Drayton Hall is very different from its adjoining property, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. I enjoyed learning all about its history and the differences.
Drayton Hall was built in the Palladian architectural style in the early 1700’s for John Drayton, father of judge John Drayton, Jr. It is the only plantation house on the Ashley River that survived, intact, through both the Revolutionary and Civil War—a current National Historic Landmark.
John Drayton, Sr. bought the property in the later 1730’s, since he knew he wouldn’t inherit Magnolia as the third son in the family. The property served as an indigo and rice plantation. John bought nearby property from his cousin before William moved. Seven generations of Drayton heirs preserved much of the plantation in its original condition, with the exception of the laundry and kitchen which were destroyed in an earthquake and hurricane respectively.
Today the plantation is a declared National Historic Landmark, as of 1960, and is managed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The house opened to public tours in the last 1970’s and has been called one of the finest surviving plantation houses in the country. A guide to the house was published in 2005 and several visitors flock to the plantation each year.