Boone Hall Plantation

(Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens)

1235 Long Point Road, Mt Pleasant, SC

(843) 884-4371

Status: Former Plantation; Heritage Property

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History

The earliest known habitation on the land were Elizabeth Patey and her husband Major John Boone in 1681. 470 acres (1.9 square kilometers) were given to them by Elizabeth’s father as a wedding gift. It is unclear when the original house was built but the plantation quickly became known as Boone Hall.

Both Elizabeth and John were relatives of the Founding Fathers Edward and John Rutledge.

Boone was a member of the Colonial Grand Council from time to time but kept getting removed due to his illegal activities: having Native American slaves and dealing with pirates and in stolen goods.

When Boone died the estate was divided between his wife and 5 children. The eldest son, Thomas, moved into Boone Hall.

In 1811 the last Boone to own the property (he was also named John) passed and his widow sold the plantation to Thomas Vardell for $12,000 (just under $285,000 in 2024). Shortly afterwards Henry and John Horlbeck bought both the plantation and the slaves on the property.

They converted the plantation to a brick foundry and the slaves made and built some of the most historic buildings in Charleston. Their fingerprints can still be seen on the bricks of some of Charleston’s most famous buildings.

The slaves also created the Avenue of Oaks that still leads up to the plantation house.

In 1935 a Canadian, Thomas Stone, and his wife bought the property. They decided the original wooden building which has served as the actual plantation house was not their idea of a historic Southern Plantation and demolished it.

In 1936 they built the house which exists today on the same site as the original home.

In 1940 the house was sold to Georgian Prince who changed it into a thoroughbred horse farm.

In 1955 the property was sold to Harris and Nancy McRae who opened the grounds and house to the public. The McRae family still own the property and have restored the historically significant buildings back to their original splendor.

The property remains open to the public and can be booked for weddings – Ryan Reynolds even got married here – but in current times weddings at former plantations have fallen under scrutiny due to their slave owning past.

Numerous productions have been filmed here including: North and South, The Notebook and Days of Our Lives.

 

Paranormal Activity

This location is on many listed of South Carolina’s most haunted locations it is rather confusing as to why. Compared to other sites in the State – like the lunatic asylum in Columbia or the Battery & Carriage Inn – it is at a fairly mundane and low level of activity.

Although John Boone was a bit of a scoundrel and, sometimes, an outright criminal the hauntings do not relate to the time he and his family owned the property. Rather they are from the time the Horlbeck brothers owned and ran the brick foundry.

The Horlbecks weren’t concerned about the health or well being of their slaves – their only concern was the bottom line – so much so they even forced the slave children to work.

Although there is no record of any fatalities – accidental or otherwise – all paranormal activity is reported in the vicinity of where the brick kiln was. Literally all reports of paranormal activity here is within 20 feet of the kiln.

The two most reported ghosts are the apparitions of 2 African-American children; a boy and a girl. The apparitions of other slaves are also seen in this area. Despite their history of mistreatment and probable violent cause of death the ghosts are reported as non-malevolent.