing his estate to Theodore Samuel Dubose, his grandson (1).
Marion added a second story to the house and his wife, Jane Porcher, is credited for planting the large trees around the house (1).
- ? "Carolina Grey" brick was produced at Medway and was used in the building of Fort Sumter.
- 1833 Peter Gaillard Stoney purchased Medway (1).
- 1855 Stoney added a wing to the house (1).
- 1906 Samuel Gaillard Stoney bought the plantation from the estate of his uncle, Peter Gaillard Stoney (8, p. 69).
- 1929 Medway was sold to Sidney and Gertrude Legendre for $100,000. They added extensively to the outbuildings and improved the interior of the house (1 and 13).
- Medway Plantation has been declared an Important Bird Area by Audubon for the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, Wood Ducks, and wintering Ring-necked Ducks that make the plantation their home.
- 2000 Bokara Legendre inherited the plantation from her mother (13).
- 2012 Tradeland Investors Inc., owned by Gregory Callimanopulos and his family, purchased the plantation for $11 million dollars. The plantation had originally been placed for sale in 2004 for $25 million (13).
— Medway Plantation, West Elevation © Brandon Coffey —
- Number of acres 12,000 in 1689; 6,695 in 2012
- Primary crops Rice until 1865. It then became a cotton plantation.
- The plantation boasts two avenue of oaks.
- An old race track can still be traced on the grounds from when Peter Stoney raised thoroughbred horses (SC TriCounty Genealogy Site).
- The cemetery is very close to the old house, which is now shaded by giant oaks and climbing ivy. The graves of Thomas Smith, Sabina Smith, Sidney Hennings Legendre, Reverend Elias Prioleau, and Samuel Prioleau are located there (SC TriCounty Genealogy Site).
- Many ghosts are said to walk inside the low-ceiling rooms with the large fireplaces and narrow windows. At one of the windows, it is said, one can see the shadowy image of a lady who sits and waits for the return of her husband. Some have claimed to have seen an old gentleman seated in front of the fireplace smoking his pipe.
- The plantation contains a formal garden laid out in the early 1900s.
— Medway Plantation Avenue of Oaks © Brandon Coffey —
- Alphabetical list Ball, Chapman, John D'Arrsens (1686), DeVignon, DeWeivnhoudt, Thomas Drayton, Theodore Samuel Dubose (1827-?), Durant, Frank, Fripp, James Hasell, John Bee Holmes (?-1797), Elizabeth and Edward Hyrne (1705), Bokara Legendre (2000-2012), Sidney and Gertrude Legendre (1929-2000), Aaron Loocock, Theodore Samuel Marion (1797-1827), Philbrick, Prioleau, Abraham Satur, Thomas Smith, Thomas Smith II, Spears, Stevens, Peter Gaillard Stoney (1833-?)), Samuel Gaillard Stoney (1906-?), Tradeland Investors Inc. (2012-present), Sabina de Vignonm (1686), James Wathen, John Wright
- Number of slaves ?
- The house remains and is reported to be the oldest masonry house in South Carolina. A second floor addition and wings were later added (National Register, p. 2).
- The plantation contains a number of 19th century auxiliary buildings, including a plantation school and servants' houses.
- Brandon Coffey shares that lore suggests the reason the roof line was designed with a stair-step gables to allow evil spirits to be able walk away from the house easily and leave it in peace.
— Medway Plantation, South Elevation © Brandon Coffey —
References & Resources
- Brief history of Medway Plantation from the South Carolina TriCounty Genealogy Site: Click here
- Audubon Site Profile: Click here
- National Register of Historic Places
Nomination form - PDF - submitted in 1970
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
- Virginia Christian Beach, Medway (Charleston, SC: Wyrick and Company, 1998)
- Claude Henry Neuffer, editor, Names in South Carolina, Volume I through 30 (Columbia, SC: The State Printing Company)
Order Names in South Carolina, Volumes I-XII, 1954-1965
Order Names in South Carolina, Index XIII-XVIII
- John Beaufain Irving, A Day on Cooper River (1842) (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2010)
- SC Highway Historical Marker Guide - online database by the SC Department of Archives & History
- Catherine Campart Messmer, South Carolina's Low Country - A Past Preserved Text (Orangeburg, SC: Sandlapper Publishing, 1988)
- J. Russell Cross, Historic Ramblin's through Berkeley (Columbia, SC: R.L. Bryan Company, 1985)
Order Historic Ramblin's through Berkeley
- News & Courier Newspaper (predecessor to the Charleston Post & Courier) February 26, 1933 issue reprint of Free South April 4, 1863 listing of St. Helena Island plantation sales prior to the Civil War
- John P. McDermott, Historic Medway Plantation near Goose Creek sells for $11 million, (Charleston Post & Courier newspaper: April 12, 2012)