A Brief History: Magnolia Plantation is located at 3550 Ashley Road on the banks of the Ashley River in historic Charleston, South Carolina. Built in 1676 by Thomas and Ann Drayton, it is the oldest public tourist site in the region. Named and renowned for its many beautiful gardens, it survived everything from the American Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Originally used as a rice plantation, it had a system of dams and dikes used for irrigation and rice cultivation. The plantation house was burned down during the Civil War and rebuilt postwar. The public gardens have been open to the public since 1870 and it continues to be one of Charleston’s most popular tourist attractions to this day. The property is still owned by the Drayton Family, a family that has long included statesmen, soldiers, and ministers. It is also a popular destination for weddings and other public events. Notable visitors include George Gershwin, Henry Ford, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Orson Welles.
Haunted History: Due to it’s long and eventful history, it’s no wonder Magnolia Plantation also has a rich haunted history as well. Some of the claims include disembodied voices, strange noises, growling, and unexplained music. The plantation was also home to as many as 235 slaves over the years and there are those that believe that some of those slaves may have placed voodoo curses on their masters. Life was hard for slaves on the plantation, with the men being tasked with clearing swamp land and women painstakingly sowing the rice. Charleston was known as a place where it was nearly impossible for slaves to escape from and this led to plenty of revolts and insurrections. Few of which were successful. A dark history that contrasts the bright and vibrant home and gardens that makes up the plantation.