1686 SOUTH CAROLINA PLANTATION HAS AN INTERESTING HISTORY
Dating back to 1686, Medway, a 6700 acre plantation in Goose Creek, South Carolina with a 6,200 sq ft main house recently sold for $11MM. It is reported to be the oldest masonry house in South Carolina, now a pink-gabled plantation house surrounded by moss-hung oaks, pine forests and swamps.
There was a fire and it was rebuilt in 1705. The South Carolina Department of Archives says that the house assumed a Holland-like appearance, and mentions that a small company of Hollanders moved to the area. The pictures below are from their archives.
In 1929 it was purchased by Gertrude and Sidney Legendre for $100,000. Gertrude was a socialite who became a US spy during WW2 and was a German POW for 6 months. They restored the house, adding bathrooms and electricity. Gertie hosted many celebrities including Bing Crosby and held lavish New Years Eve parties. One night she made her entrance on the back of an elephant. At one time she summered on the French Riviera with the Fitzgeralds. A succession of owners made additions and changes. Originally the property was 12,000 acres. According to a development consultant in the area, properties on the scale of Medway are “an extreme rarity.” Gertie had sold some acreage to endow a non-profit foundation which would own Medway.
The property was listed in the National Register of Historic Houses in 1970.
Early on it was a cotton plantation and an old race track can still be traced where thoroughbred horses were raised. The property contains a cemetery and there are ghost stories connected to the property. The state's first governor is buried on the plantation. Local lore suggests the reason the roofline was designed with stair-step gables was to allow evil spirits to be able to walk away from the house easily and leave it in peace.
A formal garden was laid out in the early 1900’s. There are two avenues of oak trees.
Audubon declared the plantation an important bird area. It is protected by several strict conservation easements which limit use beyond a private plantation. The easement protects the property in perpetuity. Many previous and following owners added to the home and Mrs. Legrendre left the property to a foundation run by her daughter. In 2004, it came on the market for $25MM. It returned to the market in 2009, and most recently asked $15 million. There are four guesthouses, three staff houses, a lakefront lodge and a stable. Another building houses an indoor swimming pool, and there is also an outdoor pool.
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