Smilies Plantation - Colleton County South Carolina SC

Smilies Plantation – Chehaw River – Colleton County

Basic Information

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

  • Origin of name – The plantation was named for William Smyly, an early owner of the land.

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – Smilies became part of Airy Hall Plantation in 1907 and was developed along with other plantations into golf links and extensive gardens.


  • ? – Earliest known date of existence

    William Smyly appears to have been the property's original owner (2, p. 559).

  • ? – House built

  • ? – John Wright acquired land once belonging to William Smyly (2, p. 559).

  • 1767 – John Wright sold the land to James Skirving (2, p. 559).

  • Circa 1770 – James Skirving divided his 4,400 acres and gave much of it to his children. Daughter Elizabeth and her husband Philip Smith received 1,100 acres on the Ashepoo River which became known as Airy Hall Plantation. The other Chehaw [Cheeha] Neck property would become owned by James' son William Skirving after the death of the other heirs. Part of this would become Smilies Plantation (2, pp. 114, 559).

  • ? – William's daughter Ann Rebecca Skirving Smith inherited the plantation upon his death (2, pp. 114, 559).

  • 1828 – William Skirving's estate had been left holding many debts and much of the property was sold to pay them. Skirving's granddaughter's husband, William Elliott paid $6,000 to purchase Social Hall Plantation and Smilies Plantation from the Equity Court (2, p. 114).

  • 1832 – William Elliott sold Smilies to his brother George Parsons Elliott (2, p. 114).

  • 1849 – George Parsons Elliott sold Smilies to Haskell Rhett. Rhett also owned Fee Farm Plantation (2, p. 559).

  • 1867 – Rhett lost Smilies Plantation to a mortgagee foreclosure sale where John D. Warren purchased it (2, p. 559).

  • 1906 – Warren sold the plantation to R.H. Wickman (2, p. 560).

  • 1906 or 1907 – Smilies Plantation became the property of E.P. Burton Lumber Company.

  • 1907 – E.P. Burton Lumber Company combined Smiles with Airy Hall, Cow Pen Point, Chapman Fort, and Palmetto Island. This combined tract was sold to William Godfrey, John W. Maynard, and James P. Maynard (2, p. 4).

  • ? – L. H. Smith purchased the combined tract (2, p. 560).

  • 1928 – Robert G. Elbert purchased the property from Smith and called the combined tract Airy Hall. Elbert would develop some of the property into a golf course (2, pp. 4, 440, 560).


  • Number of acres – 1,300 in 1906 (2, p. 560)

  • Primary crop – Rice (2, p. 559)


  • Number of slaves – ?


References & Resources

  1. 1870 Document - law suit by owner John D. Warren against a gentleman renting the plantation

  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

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