Boone Hall Plantation remains one of the best sites to see in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Ranked in the top 10 things to do in the area, it is one of America's most photographed historical sites. Despite COVID-19, the site has received a Travelers' Choice Award in 2020.
Boone Hall Plantation was first founded in 1681 by an Englishman Major John Boone. Boone came to Charleston and set up the plantation. He was very successful and his family became influential in South Carolina.
The plantation has had a series of owners starting from John Boone. The most recent owners are the McRae family.
Today, the plantation is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The plantation is known for its oak trees which line the pathway in two evenly spaced rows. The oak trees have kept growing for two centuries to form moss-draped branches that meet overhead. It is known as the Avenue of Oaks.
The history of Boone Plantation is tied to slavery. The plantation was the site where slaves produced handmade bricks for buildings. In fact, there is a "Slave Street". The "Slave Street" contains nine antebellum brick cabins that were built between 1790 and 1810. The slave cabins are a national treasure today.
Because of the slaves, the cultural heritage of Boone Hall Plantation includes Gullah culture. The Gullah people were a community of multiple West African tribes that form the origins of the slaves. The Gullah people lived together as slaves and eventually formed their own language and customs. The Gullah were the original founders of rap.
The wealth and success of the plantation were due to the labor of the slaves and their intellect. Many slaves were artisans, farmers, and craftsmen. It is no wonder that the plantation is a significant part of Black History.
Visiting the plantation
The plantation is now open 7 days a week with specified hours of operation on the Boone Hall Plantation website. Regular adult ticket prices are $26 and $23 for seniors and the military. Children under 5 are admitted for free while ages 6-12 will be charged $12.
The tour includes access to the entrance of Boone Hall through the Avenue of Oaks. There are also wagon tours and tours of the first floor of the plantation home. There is a Black History in America exhibit in nine of the original slave buildings. There are history talks and live presentations as well.
If you are done touring the house, you can check out the outdoor gardens which are supposed to be beautiful with spectacular views.
As for COVID-19 safety, masks are required on certain tours while social distancing should be maintained. Sanitation stations are installed at multiple locations.
Boone Hall Plantation also serves as a venue for weddings. Plantation weddings continue to remain controversial. Hollywood stars Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were married at Boone Hall in 2012. They were criticized for their choice of venue and apologized for it.
Regardless of the controversy, Boone Hall remains a major historic site for Charleston and all of America.
Source: Boone Hall Plantation