Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina

Date added: July 05, 2023 Categories:
Oaklyn Plantation House, main facade (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, straddling the Old Charleston Road at Black Creek in Darlington County, is one of the major plantation establishments of the county and the seat of the Williamson family for over 200 years.

The area which is now Darlington County was first settled by non-indigenous people six decades after Charleston, the initial English settlement in South Carolina, was established in 1670. Development in the Province was confined to the Lowcountry until after the adoption of the Township Act of 1730, which authorized several frontier settlements in the Back Country of South Carolina. The Welsh Tract was established on the Great Pee Dee River, one of the major waterways of South Carolina, in 1736 for the settlement of Welsh Baptists from Pennsylvania. The Welsh were joined by settlers of English, Scots-Irish, French Huguenot and German descent during the decades following. Although Dissenters remained in the majority among the Back Country settlers, The Church of England was the established church of the Province. The Anglican parishes served, within the counties, as legal divisions for elections, and more informally for the location of property and for the identification of one's place of residence. The upper Pee Dee region was included in Prince Frederick's Parish, a division of Craven County, until 1768, when St. David's Parish was created. The District of Cheraws, a judicial district with boundaries identical to those of St. David's Parish, was created in 1769, with the court house and jail initially at Cheraw Hill and later at Long Bluff. Long Bluff, on the Pee Dee near the later town of Society Hill, was settled about 1760 and was the first and for many years he only village in present-day Darlington County.

The Williamson family, one of the earliest in the Pee Dee region, was descended from midi ban Williamson of Prince Frederick's Parish, who died in 1767, leaving behind a wife and several children. His son Thomas Williamson, ancestor of the Oaklyn Williamsons, cast his vote in the 1769 election for the provincial Assembly at Long Bluff, in upper St. David's Parish. Thomas Williamson and his brothers William and John settled on Black Creek in the 1770s.

Black Creek is actually a river-sized stream, an average of forty feet wide, eight feet deep, with a velocity of four to five miles an hour. It is a tributary of the Pee Dee River. The Pee Dee forms the northern boundary of present-day Darlington County, and Black Creek enters the Pee Dee just east of the county line, in present-day Florence County. About five miles upstream from the mouth of Black Creek is Williamson's Bridge, which is situated on the south side of Oak Lyn Plantation. Williamson's Bridge carried the main road from Cheraw to Georgetown and Charleston across Black Creek and also marked the head of navigation for Black Creek. That strategic spot became a focus of settlement for the Williamson family before the American Revolution.

A 100 acre tract, square in shape and described as bounding to the southwest on Black Creek and on all other sides on vacant land, was surveyed for Thomas Williamson, son of William Williamson, in January, 1771, and a royal grant for the tract was signed in April 1771. Another 100 acre tract near Black Creek was surveyed for his brother William Williamson "of Black Creek", in January, 1771, and a grant for the tract was signed in April 1771. Also square in shape, it was described as butting to the southeast on land already owned by William Williamson, and on all other sides on vacant land. The land already owned by William Williamson was a tract of 200 acres near Black Creek which had been surveyed for William Palmer in 1756, and granted to Palmer in 1757, and a portion of which was by some means acquired subsequently by William Williamson. A third brother, John Williamson, had a survey done in January, 1775, and a grant signed in February, 1775, for 300 acres on Black Creek. That was an irregularly shaped tract, bounding to the south and southeast on land belonging to Thomas Williamson and William Williamson. The 1775 plat depicts a bridge (Williamson's Bridge) across Black Creek, and a path (the Old Charleston Road) leading northward from the bridge. One tract belonging to Thomas Williamson is depicted as being situated slightly upstream from the bridge and surrounded on three sides by John Williamson's 1775 grant. Another tract belonging to Thomas Williamson was downstream from the bridge, according to the plat. The various acquisitions of lands on Black Creek by the Williamson brothers in the 1770s formed the foundation of present-day Oaklyn Plantation.

