The Ashley River Plantations

Three plantations – Middleton Place, Magnolia and Drayton Hall – are along the Ashley River’s west bank upstream from the site of the original colony. The story of these three estates and the families that lived there mirrors the history of South Carolina – from its colonial beginnings, through the American Revolution and Civil wars. Today, they are nationally-recognized heritage sites that draw visitors from around the world who come to admire their formal gardens and historic houses.

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The Bowens Family

Richmond Bowens is buried near the entrance to Drayton Hall Plantation. It is a fitting resting place for Bowens, Drayton Hall’s gatekeeper who spent nearly two decades telling stories of his family’s connection to the plantation. Bowens said his family came to the Carolina Colony from Barbados as slaves with the Drayton family.

Born Sept. 2, 1908, a son of Richmond and Anna Bowens, Bowens grew up at Drayton Hall and didn't leave until just before World War II. He moved to Chicago where he worked mostly as a chauffeur. He returned to Charleston in the mid-70s and became a gatekeeper and oral historian at Drayton Hall.


Stede Bonnet, Gentleman Pirate

Pirates were welcomed in Charles Town’s harbor during the colony’s early years. For the colonists, pirates provided protection and profit. As long as they raided Spanish ships, it reduced the chances that Spain would attack the colony. When these sea-going thieves came ashore they paid for their supplies with Spanish gold and silver and sold their booty below its value.


The Single House

The Single House is one of the most visible reminders in downtown Charleston of the Barbados-Carolina connection.

Unique to Charleston, the traditional Single House is a long narrow rectangle, one room wide with a single gabled roof. The short side of the roof faces the street. A street entrance on the short side leads to a porch (piazza in the Charleston vernacular) on the long side of the house. The main entrance to the house opens in the center of the long side and leads to a central stair hall, which separates the interior into two rooms on each floor. There could be multiple floors with piazzas on each level. The other long side of the house from the piazza is on the lot line with few windows to provide privacy.


The Goose Creek Men

The first four decades of Carolina have been called the age of the Goose Creek Men, an influential political faction of Barbados planters who settled in Goose Creek, a community just north of Charleston.