Plantations

 

"Lodebar", later called "Harts", a plantation just west of Dorchester, was the home of William Maxwell and his wife, Elizabeth Jones Maxwell. They lived there in 1838, for it was there that Abial Winn and Louisa Vanyeverine Ward were married. Lodebar was the home also of Henry Hart Jones and his wife, Abigal Sturges Dowse, from 1846 to 1856. In 1856 Lodebar was purchased from Henry Hart Jones by Smith Screven Hart. Smith Screven Hart died at Lodebar in 1866, survived by his third wife, Harriet Atwood Newell Hart, who died in Dorchester, August 24, 1883.

 

"Laurel View" was another plantation which was owned by several people. In 1853 Andrew Maybank Jones, because of ill health, retired to Laurel View, which he had inherited. According to the records of Miss Julia King, Laurel View was originally called "Hester's Bluff" and was a grant to Thomas Maxwell.

 

Also named in Miss Julia King's records are many plantations on Colonels Island, which changed ownership many times. One was called "Sulligree", because people named Sulligree, great fishing people, once lived there. Colonel Audley Maxwell bought Sulligree from Mr. Shadrach Butler of South Carolina. He bought Yellow Bluff from the Bacons and other tracts of land from Colonel White. These tracts adjoined Colonel Audley Maxwell's grant on Colonels Island.

 

 

The former plantation site of the famous LeConte family offers a variety of experiences for naturalists, including exploring the restored rice fields and gardens that belonged to the family and looking for wildlife that frequent the second-growth cypress swamps. Botanists with an interest in historic gardens will enjoy their time here.

 

Woodmanston, a 3,354-acre rice plantation, was established in 1760 in St. Johns Parish by John Eatton LeConte. It was one of the largest in the South. The 63.8 acre historic site, surrounded by pine plantations and Bulltown Swamp, protects the heart of the plantation where the main house and gardens were located. A nature trail leads from here over a trunk canal to former rice fields and a cypress swamp. With restored trunks in the dikes, the former fields can still be flooded using gravity flow, just as they were 240 years ago. LeConte-Woodmanston Plantation was unlike most coastal plantations that used tidal waters to flood their fields. The swamp water is dammed, then drained into the rice fields. Managers of the site plan to grow rice again as an educational tool. Hikers can explore the old fields and Bulltown Swamp blackwater ecosystem and cypress forest along the top of the centuries-old dikes, which were constructed by slaves from clays found in the swamp.

 

Bulltown Swamp is the headwaters of the South Newport River, which flows into Sapelo Sound. Vegetation at the site is the result of wild regeneration of land that has experienced farming and logging. More than 25 varieties of tree can be found on the property, including pond and bald cypress; overcup, live, laurel, water, and cherrybark oak; sweet and black gum; and Ogeechee lime. The understory consists of red titi, wax myrtle, holly, and plum, and vines include Cherokee rose, smilax, trumpet creeper, and jessamine. Wet areas support swamp lily, iris, ferns, primrose-willow and pickerelweed.

 

Millhaven Plantation

A beautiful two-story home on Millhaven Plantation, built by Jonathan Gaulden before the Civil War, had long been unoccupied and was in the last stages of deterioration by 1917. There were those people who swore they saw ghosts amid the ruins. Grounds of the old plantation became a popular place for church and civic picnics. Winns Mill Pond, near the home, was used by Baptist churches for baptisms. A trail near the mill pond was known as "Lover's Lane."


From "Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia" by Robert Long Groover; Page(s) 78; Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office

 

 

 

According to the Liberty County tax digest for 1851, of the approximately 100 plantations along the county coast that year, only six were larger than 1,000 acres and 100 slaves. They were owned by Joseph H. Jones Sr., T.B. Bar­nard, Moses L. Jones, Roswell King Jr., G.W. Walthour, and Jacob Walburg. Plantation of the last named was on Saint Catherines Island, which he owned.

 

In the 16th Militia District, or western part of the county, there were 66 landowners, and only half of that number owned slaves, never in any great number.

 

In the 17th Militia District, or central part of the county, there were 66 landowners, and only half of that number owned slaves-again, never in any great number. Mary Jane Hazzard Bacon resided just outside of Hinesville and owned 42 slaves, more than anyone else in that part of the county. Some of those slaves, however, may have been used on a coastal plantation she also owned.

 

LIBERTY COUNTY GEORGIA

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Mailing Address

Liberty County Historical Society
PO Box 982
Hinesville, GA  31310

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