Brays Island Plantation - Brays Island Beaufort County South Carolina SC

Brays Island Plantation – Brays Island – Beaufort County

Special thanks to Denise Sullivan, a history buff from Dataw Island, for compiling much of the information on this page.

Basic Information

  • Location – Pocotaligo River, Brays Island, Prince William Parish, Beaufort County

    Located south of US 21 on Brays Island Drive

  • Origin of name – Though no official record exists, it was perhaps named for William Bray, an Indian trader in the area as early as 1704. Bray was killed in the Yemassee War of 1715 (7, p. 15).

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – Privately-owned community


  • 1683 – William Hilton first discovered the island (1).

  • ? – Richard Clark owned Brays Island (7, p. 15).

  • 1763 – Records indicate somebody by the name of Bowman owned a 1,293-acre tract which had been purchased from Richard Clark (7, p. 15).

  • 1798 – Plat shows 404 acres owned by Thomas Bowman (7, p. 15).

  • 1831 – Property sold to settle James Bowman's estate.

    930 acres sold to Mary B. Stuart for her son William Cuthbert (7, p. 15).

  • Lost by the Cuthberts through foreclosure after the Civil War (7, p. 15).

  • ? – J.K. Hollins was owner in early 1930s (7, p. 12).

  • 1937 – Brays Island was purchased by F. B. Davis (7, p. 15).

  • 1938 – Davis built a house but did not make Brays Island his permanent residence until 1959 (7, p. 16).

  • 1962 – F.B. Davis died leaving a large mortgage. Nearby Huspah Plantation owner, Sumner Pingree, Jr., purchased Brays Island (7, p. 16).

  • 1987 – Pingree turned Brays Island into a privately-owned community with open land and 252 areas of building lots (7, p. 16).

  • 1998 – Brays Island Plantation was conveyed to the Homeowners' Association of Brays Island Plantation (1).


  • Number of acres – 1,293 in 1763 (7, p. 15); 930 in 1831 (7, p. 15); 5,500 in 2010 (Brays Island)

  • Primary crop – Historically cotton and rice (1) and in modern times Aberdeen-Angus cattle under Davis (7, p. 16)


  • Chronological list – Richard Clark, Thomas Bowman (1798), James Bowman (?-1831), William Cuthbert (1831-?), J.K. Hollins, F.B. Davis, Jr. (1937-1962), Summer Pingree, Jr. (1962-1998), Homeowners' Association of Brays Island Plantation (1998-present)


  • Number of slaves – ?


  • During the Civil War, a house near the Pocotaligo River was destroyed by Union troops (7, p. 15). Davis would build a house in 1938 as well as a carriage house. Both of these building have been converted into the Brays Island Inn property (1).

References & Resources

  1. History of Brays Island Plantation: Click here

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

  3. William P. Baldwin Jr., Plantations of the Low Country (Westbrook, ME: Legacy Publishing, 1994)

  4. 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

  5. John Beaufain Irving, A Day on Cooper River (1842) (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2010)

  6. Waring Papers file, South Carolina Historical Society
    –  Waring family papers, 1707-1989 (bulk 1886-1979)
    –  Waring family papers 1755-1915

  7. Robert B. Cuthbert and Stephen G. Hoffius, editors, Northern Money, Southern Land: The Lowcountry Plantation Sketches of Chlotilde R. Martin (Columbia, SC: The University of South Carolina Press, 2009)

Contact Information

  • Brays Island Plantation
    115 Brays Island Drive
    Sheldon, SC 29941

    Telephone: 866-320-1201
    Website: Click here

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