Tucked away in the remote last vestiges of a colonial-era rice plantation, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site is both bucolic and evocative.
The plantation’s Georgian-style mansion and well-kept grounds serve as an interpretive site for the system of slavery that helped build such plantations into the greatest generators of wealth in early American history. They also tell the story of the freed people who made their homes there for generations after emancipation.
Visitors can explore the mansion, wander the plantation grounds or just look out upon Wambaw Creek at the remains of rice fields that once stretched as far as the eye could see. George Washington had such a view when he stood on the Hampton family’s portico in 1791.
A historic kitchen building, huge live oaks, camellia gardens and archaeological sites also tell the story of Lowcountry rice culture.
Hampton is an ideal place to discover the surrounding Santee Delta’s natural beauty, which inspired the works of a South Carolina poet laureate, Archibald Rutledge, who lived here and gave it to the people of South Carolina as a legacy.