Ford's Point Plantation - Georgetown County South Carolina SC

Ford's Point Plantation – South Island – Georgetown County

Basic Information

  • Location – South Island, at the mouth of the Winyah Bay and North Santee River, Georgetown County

  • Origin of name – Named for the Ford family, who owned the plantation for over a century (1, p. 589).

  • Other names – ?

  • Current status – Part of the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve (1, p. 590)


  • 1711 – Earliest known date of existence (1, p. 589)

    Bartholomew Gaillard received a grant for Musketo Island, today called South Island (1, p. 589)

  • 1717 – Bartholomew Gaillard conveyed half the island to Colonel William Rhett (1, p. 589).

  • 1723 – Colonel Rhett died leaving his property to his wife, Sarah Cooke (1, p. 589).

  • 1745 – Sarah would then marry Nicholas Trott and seems to have become to own a large piece of the island by this year as Sarah Trott conveyed 500 acres to Edward Croft (1, p. 589).

  • 1756 – Edward Croft passed away and his son, Robert Croft, inherited the island (1, p. 589).

  • ? – House built

  • 1760 – George Ford acquired the property from Robert Croft (1, p. 589).

  • ? – George Ford left the island jointly to his sons George Ford and Stephen Ford (1, p. 590).

  • 1821 – Stephen Ford's son Dr. George R. Ford was living and appears to have owned the plantation when he was murdered there by two runaway slaves. Dr. Ford did not have a will but Ford's Point Plantation did remain under the ownership of the Ford family (1, p. 590).

  • 1850 – Frederick Wentworth Ford, nephew of Dr. Ford, owned the plantation and successfully cultivated rice on it (1, p. 590) (3, p. 2).

    Interesting Note: Frederick and Mary had seven children. Mary died during childbirth in 1868 when son Alexander Hume Ford was born. Alexander would later became a legendary surfer and spread the word of Hawaiian surfing world-wide (3, p. 2).

  • 1872 – Frederick Wentworth Ford died leaving all his property to his three sisters. The sisters disposed of much of the property to aid in the support and raising of the Ford children (3, p. 2).

  • 1899 – Edward P. Ford was owner of record (1, p. 591).

  • 1911 – W.H. "Bill" Yawkey, former owner of the Detroit Tigers, purchased a large amount of land in Georgetown County including South Island (1, p. 773) (4).

  • 1919 – Tom Yawkey, owner of the Boston Red Sox from 1933 to 1976, inherited South Island when his uncle and adopted father Bill Yawkey passed away. Tom's parents died when he was young and his mother's brother adopted him (4).

  • 1976 – Tom Yawkey passed away. He willed 31 square miles of land, including South Island, to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources which created the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve (4).


  • Number of acres – 500 in 1745 (1, p. 589)

  • Primary crop – Rice (1, p. 590)


  • Number of slaves – 54 in 1850 (2, p. 292)

References & Resources

  1. 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

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

  3. Information contributed by K Dan from:
    Gault-Williams, Malcolm, Alexander Hume Ford (1868-1945) - PDF

  4. Thomas A. Yawkey Biography and About the Yawkey Foundation

Contact Information

  • Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve
    1 Yawkey Way South
    Georgetown, SC 29440

    Telephone: 843-546-6814

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