Belvidere Plantation - Lake Marion Orangeburg County South Carolina SC

Belvidere Plantation – Lake Marion – Orangeburg County

Basic Information

  • Location – Submerged under Lake Marion, St. John's Berkeley Parish, Orangeburg County

    Original plantation lands were located near present-day Eutaw Springs, between the Santee River and Eutaw Creek.

    Belvidere was originally in Berkeley County, but in 1908 the county lines were redrawn and the plantation became part of Orangeburg County.

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – In 1939, work began on the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project. This project displaced many families and communities, and many historic homes were lost as the area was flooded.

Timeline

  • 1770 – Earliest known date of existence

    James Sinkler received a grant for this property.

  • 1790 – James Sinkler decided to plant cotton at Belvidere because freshets along the Santee River in St. Stephen's Parish were ruining his crops at his plantation called Old Santee. He had an overseer live at Belvidere while he maintained a residence at Old Santee (5, p. 23).

  • 1795-1803 – There are two conflicting sources as to when the house at Belvidere was constructed.

    Thomas Waterman stated that the house was constructed in 1795. He based this on an architectural analysis of the house in 1939 (2).

    Anne Sinkler Fishburne stated that the house was built in 1803 by Margaret Cantey Sinkler. Mrs. Fishburne lived at Belvidere at some point as it was her family home (5, p. 23).

  • 1800 – James Sinkler died. His widow, Margaret Cantey Sinkler, brought her family to live at Belvidere (5, p. 23).

  • ? – William Sinkler, James Sinkler's son, must have inherited the plantation or bought it (5, p. 23).

  • ? – William Sinkler's son, Charles Sinkler, took over the management of the plantation. His wife, Emily Wharton Sinkler, and their five children made Belvidere their home (5, p. 23).

    Emily Wharton Sinkler wrote many letters to her father in Philadelphia about her life on a southern plantation. Her letters have been published in a book titled An Antebellum Plantation Household by Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClerq.

  • 1883 – Charles St. George Sinkler (son of Charles and Emily Sinkler) took over the management of Belvidere. He continued to plant cotton but his crops became infested with cotton caterpillars (7, p. 287).

    Charles St. George Sinkler married Anne Wickham Porcher on December 6 (4, p. 235).

  • 1936 – The Santee Jockey Club, founded in 1791, was revitalized and renamed the St. John's Jockey Club. A race track was built at Belvidere and the first race was held that November (5, p. 94-95).

  • 1941 – The house at Belvidere was emptied and dismantled, and the family left the property for the last time. The flood waters from the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project covered all of the fields, slave quarters, race track, gardens, and lawns. The water came up to the base of the dismantled house and remnants of the brick foundation could still be seen in 1949 (5, p. 2).

Land

  • Number of acres – 800

  • Primary crop – Santee long cotton (hybrid between Upland cotton and Sea Island cotton) and short staple cotton

Owners

  • Chronological list – James Sinkler (1770-1800); Margaret Cantey Sinkler (1800-?); William Sinkler (?); Charles St. George Sinkler (?)

Slaves

  • Number of slaves – ?

Buildings

  • Plantation House – The house was two stories with a full brick basement and brick foundation. A piazza ran across the front with slender columns, and a large wing on one side was balanced with an open, brick-paved sun piazza on the other side (5, p. 6).

  • House plan - rough sketch, 1940

  • Front door - photograph

References & Resources

  1. Waterman Report of 1939 - transcription - includes history of region, architectural analyses of homes
    – Belvidere Plantation: Sinkler Family: Click here
    – Belvidere Plantation House photograph, drawing: Click here

  2. 30-15 Plantation File, held by the South Carolina Historical Society

  3. 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
  4. J. Russell Cross, Historic Ramblin's through Berkeley (Columbia, SC: R.L. Bryan Company, 1985).
     Order Historic Ramblin's through Berkeley

  5. Anne Sinkler Fishburne, Belvidere: A Plantation Memory (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1949).
     Order Belvidere: A Plantation Memory

  6. Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClerq, An Antebellum Plantation Household (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2006).



  7. Richard Dwight Porcher and Sarah Fick, The Story of Sea Island Cotton (Charleston: Wyrick & Company, 2005).







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