Fairfield Plantation - Georgetown Georgetown County South Carolina SC

Fairfield Plantation – Georgetown – Georgetown County

Basic Information

  • Location – Waccamaw River, Georgetown, All Saints Waccamaw Parish, Georgetown County

    Original plantation lands were located on the Waccamaw Neck off US 17.

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – Part of Arcadia Plantation


  • 1711 – Percival Pawley received land grants along the Waccamaw River. When he died his son, Anthony, inherited the property.

  • 1733 – Anthony Pawley received two more grants that made the property a total of 550 acres (3, p. 81).

  • 1736 – Anthony Pawley wrote his will and left his Waccamaw property (550 acres) to his brother George (3, p. 81).

  • ? – George Pawley obtained a grant for 225 acres which he added to his 550 acres he received from his brother.

  • ? – George Pawley conveyed 775 acres to his brother Percival Pawley (3, p. 81).

  • ? – Percival Pawley bequeathed his land to his only son Robert Pawley (3, p. 81).

  • 1769 – In March, John Huger bought 775 acres from the estate of Robert Pawley. One month later he sold the entire acreage to Joseph Allston.

    Probably in this same year Joseph Allston purchased another 280 acres to the north of his lands. He then purchased a third tract of land consisting of 300 acres from George Smith. By 1770, Joseph Allston owned approximately 1,355 acres (3, p. 81).

  • 1783 – Joseph Allston wrote his will and divided his property between his two sons. The southern portion went to Thomas and became Prospect Hill and the northern half went to William. Each portion consisted of approximately 700 acres (3, p. 82).

    William Allston dropped the second "l" from his last name to avoid confusion with other family members with the name William. He had a small four-room house built at Fairfield but he chose to live at Clifton Plantation where he was building a grand house (3, p. 82).

  • 1793 – William Alston moved his family to Fairfield after the house at Clifton burned down. He enlarged the small house he had previously built to accommodate his large family. William Alston was eventually the father of twelve children (3, p. 82).

  • 1839 – William Alston died and left Fairfield to his son, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Alston. Charles also owned Bellefield further down the Waccamaw River (3, p. 83).

  • 1881 – Charles C.P. Alston died and left Fairfield to his three surviving children: Joseph, Charles, and Susan Alston.

    Susan Alston outlived her brothers and devised the plantation to a cousin, Elizabeth Deas Allston. While living at the plantation Henry Ford made a visit and purchased the rice mill that William Alston had erected in 1787. The mill was put into Ford's museum (3, p. 83).

  • 1936 – Elizabeth Deas Allston sold the plantation to George Vanderbilt. Five years earlier he had inherited several plantations which had been combined and called Arcadia.

  • 2006 – The property is owned by Lucille Pate, daughter of George Vanderbilt.


  • Number of acres – 550 in 1733; 775 in 1769; 1,355 in 1770; 700 in 1783

  • Primary crop – Rice

    A rice chimney still exists on the property. It is one of seven that still remain in Georgetown County (1).


  • Chronological list – Percival Pawley Sr (1711-?); Anthony Pawley (?); George Pawley (?); Percival Pawley Jr (?); Robert Pawley (?); John Huger (1769); Joseph Allston (1769-1783); William Alston (1783-1839); Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Alston (1839-1881); Joseph, Charles, and Susan Alston (1881-?); Elizabeth Deas Allston (?-1936); George Vanderbilt (1936-?); Lucille Pate (2006)


  • Number of slaves – 290 in 1860 (total for Alston's Fairfield Plantation and Bellefield Plantation) (5, p. 19)


References & Resources

  1. National Register of Historic Places
    Nomination form - PDF - submitted in 1987
    Photographs, architectural overview

  2. Alberta Morel Lachicotte, Georgetown Rice Plantations (Georgetown, SC: Georgetown County Historical Society, 1993)
     Order Georgetown Rice Plantations

  3. Suzanne Cameron Linder and Marta Leslie Thacker, Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2001)
     Order Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River

  4. George C. Rogers, Jr., The History of Georgetown County, South Carolina (Spartanburg, SC: Reprint Company, 1990)
     Order The History of Georgetown County, South Carolina

  5. Charles Joyner, Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community, Anniversary Edition (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009)

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