Bonny Hall Plantation - Yemassee Beaufort County South Carolina SC

Bonny Hall Plantation – Yemassee – Beaufort County

Bonny Hall Plantation Drive - Beaufort County, South Carolina
— Drive at Bonny Hall Plantation © Brandon Coffey
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Basic Information

  • Location – Combahee River, Yemassee, Prince William Parish, Beaufort County

    Located off River Road south of the Town of Yemassee

  • Origin of name – "Bonny" comes from French "bonne" the feminine form of "good, fair" (2) (5).

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – Privately owned

Bonny Hall Plantation Gate - Beaufort County, South Carolina
— Gate at Bonny Hall Plantation © Brandon Coffey
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)


  • 1732 – Earliest known date of existence (5)

    Joseph Blake received a grant for 1,497 acres which included 555 acres that was granted to Joseph Bryan in 1705 (5).

  • ? – Joseph Blake's grandson, also called Joseph Blake become owner (6, p. 85).

  • Circa 1837 – Joseph Blake lived in England so he sent his son Walter Blake to manage Bonny Hall (6, p. 85).

  • ? – Walter Blake become owner (5).

  • 1871 – Walter Blake passed away (6, p. 86).

  • 1873 – J. Bennett Bissell purchased Bonny Hall at auction after the courts had ordered it to be sold to aid in settling Walter's estate (6, p. 86).

  • 1876 – Due to financial difficulties that resulted from labor unrest, Bissell put Bonny Hall in trust for his brother Dr. Henry Edward Bissell (6, p. 86).

  • 1896 – Dr. Bissell conveyed the plantation to Sarah H. Bissell (6, p. 88).

  • 1897 – Sarah H. Bissell sold the plantation to George Egan for $31,000. Egan built the house that still stands at Bonny Hall (6, p. 88).

  • 1920 – The heirs of George Egan sold the plantation to Frank A. Calhoun (6, p. 88).

  • 1922 – Calhoun and the Georgia Railroad Bank auctioned the property which was purchased by the Security Savings Bank of the Bank of Charleston (6, p. 88).

  • 1925 – Arthur Lyman purchased Bonny Hall from the Security Savings Bank of the Bank of Charleston (6, p. 88).

  • 1934 – Ellen McCarter Doubleday, wife of famed publisher Nelson Doubleday, purchased the plantation from the estate of Arthur Lyman. The Doubledays made extensive renovations to the house and garden (5) (6, p. 88).

  • 1940s – For about a five year period, English author William Somerset Maugham lived and wrote at Bonny Hall Plantation (5).

  • 1949 – After the death of her husband, Ellen McCarter Doubleday sold the plantation to Robert A. Carter and Melvin O. Lane (6, p. 89).

  • Mid-1950s – Patti and Nickolas Penniman purchased Bonny Hall Plantation (7).

  • Mid-1980s – The Pennimans sold the plantation to Frank Sires (7).

  • 1992 – John and Davilynn Cowpwerthwaite purchased the plantation and were working to return the house to its original state (5).

Bonny Hall Plantation Hedge - Beaufort County, South Carolina
— View over the Hedges of Bonny Hall Plantation © Brandon Coffey
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)


  • Number of acres – 330 in 1860; 1,700 in 1897

  • Primary crop – Rice

References & Resources

  1. 30-15 Plantation File, held by the South Carolina Historical Society

  2. 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

  3. N. Jane Iseley and William P. Baldwin, Lowcountry Plantations Today (Greensboro, NC: Legacy Publications 2001)

  4. Lawrence S. Rowland, Alexander Moore, and George C. Rogers, Jr. The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: Volume 1, 1514-1861 (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1996)
     Order The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: Volume 1, 1514-1861

  5. Information contributed by Susan Player Verbsky whose great grandfather, William "Billy" Jaycocks, was the overseer/manager of Bonny Hall for the Doubledays.
    Maugham at Bonny Hall Plantation
    Traditional Home, September 2002 issue - PDF - includes photos

  6. Suzanne Cameron Linder, Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of the ACE River Basin - 1860 (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1995)

  7. Information contributed by Marsha Fields whose relatives worked the plantation for many years.

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