Charleston Tea Plantation Wadmalaw Island
Note: We define a plantation as a large farm on which most of the work was done by slaves. Thus all the plantations we catalog were established before the Civil War.
The Charleston Tea Plantation was established in 1960 on a tract of land on Wadmalaw Island. It was never a plantation according to our definition, but we include it here because of public interest.
- Location Wadmalaw Island, Charleston County
Located on Maybank Highway (SC 700)
- Origin of name ?
- Current status Owned by R.C. Bigelow, Inc
- 1960 The Thomas J. Lipton Company purchased Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, South Carolina. The plantation had been abandoned since 1915. Thomas Lipton rescued the surviving tea plants and moved them to a research facility that had been constructed on Wadmalaw Island.
Mack Fleming, a horticultural researcher at Trident Technical College, was in charge of the operation. Lipton concluded, as the federal government had almost 150 years earlier, that the unstable climate and high costs of labor in South Carolina made American tea production unfeasible.
- 1987 Mack Fleming and William (Bill) Hall purchased the tea farm from their former employer, the Thomas J. Lipton Company.
- 2003 Due to differences of opinion and financial stress, Fleming and Hall decided to sell the tea farm. The Charleston Tea Plantation was auctioned off to R.C. Bigelow who paid $1.28 million.
- Number of acres 127
- Primary crop Tea
- Alphabetical list R.C. Bigelow; Mack Fleming and Bill Hall; Thomas J. Lipton Company
- Tours of Charleston Tea Plantation
- Bigelow buys Charleston Tea Plantation
- History of Tea in Charleston
- Initial references: See #1, 17
- Charleston Tea Plantation
6617 Maybank Highway
Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487
- Telephone: 843-559-0383