A Plantation Preserved...Sitting among magnificent moss-draped ancient oak trees and beautiful formal plantings, this graceful antebellum manor house commands a mile of riverfront on the Pee Dee River. It is no exaggeration to call Chicora Wood Plantation one of the most successful rice plantations in South Carolina of its time. In 1850 it was home-base for Gov. Robert F. Allston, who owned a network of 7 plantations along the river. His holdings produced more than 1.5 million pounds of rice in a years time. The manor house and eight existing dependencies were meticulously restored as close to the original as possible based on Allston family records. Entering the main house the foyer greets you with a grand staircase, a large formal drawing room to the right and an exquisite dining room to the left, each with massive doors, ornate chandeliers and elegant window treatments. The drawing room is a bright and cheerful gathering place with large jib windows that overlook the formal garden and the peaceful Pee Dee. The drawing room is adjoined to the library sharing a double sided fireplace. The formal dining room, elegantly embellished, overlooks majestic live oaks adorned with Spanish Moss. The kitchen has a cozy fireplace, abundant cabinet space and opens to a lovely breakfast room. Beneath the house is the “winter” kitchen with original fireplace, mantle, bread oven and root cellar. Through the breezeway is the former servant’s hall, now a large brick-floored bedroom with bath and fireplace. The second floor of the main house includes the master suite with a splendid view of the river. Fireplace, comfortable sitting area and large master bath keep with the look of the time period but offer every modern amenity and comfort. Mrs. Pringle's bedroom and two additional bedrooms on 2nd floor are elegantly adorned each with a fireplace and bath. From 1896 to 1921, the Gov.’s daughter, Elizabeth Allston Pringle, was the last rice planter of Chicora Wood, “surviving in a man’s world and in a society in upheaval”. Elizabeth Pringle is known for her contribution to literature as the author of “A Woman Rice Planter”- her own account of a woman’s role in daily life on a rice plantation; “Chronicles of Chicora Wood”; “Rab and Dab”. It's not hard to imagine her reflecting on the day from such an inspiring place. Descending stairs lead to the original wing built circa 1784 that includes an additional living room with fireplace, private entry with foyer, bedroom with fireplace and bath, a second floor with two charming bedrooms, bath and storage. This wing opens to the formal garden and offers beautiful views of the river. A masterfully designed staircase leads to hidden attic access and the home office with the most amazing atop the oaks view to the river. The staircase is a marvel in itself as it offers nanny windows to the former nursery. Positioned on either side of the office are two additional bedrooms and abundant storage. Chicora Wood Plantation consists of approximately 1,000 acres of managed formal grounds, turf farm and ricefields. The property extends roughly 350 acres across the river. There are two additional residences on the grounds. The former school house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath guest quarters that overlook the river and tennis court. Also the caretaker’s house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath dwelling with views of the formal garden and river. There are 8 dependencies on the property: the Summer Kitchen, Smokehouse, Driver’s House, Carriage House, Rice Threshing Mill, Shipping Barn, Gatekeeper's Cabin and School House. All have been restored to their time period with the utmost care. There are also numerous equipment barns, and caretaker’s office. This turnkey working plantation is the perfect niche for owning a piece of the past. Over 100 acres of impounded former ricefields afford bountiful hunting opportunities. The plantation in its entirety is protected by a conservation easement with The Historic Charleston Foundation.
Many of the neighboring plantations up and down river are also protected under conservation easement, assuring that these lands will never be encroached upon by commercial development. Chicora Wood Plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rice Threshing Mill and Shipping Barn complex are one of the most interesting remaining examples of its type today. Honestly, a visit to Chicora Wood is like a step backwards in time, however the restoration of this property and it's dependencies combines all of the authentic structures with every modern amenity and comfort allowing a life style as elegant or as casual as one might desire.