Drainfield Plantation - Colleton County South Carolina SC

Drainfield Plantation – Ashepoo River – Colleton County

Basic Information

  • Location – Ashepoo River, St. Bartholomew's Parish, Colleton County

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – ?


  • ? – Earliest known date of existence

  • ? – House built

  • 1786 – Charles Pinckney owned Drainfield Plantation (2, p. 302 ).

  • 1850s – Robert Barnwell Rhett owned Drainfield Plantation as well as nearby Lavington and Bugbee Plantations. Rhett held several political offices during his career including seats in the SC House, US House, and US Senate (2, p. 175).

  • Prior to 1856 – Robert Barnwell Rhett conveyed Drainfield to his brothers Thomas Moore Rhett and Albert Rhett (2, p. 175).

  • 1856 – Rhett conveyed Lavington and Bugbee Plantations to his brother-in-law Nathaniel Heyward. Soon after this transaction, a dispute arrose over water rights between Heyward's property and that of the Rhett brothers. Robert Barnwell Rhett purchased Drainfield back from his brothers and issued an easement to Heyward in 1868 (2, p. 176).

  • 1866 – Rhett issued a two-year lease of Drainfield to his son Alfred Rhett. Alfred was a noted duelist and after the Civil War was involved in two famous duels. In the second, Alfred Rhett killed Colonel William Ransom Calhoun who had been Rhett's commanding officer (2, p. 176).

  • Late 1800s – Robert Barnwell Rhett mortgaged the plantation to Hamilton S. Shields with the proceeds of the mortgage going to Alfred for him to cultivate crops on the plantation (2, p. 176).

  • 1871 – Alfred was unable to meet the terms of the mortgage and Shields became owner of Drainfield on February 11th at a mortgage foreclosure sale (2, p. 177).

  • 1874 – Shields sold the plantation to David McPherson and James Gahagen. McPherson and Gahagen purchased a total of six adjoining plantation along the Ashepoo River and combined them into one tract. The six plantations were the Oaks, Drainfield, Fee Farm, Godfrey, Lavington and Bugbee (2, p. 177).

  • 1880 – The Bank of Charleston purchased the combined holding from McPherson. James Gahagen's will mentions Drainfield so it is assumed he left his shart to McPherson (2, p. 177) (3).

  • 1881 – F.W. Wagner & Company, owned by brothers Frederic W. and George A. Wagener, purchased the property from the Bank of Charleston (2, p. 177).

  • 1910 – The Wagners sold the property to John and Joseph Maybank. The Maybanks used the property as a hunting preserve (2, p. 177 and 309).

  • ? – Joseph gave his interest in the property to his brother John Maybank (2, p. 177).

  • ? – John Maybank conveyed the tract to his sons David and John Maybank (2, p. 177).


  • Number of acres – ?

  • Primary crop – Rice


  • Number of slaves – ?

References & Resources

  1. Lucius G. Fishburne, Plantation Notes, St. Bartholomew's Parish, 1960, held by the South Carolina Historical Society

  2. Suzanne Cameron Linder, Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of the ACE River Basin - 1860 (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1995)
     Order Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of the ACE River Basin - 1860

  3. Information contributed by Kathleen Chapman from James Gahagan Will Book 2 page 306 Colleton Co December 29 1880.

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