Willbrook Plantation Pawleys Island Georgetown County
Some of the information on this page was contributed by J.T. Hunter III and James Barnes.
- Location Waccamaw River, Pawleys Island, All Saints Waccamaw Parish, Georgetown County
Original plantation lands were located northwest of US 17 in the vicinity of Willbrook Boulevard, and stretched from the Waccamaw River to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Origin of name ?
- Other names ?
- Current status Part of Litchfield Plantation resort and golf course
- 1711 On June 18 Robert Daniell, a close associate to the Lords Proprietors, received a land grant for 48,000 acres. The very next day, Daniell conveyed half of that amount to Thomas Smith (Linder & Thacker, p. 147).
Several plantations were formed from Smith's land. They were long narrow strips of land stretching from the Waccamaw River to the Atlantic Ocean.
1,280 acres of Smith's land was conveyed to John Crofts.
- 1714 John Crofts sold his property to William Branford.
Branford divided the property between his son and daughter. Martha Branford received the northern half and called it Oatland, and Barnaby Branford received the southern portion consisting of 640 acres (Linder & Thacker, p. 147).
Barnaby Branford probably never lived at Willbrook. He devoted much of his attention to his property in St Andrews Parish.
- 1733 Barnaby Branford conveyed the property to John Lupton.
John Lupton later divided his property. The southern half went to his son William Lupton, and the southern half went to John Allston. Both tracts of land consisted of 320 acres (Linder & Thacker, p. 147).
It is not known if William kept the name Willbrook.
- 1750 John Allston died. He left his son-in-law, Benjamin Marion, the 320 acres he purchased from John Lupton (Linder & Thacker, p. 148).
- 1767 William Lupton sold his portion to John "Captain Jack" Allston, a nephew of the above mentioned John Allston (Linder & Thacker, p. 148).
About this same time Captain Jack also acquired the property of Benjamin Marion (the northern half of the original Willbrook). Willbrook was now back to its original acreage.
- 1771 John Mackenzie died and his property was sold as one piece. Peter Simons purchased both Willbrook and Litchfield.
- 1777 Peter Simons died and in his will he divided his property between his two sons. The northern half, Willbrook, went to Peter, and the southern half, Litchfield, went to John.
- 1798 Willbrook was owned by Thomas Young (Linder & Thacker, p. 149).
- 1804 Thomas Young died and left no will. It is assumed that John Hyrne Tucker purchased the plantation. He was currently the owner of Litchfield and it makes sense that he purchased the property above his to consolidate his land holdings along the Waccamaw (Linder & Thacker, p. 149).
- 1859 John Hyrne Tucker died and in his will he left Willbrook to his son John Hyrne Tucker II.
- 1865 John Hyrne Tucker II died in the Civil War (Linder & Thacker, p. 150).
- 1877 The Tucker family sold Willbrook to Jacob and Elkan Baum.
On October 8, Elkan Baum sold Willbrook to James M. Lesesne for $2,500. Baum held the mortgage and it was agreed that Lesesne would make four annual payments. Click here to read a copy of the deed.
Prior to the Civil War James Lesesne was listed as a free person of color. He was well-known in the Georgetown area and served as a County Commissioner in 1868 and as a County Sheriff in 1874. In 1888, he received an appointment as a messenger in the Treasury Department at Washington with a salary of $60 a month.
- 1878 James M. Lesesne sold Willbrook to his wife, Nellie J. Lesesne. She paid $5 for 766 acres. Click here to read a copy of the deed.
- 1881 James and Nellie Lesesne could not make the mortgage payments to Elkan Baum. They relinquished all rights to the property and sold it back to Baum for $5. Click here to read a copy of the deed.
- 1886 Israel Baum sold Willbrook to Louis Claude Lachicotte and Louis Breslauer. The two were trying to grow rice along the Waccamaw in attempt to revitalize the local economy (Linder & Thacker, p. 150).
Lachicotte's brother Claude eventually bought Willbrook. He built a modern house to replace the original home that burned down in 1895.
- Early 1900s William S. Ellis purchased Willbrook along with Turkey Hill and Oatland. He combined the three plantations to be used as a hunting preserve. All three plantations were known as Willbrook and were subsequently transferred as one property from here on out (Linder & Thacker, p. 150).
Little is known of the plantations until the 1940s.
- 1941 On November 10 Kathleen H. Metcalf sold to Reed I. West and Matilda W. West 2,400 acres of land known as Willbrook Plantation (Deed Abstract).
- 1945 On November 15 Reed I. West and Matilda W. West sold Willbrook to J.T. Hunter, A.M. Rose, and L.P. Byars (Deed Abstract).
- 1946 A.M. Rose sold his share to J.T. Hunter and L.P. Byars.
- 1951 L.P. Byars died and J.T. Hunter purchased his shares. He remained sole owner until his own death in 1970.
- 1970 J.T. Hunter died and his property passed to his wife, Carolyn S. Hunter.
- 1981 Carolyn S. Hunter died and the property was owned by her heirs: J.T. Hunter, Jr.; Adelle Hunter West; Hattie Costa Hunter King; Dorothy Hunter Thames.
- 1984 The Hunter heirs sold Willbrook to Litchfield-by-the-Sea.
- Number of acres 1,280 in 1711; 640 in 1714; 320 in 1733; 640 in 1767; 2,400 in 1941
- Primary crop Rice
- Alphabetical list John Allston; John "Captain Jack" Allston; Elkan and Jacob Baum; Israel Baum; Barnaby Branford; William Branford; John Crofts; Robert Daniell; William S. Ellis; Carolyn S. Hunter; J.T. Hunter, Jr., Adelle Hunter West, Hattie Costa Hunter King, Dorothy Hunter Thames; Claude Lachicotte; Louis Claude Lachicotte and Louis Breslauer; Litchfield-by-the-Sea; John Lupton; William Lupton; Benjamin Marion; John Mckenzie; Jesse and Kathleen H. Metcalf; J.T. Hunter, A.M. Rose, and L.P. Byars; Peter Simons (father); Peter Simons (son); Thomas Smith; John Hyrne Tucker; John Hyrne Tucker II; Reed I. and Matilda W. West; Thomas Young
- Number of slaves ?
- Initial references: See #1
- Sharon Carlisle, George Washington's Guide to the Waccamaw Neck and Georgetown (Pawleys Island, SC: published by the author, 1991).
- Deed Abstract, 1945 (provided by J.T. Hunter III).
- Suzanne Cameron Linder and Marta Leslie Thacker (with preliminary research by Agnes Leland Baldwin), Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River (Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2001).
- George C. Rogers, Jr., The History of Georgetown County, South Carolina (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1970).
- Litchfield Plantation
PO Box 290
Pawleys Island, SC 29585