It is not known specifically what the Williamsons cultivated at Black Creek during the eighteenth century, after cutting back the pine and oak forests from the rolling lands, to expose the sandy clay soil. It is known that the settlers in the Pee Dee region raised cattle, horses and hogs, and their principal crops were corn, grain, tobacco and indigo. Indigo was the major cash crop, benefitting from a British government bounty on its production. Indigo Branch, a tributary of Black Creek on the south side of Oaklyn, below Williamson's Bridge, commemorates its former value. Cattle were driven and other goods transported by wagon overland to markets in Charleston and to the colonies to the north, because obstructions to water traffic on the Pee Dee were not cleared until the latter part of the eighteenth century.

Slave labor was employed by the Back Country planters, although not as extensively as their counterparts in the Low Country, nor as extensively as later generations in the Back Country. William Williamson, progenitor of the Williamson clan, at his death in 1767 bequeathed four slaves, a boy Ned, Bob and Dina, and a girl Hannah, to his heirs, and ordered that two unnamed slaves be sold at public vendue.

During the Revolution, loyalties were divided in the Back Country. Thomas Williamson's brother, Benjamin Williamson, as a member of the Petit Jury of Cheraw District, signed a petition in protest against the "attempt of the British Parliament to tax us," in 1774. William Williamson served as a private in Marion's Brigade in 1782. Williamson's Bridge was the site of a skirmish between a Patriot force under Col. Lemuel Benton and a group of Tories.

Following the Revolution, the area became part of Darlington County, which was one of three counties carved out of the old Cheraws District in 1785. The village of Darlington Court House, the newly designated county seat, was established on Swift Creek, at the geographic center of the county, and about six miles to the west of the Williamson lands at Black Creek. Darlington County was renamed Darlington District in 1798, and retained that designation until 1868, when present-day Darlington County was created.

The British bounty on indigo ended with the Revolution but in the latter part of the century, cotton was introduced. Slaves were imported in greater numbers as cotton became more profitable due to the introduction of the cotton gin. By 1850, blacks outnumbered whites in Darlington District by a ratio of almost two to one. Cotton was the chief source of wealth which made Darlington District among the wealthiest of the agricultural counties in the United States.

Thomas Williamson died in 1804, leaving a son, Bright Williamson I, who apparently inherited his lands. In 1809, William Williamson, Jr., and his wife Rebecca, conveyed to Bright Williamson I his plantation of 380 acres on the north side of Black Creek, being composed of portions of three tracts of land: part of a tract of 100 acres granted in 1757 to William Palmer, part of a tract of 100 acres granted in 1771 to William Williamson, and part of a tract of 300 acres granted in 1775 to John Williamson. A plat accompanying the deed depicts Williamson's Bridge and the road leading northward to Stoney Hill. Also depicted are a store and a "mansion" on the west side of the road.

Bright Williamson I added to the plantation by purchasing in 1812 from William Coleman, an adjacent tract of 180 acres, consisting of two triangularly shaped pieces, connected at the apex of the triangle, and bounding to the south on Black Creek, to the north and east on land of Coleman and to the west on land of Bright Williamson.

In 1813, Bright Williamson I acquired in a sheriff's sale an additional 220 acres located on English's Branch, a branch of Black Creek. The tract, which had been the plantation of Abner Broach, was described as being composed of several tracts including a portion of a tract of 100 acres which William Williamson, Sr., had conveyed to Abram Sauls in 1796, and which subsequently was acquired by Broach; a tract of 95 acres for which Abner Broach (Brock) had received a state grant in 1798; part of the tract granted to William Palmer in 1757; and a tract originally granted to David Williams in 1775 and subsequently conveyed to Broach by William Coleman and his wife. The Broach plantation was located to the north of the property which Bright Williamson I had acquired from William and Rebecca Williamson in 1809. A plat of the plantation was surveyed for Broach in March 1809, depicting Broach's dwelling house on the east side of the public road to Stoney Hill, and a building designated "Catholic Church" further up the road.

The last designation is unexplained, as no other record has been found of a Catholic Church in the area at that time.

A plat, showing a composite of acquisitions which made up the Oaklyn Plantation, indicates that an additional 1,350 acres was conveyed to Bright Williamson I by William Coleman in 1820. That tract was, located to the east of the several tracts which Bright Williamson I previously had acquired.

