Richfield Plantation - Yemassee Beaufort County South Carolina SC

Richfield Plantation – Yemassee – Beaufort County

Basic Information


  • 1753 – Earliest known date of existence

    James Michie purchased the tracts of land that would come to be known as Richfield. He purchsaed the land from Joseph Butler. Butler, along with others, recieved grants in the area beginning in the 1730s. Butler eventually bought the other grants and amassed approximately 1,100 acres (Loring, p. 36).

  • 1760 – James Michie died in London. His property was passed down to his wife and two daughters. His one daughter, Mary, and her husband, Charles Ogilvie, a British merchant, eventually owned the whole plantation (Loring, p. 42).

  • 1777-1779 – It was during this time that estates belonging to Loyalists were confiscated during the American Revolution. All of Charles Ogilvie's property was confiscated (Linder, p. 349).

  • 1784 – Charles Ogilvie petitioned the South Carolina General Assembly for the return of the plantation. It was eventually returned to his sons, Charles Ogilvie and John Alexander Ogilvie (Linder, p. 349).

    John Alexander Ogilvie took over complete ownership of Richfield.

  • 1802 – John Alexander Ogilvie decided to sell the plantation in order to settle his debts.

  • 1804 – Nathaniel Heyward bought Richfield which consisted of 2,178 acres (Linder, p. 504).

  • 1817 – General John Alexander Cuthbert purchased the plantation from Heyward.

  • 1826 – General Cuthbert died and he left the plantation to his son, Dr. George Cuthbert. Two years later Dr. Cuthbert died and his brother, Colonel James Cuthbert took over ownership of Richfield (Linder, p. 504-505).

  • 1838 – Colonel Cuthbert died and the property went to his son, James Cuthbert, Jr.

  • 1852 – James Cuthbert, Jr. died and the property was purchased by John White Gregorie.

  • 1865 – General William T. Sherman used the plantation house as his headquarters during his invasion of Prince William Parish. As a result, it was not burned by the union army during the war. The house burned by accident many years later (Linder, p. 505).

  • 1935 – Descendants of John White Gregorie still owned Richfield at this time. It is not known how the property transferred out of their ownership.

  • 1938 – C. Leigh Stevens reorganized the Savannah River Lumber Company, and as a fee for his services the company gave him several tracts of land. C. Leigh Stevens combined Old Brass (formerly Mount Pleasant), Mount Alexander, Old Combahee, Richfield, and Charlton to form a large piece of property. He then commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build a plantation complex that represented a working farm. Frank Lloyd Wright is given credit for naming the complex Auldbrass (Linder, p. 425).

  • 1962 – C. Leigh Stevens died and left the plantation to his son and daughter. Jessica Stevens Loring bought out her brother and was the sole owner of Auldbrass.

  • 1979 – Jessica Stevens Loring sold Auldbrass. At some point a hunt club owned the plantation and used the house as a lodge.

  • 1987 – The Beaufort County Open Land Trust acquired the property and sold it to Joel Silver with the agreement that it would be open for tours on occasion. The buildings had been neglected for some time and were in poor shape. Silver began to restore the buildings. He still owns Auldbrass today. For more detailed info on the plantation complex created by Frank Lloyd Wright, please see Auldbrass Plantation.


  • Number of acres – 1,100 in 1753; 2,178 in 1804

  • Primary crop – Rice


  • Alphabetical list – Beaufort County Open Land Trust; Joseph Butler; Colonel James Cuthbert; James Cuthbert, Jr.; General John Alexander Cuthbert; John White Gregorie; Nathaniel Heyward; James Michie; Charles and Mary Ogilvie; John Alexander Ogilvie; Jessica Stevens Loring; Joel Silver; C. Leigh Stevens


  • Number of slaves – ?


Web Resources

Print Resources

Contact Information

  • Beaufort County Open Land Trust
    PO Box 75
    Beaufort, SC 29901

    Telephone: 843-521-2175
    Website: Click here

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