The "Avenue of Oaks" approach to Mansfield Plantation
|Nearest city||Georgetown, South Carolina|
|Area||55 acres (22.3 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||December 06, 1977|
Mansfield Plantation is a well-preserved antebellum rice plantation, established in 1718 on the banks of the Black River in historic Georgetown, South Carolina. Spanning nearly 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of pine forest, rice fields and cypress swamps, Mansfield Plantation was once one of the largest rice producing plantations in the country. Mansfield, along with adjacent rice plantations up and down the Black River, provided much of Europe with "Carolina Gold" rice during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Rice growing was made possible by 1) perfecting irrigation techniques using tidal water and manmade dykes; 2) experimentation with natural fertilizers; 3) and most notably, African-American slave labor. After the American Civil War, rice production became too expensive and soon the plantations fell into bankruptcy and were sold off to new owners.
Today, Mansfield Plantation is preserved as an authentic rice plantation, complete with the original plantation home, a school house, live oak avenue ("oak alley"), chapel, guest house and grounds. It also has the only remaining winnowing barn in Georgetown County, where rice grains were processed for shipment. Undergoing restoration is a slave village of 7 slave cabins and a chapel. As of 2009, the entire plantation is undergoing a privately funded, massive restoration project to keep its distinct history alive for generations to come. It is said to be the only American plantation be saved from development and reclaimed by a direct descendent of the original owners.
Mansfield Plantation has been featured in numerous films, documentaries and television shows. It served as the backdrop for scenes from Mel Gibson's 2000 film, The Patriot. In 2006, the Fox network filmed two segments of their primetime television series Treasure Hunters at Mansfield and the Fine Living Network filmed a documentary at Mansfield Plantation for their television series Windshield America.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- McNulty, Kappy; Kathy Hendrix (March 10, 1977). "Mansfield Plantation" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "Mansfield Plantation, Georgetown County (off S.C. Sec. Rd. 431, Georgetown vicinity)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Slave cabin/chapel restoration project
- "Movies Filmed in South Carolina – The Patriot". South Carolina Information Highway. SCIway.net. 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- Agnes Baldwin, N. Jane Iseley, William P. Baldwin (1983). Plantations of the Low Country: South Carolina 1697-1865 (Rev. edition ed.). Legacy Pubns.
- Alberta Morel Lachicotte (1989). Georgetown Rice Plantations. Reprint Co.
- Suzanne Cameron Linder (2001). Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River. South Carolina Department of Archives and History for the Historic Ricefields Association, Inc.
- Mansfield Plantation website
- Interactive plantation map
- When Rice Was King, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan