This post is part of a series I’m doing on the 65th Annual Plantation Tours sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women of Prince George Winyah Parrish. These posts will be interspersed with our regular eclectic offerings.
Each year plantations and town houses (most privately owned) are graciously shared with the public. A different group of homes is on tour each day. As part of the tour of pre-Revolutionary and antebellum churches, town houses and plantations, visitors are invited to the Winyah Indigo Society Hall for tea each afternoon.
The dates for the 66th Annual Plantation Tours are March 22 and 23, 2013.
I arrived at Estherville Plantation just as rain was threatening. The misty light was wonderful and imparted a fairy tale feel to the gardens. It was one of the many times I wished I were a painter. Or at least a better photographer who doesn’t rely on a blackberry to take all her photos. Some of these may have been taken with my actual camera. I tend to switch back and forth depending on battery charge.
Estherville has incredible wrap around marsh views.
The combination of azaleas and Spanish moss draped live oaks is breathtaking!
Add marsh view and my heart stops!
Photographs aren’t allowed inside the houses so all photos will be of the gardens. The interior of the house is amazing with a screened in pool, big game trophies and lots of books. It’s beautiful and lived in and loved.
Here’s what the Plantation Tours brochure says about Estherville Plantation.
“On June 18, 1711, Winyah Barony, containing 12,000 acres, was granted to Landgrave Robert Daniel, who sold it the following day to the second Landgrave Thomas Smith. Nothing is known of the history of his grant until 1732 when Landgrave Thomas Smith laid out a part of this barony as a second town. From 1732 until his death in 1738, he tried to sell lots in the town, but was unsuccessful. Georgetown was already growing, and two towns on Winyah Bay were not needed. Subsequently, a portion of these lands came into the hands of Archibald Johnstone, who married Esther Allston in 1745. It is she for whom the place is named. Their great grandson Francis Withers Johnstone, planted Estherville in 1850, and records show that in that year he had ninety slaves who helped him harvest 300,000 pounds of rice. Estherville remained in the Johnstone family until 1918.
Historically, Estherville is interesting as the probable site of the first experiment in tidal cultivation of rice. Tidal fresh water presumably was brought from Minim Creek, a branch of the Santee River, through a large irrigation ditch or canal. After the success of this experiment, this method of agriculture spread in all directions, vastly increasing the rice production potential of the South Carolina Coast.
The origianl house burned and the present dwelling was constructed on the old foundation in the early 1900′s. Estherville is owned by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Lucas Lumpkin, Jr. and Captain & Mrs. R. Parker Lumpkin.”
After the tour through the house we came out to beautiful sunshine!
Butterflies also enjoyed the azaleas and sunshine!
And for the finale, a rainbow!