Lexington Plantation - Wando Neck Charleston County South Carolina SC

Lexington Plantation – Wando Neck – Charleston County

Basic Information

  • Location – Wando River, Wando Neck, Charleston County

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – Four Men's Ramble

  • Current status – Part of Dunes West Golf Club


  • Before 1670 – "The Europeans referred to the Indians of the Wando Neck as the 'Sewee' and the 'Wando.' The seagoing Sewee may have built a fortified village along the Wando not far from this site" (Dunes West Golf Club History).

  • 1696 – 1,000 acre grant made to Landgrave Edmund Bellinger, who apparently did not develop the property

  • 1704 – Sold to Major Alexander Parris

  • 1712 – Purchased by Captain John Vanderhorst, Joseph Vanderhorst, and Thomas Lynch

    At this time the property was known as "Four Men's Ramble." Lynch's grandson, Thomas Lynch Jr., signed the Declaration of Independence.

  • 1738 – Captain John Vanderhorst died; bequeathed share to Arnoldus Vanderhorst

  • 1754 – By this date, Arnoldus Vanderhorst owned all the land between Toomer and Wagner Creeks.

  • 1765 – Arnoldus Vanderhorst left property to Colonel Arnoldus Vanderhorst II, who owned plantation until his death in 1802.

    Vanderhorst also owned much of Kiawah Island.

  • 1827 – Plantation sold to A.S. Willington, first editor of the Charleston News and Courier

    Plantation became known as Lexington

  • 1830 – Purchased by Effingham Wagner, who died in 1837

  • 1861 – Wagner's widow Emma sold plantation to Captain Paul Waring Jr.

  • 1863 – Captain Waring died in battle; Emma Wagner bought Lexington back.

  • 1857-1902 – Owned by James McElroy

    By the end of the Civil War, the main house was in ruins; it may have been burned by Union soldiers.

  • 1930 – Bought by one of America's wealthiest women, Henrietta Hartford, widow of Edward V. Hartford.

    Mrs. Hartford built a 32-room home where the original house had been, and she planted an avenue of oaks. At this time, she also added a saltwater swimming pool, tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, stables, a guest house, and servants quarters. Her gardens were designed by the Olmsted firm. (Frederick Law Olmsted was a landscape architect who also designed the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, Central Park in New York City, and Cherokee Plantation in Colleton County.)

    Mrs. Hartford married Prince Guido Pignatelli of Italy in 1937 and thus became Princess Pignatelli.

  • 1942 – House mysteriously burned

  • 1947 – Sold to O.L. Williams Veneer Company, which later became part of Georgia Pacific / Destination Wild Dunes

  • 1991 – Scratch Gold Company acquired property; developed Dunes West Golf Club

    Clubhouse built on site of original house and outbuildings


  • Number of acres – 1,000

  • Primary crop – Cotton, rice (although the plantation primarily produced bricks)


  • Alphabetical list – Bellinger, Hartford (Pignatelli), Lynch, McElroy, Parris, Scratch Gold Company, Wagner, Waring, O.L. Williams Veneer Company, Willington, Vanderhorst

  • In order – Bellinger, Parris, Vanderhorst/Vanderhorst/Lynch, Willington, Wagner, Waring, Wagner, McElroy, Hartford (Pignatelli), O.L. Williams Veneer Company, Scratch Gold Company


  • Number of slaves – 61 (1765), about 80 (1830-1837)


  • Slave cabins – 20

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