Keowee Plantation - Pickens County South Carolina SC

Keowee Plantation – Central – Pickens County

Special thanks to Michel Turner Webb of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Webb is the great-great-great grandson of Simon and Cretia, who were enslaved by Colonel John Ewing Colhoun, Jr. at Keowee Heights Plantation (also known as Keowee Plantation or Twelve-Mile Plantation).

Basic Information

  • Location – Keowee Plantation is located on Doyle Bottom Road, between the Keowee and Twelve-Mile rivers, near where the Seneca River begins, near Central in Pickens County. The house, which burned in 1880, was set upon a hill, leading to its original name of Keowee Heights. Many people, past and present, know it as simply Keowee Plantation.

    Its historical marker, however, is located near Clemson, South Carolina, two-and-a-half miles east of the plantation, at the the intersection of Six Mile Highway (SC 133) and Old Six Mile Road. Its coordinates are 34° 42.899' N, 82° 49.851' W.

    Pickens County was part of the Pendleton District until December 20, 1826, when the Pendleton District was split into Pickens and Anderson counties. The Pendleton District itself was not created until March 7, 1789. During the winter of 1785 and 1786, members of the United States Congress, together with several South Carolina dignities, overtook lands once held by the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek nations as part of the Treaty of Hopewell (1), (3).

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – Keowee Heights (1) and Twelve Mile Plantation (2)

  • Current status – The land that comprised Keowee Plantation is owned by Clemson University which maintains it as part of the Clemson Experimental Forest (4).


  • 1792 – Keowee Heights Plantation was established by future US Senator John Ewing Colhoun, Sr. and his wife, Floride Colhoun (neé Bonneau) (1), (2).

    Note: Colhoun is the traditional spelling. Many family members had begun using the Calhoun spelling, but John Ewing Colhoun, Sr. returned to the traditional spelling (1).

  • 1802 – After the death of John Ewing Colhoun, Sr., Floride turned over the management of Keowee Heights to their oldest living son, Colonel John Ewing Colhoun, Jr. (1) and (2).

  • ? – Dr. O.M. Doyle purchased Keowee Heights (3).

  • October 10, 1880 – On Sunday night, the plantation house was destroyed by fire (3). As of December of 2011, the remnants of its foundation could still be seen (1).


  • Number of acres – ?

  • Primary crop – Indigo, rice, oats (1).


  • Chronological list – US Senator John Ewing Colhoun, Sr (1792-1802), Colonel John Ewing Colhoun, Jr (1802-?), Dr. O.M. Doyle (?)


  • Number of slaves – ?


References & Resources

  1. Historical Marker for Keowee/John Ewing Colhoun -

  2. Keowee Heights - PDF

  3. 1790s Keowee Plantation - PDF - Seneca Journal

  4. Clemson Experimental Forest
    Cultural and Historic Summary Map - PDF
    Cultural and Historic Inventory - PDF - pp. 13, 31

  5. Floride Bonneau (Boinneau) Calhoun Portrait (1765-1836, married October 8, 1786) - National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
    - Father, Samuel Bonneau and Father, Samuel Bonneau
    - East Branch of the Cooper River, 1780-1820 - USC Scholar Commons, PDF p. 200
    - Bonneau Ferry Plantation

  6. Florence Rebecca Calhoun (Florence Rebecca Bousseau, 1759-1836) - Abbeville Press and Banner (Abbeville, SC) 1869-1924, November 06, 1889 and Florence Rebecca Bousseau Calhoun

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Flower photographs by Virginia Saunders, Columbia, SC. Please click flower for more info.


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