History and museums
McLeod Plantation is located at 325 Country Club Drive on James Island, South Carolina, near the intersection of Folly and Maybank Roads. Situated at Wappoo Creek which flows into the Ashley River, historic events have been recorded throughout the period from 1678 when it first appeared on maps under "Morris." The plantation house standing on the land today was constructed in about 1858 in the Georgian style. Also on the property are six clapboard slave cabins, a detached kitchen, a dairy building, a pre-war gin house for long-staple cotton, a barn, and a carriage house. The plantation is an important Gullah heritage site preserved in recognition of its cultural and historical significance.
In 1780 in the American War of Independence General Sir Henry Clinton used the original house as his headquarters while planning the siege of Charleston. The plantation was occupied by Confederate forces during most of the Civil War, and the home also served as a hospital. After the evacuation of Charleston in early 1865, it was occupied by the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiments, which were African American soldiers. Later, the home was occupied as offices by the Freedmen's Bureau, and at one point, nearly newly freed slaves camped out on the plantation's lands. In 1926, The front and rear of the house were reversed, and the front facade was altered.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has additional information and photographs. The plantation was named one of the African American Historic Places in South Carolina.
The home was occupied by the McLeod family until 1990, and a share was given to the Historic Charleston Foundation who proceeded to consolidate shareholders. It was sold to the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) in 2004. Unable to support the development of their school and the plantation, ACBA returned it to Historic Charleston in 2008.
In 2011, Historic Charleston Foundation sold McLeod Plantation to the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, thereby ensuring the buildings will be restored and protected under public ownership. The McLeod Plantation Historic Site opened to the public on April 25, 2015. The site part of the federally recognized Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor in South Carolina. The corridor stretches along the coast from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, with South Carolina representing most of the area. Enslaved people that survived the Middle Passage, mostly from west and central Africa, were forced to labor on rice, indigo and cotton plantations like McLeod. From various ethnic and cultural groups, these men, women, and children developed the creole Gullah/Geechee culture and language with its many African retentions.