Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Charleston, SC 29414
Magnolia Plantation was founded by the Drayton family in 1676. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America.
The manor house was burned during the Civil War. In the aftermath of the Civil War and postwar economic disruption, John Drayton opened the gardens to the public to earn money as a tourist attraction. In 1870, "Magnolia-on-the-Ashley" were the first private gardens opened to the public.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is 464 acres located on the Ashley River. It is one of the oldest plantations in the South. Magnolia Plantation was originally a rice plantation, with extensive earthworks of dams and dikes built in fields along the river for irrigating land for rice cultivation. Of the five cabins on site, four were built in slavery times and one about 1900.