Fairlawn Plantation - Charleston County South Carolina SC

Fairlawn Plantation – Charleston County

Basic Information

  • Location – Wando River, West of Awendaw, Charleston County

    Located off Guerins Bridge Road in the Francis Marion National Forest

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – Furman's

  • Current status – About half of the plantation's property is owned by two conversation groups and the balance is privately owned (2017)


  • ? – Earliest known date of existence

  • ? – House built

  • 1833 – Col. Jacob Bond I'on owned the plantation (8, p. 43).

  • 1905 – Mr. B.B. Furman owned Fairlawn (8, p. 43).

  • 2005 – The Congaree-Carton Limited Partnership granted the Nature Conservancy a conservation easement on a 456-acre portion of the plantation.

  • 2012 – A deal for Charleston County to purchase Fairlawn Plantation for close to $12 million dissolved due to hunting rights. Nearly 40 former owners of the plantation have legal, lifetime rights to hunt exclusively on the land until their death. This legal agreement makes the property unsafe to be open to the public (2).

  • 2013 – Audubon South Carolina designated the property as an important bird area and the plantation's owners are in agreement to maintain the area as a vital bird habitat (3).

  • 2014 – The Open Space Institute Land Trust Inc. and The Nature Conservancy paid nearly $5.4 million for 2,241 acres. Boeing funded the purchase. The two groups will jointly own the property for up to five years then will turn it over to the U.S. Forest Service. The groups will also uphold the hunting rights for the former owners (5).

  • 2017 – Two family trusts own the other part of Fairlawn Plantation. One of these families is Finleys of Columbia (4) (6, p. 1).


  • Number of acres – 6,000 in 2012 (2); 8,000 in 2013 (3)

  • Primary crop – Historically rice; 1902-1932 timber was being harvested (7, p. 6)


  • Number of slaves – ?

    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.

References & Resources

  1. Anne Baker Leland Bridges and Roy Williams III, St. James Santee, Plantation Parish: History and Records, 1685-1925 (Spartanburg, SC: Reprint Company, 1997)

  2. Diane Knich, Fairlawn Plantation Deal Crumbles, but Lost Greenbelt Program Fuels New Idea (Charleston, SC: The Post and Courier, December 19, 2012)

  3. Bo Petersen, Audubon South Carolina Designates Fairlawn Plantation as Important Bird Area (Charleston, SC: The Post and Courier, October 22, 2013)

  4. Information contributed by Franklin T. Sams whose grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Taliaferro Taylor, where friends with the owner in the 1940s and had the pleasure of visiting Fairlawn Plantation.

  5. Tyrone Richardson, $5.4M Purchase Preserves Key Chunk Inside Francis Marion Forest (Charleston, SC: The Post and Courier, April 22, 2014)

  6. Fairlawn Plantation, Cooter Creek Tract - Francis Marion National Forest Document

  7. David Chamberlain, Additional Notes on Bachman's Warbler - PDF

  8. Arthur T. Wayne for the American Ornithologists' Union, The Auk, Volume 24 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1907)

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Flower photographs by Virginia Saunders, Columbia, SC. Please click flower for more info.


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