Magnolia Plantation - West Ashley Charleston County South Carolina SC

Magnolia Plantation – West Ashley – Charleston County

Magnolia Plantation House - Charleston County, South Carolina
— Magnolia Plantation © John Diskes
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Basic Information

  • Location – Ashley River, West Ashley, St. Andrew's Parish, Charleston County

    Located at 3550 Ashley River Road (Highway 61)

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – Magnolia on the Ashley

  • Current status – Open to the public

Magnolia Plantation House - Charleston County, South Carolina
— Magnolia Plantation House © Brandon Coffey
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)


  • 1672 – Earliest known date of existence

    Morris Matthews received a grant for 750 acres along the Ashley River. This property would become part of Drayton Hall Plantation and Magnolia Plantation (National Register, p. 3).

  • ? – Stephen Fox acquired the property.

    His daughter, Ann, married Thomas Drayton, Jr. From this point on the Drayton family would own the property for the next 300 years.

  • 1680s – The first house on the property was built by Thomas and Ann Drayton.

    A small garden was laid out to complement the design of the house.

  • 1717 – Thomas Drayton, Jr. died. The plantation went to his eldest son.

    John Drayton, another son, purchased land next to Magnolia and proceeded to create Drayton Hall Plantation.

  • 1774 – The eldest son died. His brother, John Drayton, bought Magnolia from William Drayton, his nephew.

  • 1779 – Magnolia and Drayton Hall were ransacked during the American Revolution by British General Augustine Prevost.

    John Drayton attempted to flee the plantation with his family. Unfortunately, upon crossing the Cooper River he had a seizure and died.

    Thomas Drayton inherited Magnolia from his father along with Ocean Plantation on the Coosawhatchie River.

  • 1825 – Thomas Drayton died at the age of sixty-seven.

    Since he never had any sons he decided to the leave the plantation to two of his grandsons (Thomas and John Grimke) on the condition that they take the name Drayton.

    John Grimke became sole owner when his brother died of a gunshot wound.

  • 1843 – Reverend John Grimke Drayton began planting Camellia Japonica (camellias) on the property. He later added Azalea Indica (azaleas) to create one of the most famous gardens in the Charleston area (National Register, p. 2).

  • 1865 – The house was destroyed by fire.

  • 1873 – Reverend Drayton owned a summer house in Summerville. He had the house dismantled, loaded on barges, and floated down the Ashley River. It was reassembled in the same spot as the previous house.

  • 1890 – Reverend John Grimke Drayton died. He willed the plantation to his daughter, Julia Drayton Hastie and her children. Like his grandfather, he did not have any sons to carry on the name of Drayton.

  • ? – C. Norwood Hastie, son of Julia Drayton Hastie, owned the plantation.

  • 1951 – C. Norwood Hastie died and left the plantation to his two sons, John Drayton Hastie and C. Norwood Hastie, Jr.

  • 1975 – John Drayton Hastie bought out his older brother's share.

  • 2003 – John Drayton Hastie died. The plantation is now managed by a Board of Directors consisting of John Drayton Hastie's two children and five grandchildren.

Magnolia Plantation Garndern's Home - Charleston County, South Carolina
— The Gardner's Home at Magnolia Plantation © Vanessa Kauffmann
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)


  • Number of acres – 390 in 1972

  • Primary crop – Rice


  • Number of slaves – ?


Magnolia Plantation Garndern's Home - Charleston County, South Carolina
— Magnolia Plantation & Gardens © David Vanover, 2010 —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

References & Resources

  1. Magnolia Plantation: Click here

  2. National Register of Historic Places
    Nomination form - PDF - submitted in 1972
    Photographs, architectural overview

  3. Slave Cabin Project Unites Living History with Preservation - Joseph McGill, a program officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, documents his overnight stay in a slave cabin at Magnolia Plantation in May 2010

  4. Rosina Sottile Kennerty, Plantations on the South Side of Ashley River (Charleston, SC: The Nelson Printing Corporation, 1983)
     Order Plantations on the South Side of Ashley River

  5. Catherine Campart Messmer, South Carolina's Low Country - A Past Preserved Text (Orangeburg, SC: Sandlapper Publishing, 1988)

Contact Information

  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
    3550 Ashley River Road
    Charleston, SC 29414

    Telephone: 843-571-1266 or 800-367-3517
    Website: Click here

Magnolia Plantation Cypress Swamp - Charleston County, South Carolina
— Magnolia Plantation Cypress Swamp © —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

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Flower photographs by Virginia Saunders, Columbia, SC. Please click flower for more info.


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