Rose Hill Plantation Union Union County
- Location Tyger River, Union, Union County
2677 Sardis Road off US 176 (8 miles from Union)
- Origin of name The Gist family planted many roses in the formal gardens surrounding the mansion, at one time over 100 varieties (7)
- Other names None (7)
- Current status Open to the public as a State Historic Site since 1960
- 1811 Earliest known date of existence (7)
Francis Fincher Gist purchased land and created the plantation (7).
- 1811-1830 House built, exact dates unknown (7)
- 1819 Ann Tonge Gist became the plantation's owner when her husband, Francis, died (7).
- 1821 William Henry Gist became owner of Rose Hill, operating it as a working plantation growing cotton and corn (7).
- 1858-1860 The plantation's house was used as the Governor's mansion during Gist's term. Gist was an important player in South Carolina's secession from the Union in December of 1860 and became knows as the "secession governor" (7).
- 1850s - early 1860s Gov. Gist had the house remodeled and had two-story porches on the front and back of the house added. He also had the brick exterior covered with stucco. This dramatically changed the exterior appearance of the house, transforming it into a Greek Revival / Federalist architectural style (7).
- 1874 William passed away and the ownership of Rose Hill transfered to his wife Mary Elizabeth Rice Gist. The plantation continued to operate being farmed by tenant farmers and sharecroppers (7).
- 1889 Elizabeth died and the plantation was inherited by her grandchildren. The Gist grandchildren retained ownership for 40 years and continued to lease the property, including the house, to tenant farmers (7).
- 1938 The US Forest Service purchased Rose Hill.The Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp one-mile from the plantation's house and began to plant Rose Hill land that became a section of the Sumter National Forest (7).
- 1942 Clyde T. Franks purchased the house and approximately 44 acres of land surrounding it from the US Forest Service (7).
- 1943 Franks opened Rose Hill to the public. During his ownership, Franks worked diligently on restoring the formal gardens and house, including adding period furnishing (7).
- 1960 Franks sold the house to the South Carolina State Park Service and the property was renamed the Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site (7).
- Number of acres 5,000+ acres in 1860; 44 in 1942-present, 2013 (7)
- Primary crop Cotton and corn (7)
- Chronological list Francis Fincher Gist (1811-1819); Ann Tonge Gist (1819-1821); William Henry Gist (1821-1874); Mary Elizabeth Rice Gist (1874-1889); Gist grandchildren (1889-1938); US Forest Service (1938-1942); Clyde T. Franks (1942-1960); South Carolina State Park Service (1960-present, 2013)
- Number of slaves Approximately 20 in 1819; 32 in 1830; 82 in 1840; 136 in 1850; 178 in 1860 (7)
- The house has three stories with the first two historically used as living quarters and the third a mix of living and storage areas. The exterior walls are 18-inches thick with the interior 12-inches. (7).
- The original, wood-frame kitchen building was lost to fire in the late 1800s. A brick building was constructed to replace the original kitchen and still stands today (1, p. 2 and 7).
References & Resources
- National Register of Historic Places
Nomination form - PDF - submitted in 1970
Photographs, architectural overview
- Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site: Click here
- 30-15 Plantation File, held by the South Carolina Historical Society
- 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
- Catherine Campart Messmer, South Carolina's Low Country - A Past Preserved Text (Orangeburg, SC: Sandlapper Publishing, 1988)
- Jane Ockershausen, The South Carolina One-Day Trip Book (McLean, VA: EPM Publications, 1998)
- Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site Archives
- Daniel J. Bell, William Henry Gist and Rose Hill: An Examination of Available Sources for Use in the Interpretation of Rose Hill State Park, Union, South Carolina, With a Proposed Narrative Booklet for the Site, unpublished manuscript, (University of South Carolina, January 1983)
- Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site
2677 Sardis Road
Union, SC 29379
Website: Click here