Blake's Plantation - McClellanville Charleston County South Carolina SC

Blake's Plantation – McClellanville – Charleston County

Basic Information

  • Location – South Santee River, McClellanville, St. James Santee Parish, Charleston County

    Original plantation lands were located in what is today the Santee Coastal Reserve.

  • Origin of name – Named for owner, Arthur Middleton Blake

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – The land is part of the Santee Coastal Reserve managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.


  • 1732-1736 – Earliest known date of existence

    Several grants where issued for tracts ranging from 440 acres to 795 that would later become Blake's Plantation (2, p. 764).

  • ? – House built

  • ? – Dr. John Lining purchased three tracts which he combined into a 1,735 acre plantation (2, p. 764).

  • ? – Charles Mayne purchased the plantation from Dr. Lining (2, p. 764).

  • 1760 – Sampson Neyle purchased the property at auction after it had been seized after the death of Charles Mayne in this year (2, p. 764).

  • 1784 – Sampson Neyle added to the plantation's size but passed away without any living, male heirs. His will stipulated the plantation be sold. John Middleton bought the 4,630 acre plantation from the Neyle estate (2, p. 764).

  • 1843 – Arthur Middleton Blake purchased the plantation from the estate of John Middleton, his cousin (2, p. 763).

  • 1860 – Arthur Middleton Blake returned to England when the Civil War broke out. He died there in 1861 (2, p. 767).

  • 1862 – Blake's Plantation was a Confederate regimental headquarters used to protect ships running the blockade on the South Santee. US Navy steamers where fired upon from the plantation. Federal troops invaded, burning the buildings and about 100,000 bushels of rice. It was reported that nearly 400 slaves boarded the Navy steamers. One of the slaves, Robert Blake, later received the Medal of Honor for his service in the US Navy (3).

  • 1898 – Hugh R. Garden purchased the plantation with the intent that it become part of the Santee Club. The lands belonging to the Santee Club eventually consisted of twelve former rice plantations (1, p. 297) (2, p. 767).

  • Early 1970s – The Santee Club gave all 23,000 acres it owned to The Nature Conservancy (2, p. 769).

  • 1974 – The Nature Conservancy kept the Washo Reserve and turned over the balance of the land to be managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources as the Santee Coastal Reserve (2, p. 769).


  • Number of acres – 4,630 in 1784; 9,100 in 1859 (2, p. 763-764)

  • Primary crop – Rice (2, p. 763)


  • Number of slaves – 535 in 1859 (2, p. 763)

References & Resources

  1. Anne Baker Leland Bridges and Roy Williams III, St. James Santee, Plantation Parish: History and Records, 1685-1925 (Spartanburg, SC: Reprint Company, 1997)

  2. Suzanne Cameron Linder and Marta Leslie Thacker, Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2001), pp. 762-771.
     Order Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River

  3. Information contributed by Laura Jowdy from Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion", Vol. 13, Series I
Contact Information
  • Santee Coastal Reserve
    220 Santee Gun Club Road
    McClellanville, SC 29458

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