The various purchases over time may have caused some confusion as to boundaries. In 1842, Benjamin Franklin Williamson I, son of Bright Williamson I, had the boundaries of the plantation surveyed by D. C. McLeod, deputy surveyor. Perhaps to regularize the title, he obtained a grant from the State of South Carolina for the 2,300 acres, on December 29th, 1842.

Subsequent to the state grant, the plantation was further expanded by the addition of two tracts. The composite plat indicates the acquisition at some point of an irregularly shaped tract of 125 acres, part of a tract of 470 acres granted to George Cannon in 1793. The tract of 125 acres was sold by George P. Cannon, son of the grantee, to Thomas Hunter in 1820. The composite plat also depicts another 159 acres with the notation that it had been conveyed by George Cannon to John Hunter in 1820.

During the early nineteenth century, the road over Williamson's Bridge was part of the stagecoach route from Cheraw to Georgetown and Charleston. Coaches drawn by four horses with convenient relays kept a regular schedule. Wagons continued to carry produce to the ports. The major commercial traffic, however, was carried on by pole boats on the Pee Dee and its tributaries.

Bright Williamson I kept a general merchandise store near Williamson's Bridge and operated pole boats along Black Creek and the Pee Dee, transporting crops to Georgetown. According to his grandson Bright Williamson II, he "made a handsome fortune" in that business. During the War of 1812, he became Colonel Bright Williamson, having been promoted from commander of a company to commander of a regiment. He also served as an officer in the Seminole Wars in Florida and was appointed by the Governor of South Carolina as Brigadier General of state troops which were mobilized at the time of the Nullification Movement.

Mills' Atlas of 1820 depicts the location of the residence of Colonel Bright Williamson I on the east side of the road, just above Williamson's Bridge, and somewhat to the southeast of the present main house at Oaklyn. He must have planted cotton and corn at Oaklyn, as those were the principal crops of the period in the area.

Col. Williamson subsequently lived at Mont Clare Plantation, north of Darlington Court House. He purchased Mont Clare about 1825 at the request of his wife, the former Jane Rogers of Marlboro District, whom he had married in 1812. The Mont Clare house is a two story Federal residence, built ca. 1812. It was described in 1825 as "a Splendid Mansion House," and was considered the finest in the vicinity. A visitor in 1826 described Col. Williamson's "noble residence" at Mont Clare as being "well finished and handsomely furnished." Col. Williamson also owned other plantations including Skufful, near Mont Clare, which later passed to his eldest son, Benjamin Franklin Williamson I. Bright Williamson I was one of the founders of the Darlington County Agricultural Society in 1846.

Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Williamson I, was born February 3rd, 1814, at Oaklyn Plantation. His father sent him to Mount Zion College at Winnsboro and he was graduated from the South Carolina College in 1833. He at once began life as a planter. Col. Bright Williamson gave him a half interest in Oaklyn and a half interest in one of the best plantations on the Pee Dee. In a few years he traded his half interest in the Pee Dee plantation for the other half interest in Oaklyn. His friends criticized him for making an uneven trade, as the soil at Oaklyn was worn out and less productive than the more fertile river land. However, by perseverance, hard work and scientific agricultural methods, he was able to make Oaklyn productive again, and by the end of the antebellum period he was considered one of the most successful planters in the state. His son, Bright Williamson II, described Oaklyn during his tenure:

His plantation was a model of method and order and the organization was most complete. The barns, stables, and other out buildings were arranged and placed to the best advantage and convenience and the spacious premises were laid off with great precision and exactness. The Negro Quarters were laid off with streets and set with shade trees, and the Overseer's residence so arranged at one end as to command a view of the Quarters. Every road and boundary was as straight and as square as circumstance would permit. Every building was set square and true, and every field conformed to a convenient shape and size. The ditches were laid off with so much judgement and care that for half a century it has been unnecessary to cut new ones. There was a place for everything, and every thing was in its place. The plantation was entirely self sustaining and independent of the outside world, except for salt, coffee, shoes, clothing, drugs, iron, and a few other articles. An abundance of everything that could be grown under our sun and clime was produced. Most of the agricultural implements were made on the farm, and wagons were repaired and rebuilt until they lasted for twenty years. An abundance of well seasoned hickory, oak, ash, and other wood was always on hand.

