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Informtion from The Drayton Hall Website
A History of Drayton Hall
Stories of a survivor
Drayton Hall was a rice plantation, a military headquarters, a site for strip mining, and a country retreat before it became a National Trust historic site. Its record stretches over three centuries of American history, and it is the only plantation house on the Ashley River that survives today. These are its stories.
Before Drayton Hall
Discover what we know about the Draytons' predecessors-from the Native Americans who populated the Lowcountry for centuries to the family who sold the land to John Drayton.
A Colonial Rice Plantation
Rice was king in colonial Charleston. Land had to be cleared, drainage systems dug, seeds planted, fields flooded and drained, crops weeded — all before the harvest. Learn about the processes and people involved in making Drayton Hall a successful plantation.
During the American Revolution, the seat of the Drayton family became the headquarters for troops from both the British and Continental Armies. Find out how this tumultuous period changed Drayton Hall.
The Early Republic
Drayton Hall thrived under Charles Drayton, and it was he who made the first major changes to the main house and landscape. Learn more about how the property changed during the early 19th-century.
The Antebellum Years
The antebellum years were a time of change at Drayton Hall. The rice economy was on the decline in the Lowcountry, and the country was about to break into war.
The Civil War
Drayton Hall was one of just three plantation houses on the Ashley River to survive the Civil War. Learn more about Dr. John Drayton, who acted as steward for Drayton Hall during the war, and examine the theories behind its survival.
The end of the plantation system did not bring an end to Drayton Hall. Learn more about the phosphate mining operations that made it possible for the Draytons to complete renovations to the main house and grounds.
The 20th Century
During the 20th century, Drayton Hall was a country retreat for the Drayton family. Learn more about Charlotta Drayton's influence on Drayton Hall, both during and after her life.