Spring Island Plantation - Beaufort County South Carolina SC

Spring Island Plantation – Spring Island – Beaufort County

Spring Island Plantation 2013 - Beaufort County, South Carolina
— Tabby Ruins at Spring Island Plantation © Gazie Nagle, 2013 —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Basic Information

  • Location – Spring Island, Colleton River, Beaufort County

    The ruins of the tabby house can be found at the end of Old House Road.

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – Cochran's Island

  • Current status – The island is a private housing community that has retained the name of Spring Island.


  • 1706 – Earliest known date of existence (1)

    John Cochran was deeded Spring Island by Lord Colleton. Cochran was a well-known Indian trader and established a trading post on the high bluffs of Spring Island (1).

  • ? – Upon John Cocharn's death, Spring Island was inherited by John's nephew James Cochran (3, p. 118).

  • ? – House built

    James Chochran built a house on Spring Island (3, p. 118).

  • 1740 – James Cochran died (3, p. 118).

    Spring Island remained in the Cochran family for three generations (1).

  • ? – George Barksdale became owner after his marriage to John Chochran's granddaughter Mary Ash (1).

  • 1801 – George Edwards became Spring Island's next owner after he married Elizabeth Barksdale. Edwards culitated the island's fields and grew Sea Island cotton (1).

    By 1850 there was a large tabby house the Edwards family lived in (1).

  • 1864 – The Edwards house was burned by Union troops (3, p. 117-118).

  • ? – After Edwards' death, Spring Island was sold at public auction to Mrs. Inwood. Mrs. Inwood was George Edwards' disinherited daughter. Legend says the two became estranged when the daughter married a British naval officer (3, p. 117).

  • ? – Trenhold Inwood inherited the plantation upon his mother's death (3, p. 117).

  • Circa 1900 – Colonel Thomas Martin purchased the island from Inwood and established the Spring Island Hunting Club (3, p. 114, 117).

  • 1912 – Colonel William Copp purchased Spring Island at a public auction. He began planting crops on a large scale with laborers. Copp had about 35 nearly-identical cabins built as housing for the laborers (3, p. 114) (5).

  • 1927 – Copp built a home he called Bonny Shore (3, p. 115).

  • 1940 – Col. Copp died (3, p. 118).

  • ? – Bertha E. Lucas owned the island (3, p. 118).

  • 1964 – Lucile and Elisha Walker, Jr. purchaed Spring Island for $401,500 from Bertha E. Lucas and developed it into a premier quail hunting plantation (1 and 3, p. 118).

  • 1972 – Sometime after Walker's death in this year, the plantation was held by the Walker Trust (1).

  • 1990 – Jim and Betsy Chaffin, Jim and Dianne Light and Peter and Beryl LaMotte purchased the property from the Walker Trust and set-up the Spring Island Trust to develop the island while protecting its natural environment (1).

Spring Island Plantation Cabin 2016 - Beaufort County, South Carolina
— Cabin at Spring Island Plantation © Gazie Nagle, 2016 —
(Do Not Use Without Written Consent)


  • Number of acres – The island consists of 6,500 acres (3, p. 115).

  • Primary crop – Sea Island cotton historically and vegitables and livestock by Col. Copp


  • Chronological list – John Cochran (1706-?); James Cocharan (?-1740); George Barksdale (?); George Edwards (1801-?); Mrs. Inwood (?); Trenhold Inwood (?); Colonel Thomas Martin (Circa 1900-?); Colonel William Copp (1912-1940); Bertha E. Lucas (?-1964); Lucile and Elisha Walker, Jr. (1964-1972); Walker Trust (?-1990); Jim and Betsy Chaffin, Jim and Dianne Light and Peter and Beryl LaMotte (1990-?)


  • Number of slaves – 253 in 1850 (4, p. 373)

    We are actively seeking information on the slaves who lived and worked at this plantation. If you find a resource that might help, please fill out this form. Thank you.


  • The Edwards house and out-buildings were built using tabby. Tabby is a mixture of shell, lime, and water and was a popular construction material during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century in the South Carolina lowcountry. Ruins of the structures are still standing.

References & Resources

  1. History of Spring Island: Click here

  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. 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)

  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 Gazie Nagle from the Beaufort County Historical Site Surveys.

Contact Information

  • Spring Island
    42 Mobley Oaks Lane
    Spring Island, SC 29909

  • Telephone: 843-987-2200
    Website: Click here

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