The Negroes were well housed, well clothed, and well cared for. They were carefully trained to do the work that they were best qualified to do, and many had their specialties.

Tom was a good carpenter, Dave an excellent blacksmith, Big Ben the chief wagoner, Richard the ditcher, Manuel the butcher, Will the cattle minder, Flander the driver, Enoch the rail splitter, Alfred the hewer, Ham [the] ox driver, and Peggy was in charge of the children and the sick, and had a garden of herbs and medicinal plants. . .

Daniel Jessie, a large black negro of remarkable native sense, judgement, and ability was foreman and assisted the Overseer, and many things were entrusted to his care. After the War Mr. Williamson's negroes were much sought for by others on account of their training, knowledge, and ability to do good work.

According to the Federal Census of 1850, Benjamin Franklin Williamson I owned 57 slaves. In 1860 he owned 68 slaves who lived in 47 slave houses. The numbers placed him among the largest slaveholders in the state. In 1860, the average number of slaves per planter in South Carolina was 15.1, and 87.6 percent of South Carolina planters owned fewer than 20 slaves, while 60.7 per cent owned fewer than 10 slaves. None of the slave houses in the "Negro Quarters," described by Bright Williamson II have survived, although the overseer's house remained until 1993.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson I began to employ scientific agriculture at Oaklyn shortly after obtaining the property. About 1838, he acquired some seed corn from Virginia, and by selective cultivation he developed a distinct variety known as Williamson corn, which Bright Williamson described as "true in reproduction and a very excellent quality." It produced a record yield of 212 bushels per acre at one time. Williamson also developed a variety of cotton, with which he produced, without commercial fertilizers, a yield of 14,400 pounds of seed cotton on his so-called "Four Acre Patch." Also without the use of commercial fertilizers his entire crop averaged 1,100 pounds of seed cotton per acre. His son Bright Williamson II asserted that: "His ideas were in advance of his time, altho' eminently practiced in their application in his own time, and the things he preached and practiced during his life were in exact accord with the best practice and counsel of to-day. The importance of crop rotation, the value, of the cow pea, humus, surfs, and the making of home made manures were well known to him."

His interest in scientific agriculture led him to cultivate the acquaintance of leading men in that field. Bright Williamson II asserted that "Professors Toumey and Ruffin, the Geologist, and Dr. Ravenel the Chemist and Scientist were guests at his home." Edmund Ruffin, the noted Virginia agriculturalist, publisher and secessionist, visited Darlington District in 1843, while conducting the South Carolina Agricultural and Geological Survey for the Agricultural Committee of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Ruffin's successor in that position was his friend Michael Toumey, who subsequently was professor of agricultural chemistry at the University of Alabama. Ruffin, like Williamson, also was acquainted with the agricultural chemist Dr. St. Julien Ravenel of Charleston.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson I was not the only planter in the neighborhood interested in scientific agriculture. Gov. David Rogerson Williams, whose main plantation was on the Pee Dee, also was noted for innovations in the field. E. McIver Williamson, son of Benjamin Franklin Williamson I, bred cotton at Mont Clare, developing the Sea Island-Mont Clare cross that produced 90 bales on 60 acres and its long staple brought $1.35 per pound. Also at Mont Clare, E. McIver Williamson developed the "Williamson method" of increasing corn yield, which revolutionized corn growing in several Southern states.

The Williamsons were part of a tradition of leadership in scientific agriculture, in succession from Governor Williams in the early nineteenth century to David R. Coker who experimented with cotton yields in the early twentieth century, which made Darlington District (County) a center for agricultural development.

Due to his initiative and drive and application of scientific agriculture, Benjamin Franklin Williamson I was one of the leading planters of Darlington District. In 1860, he held 1,800 improved acres and 7,200 unimproved acres, altogether valued at $134,000. Although seven other planters had a greater number of improved acres, his plantation was the most valuable in Darlington District. The district then had a total of 1,038 plantations and farms, totaling 184,644 improved and 319,657 unimproved acres, together valued at a total of $4,656,393. Thirty-four planters in the district had plantations valued at $25,000 or more, but only one, John N. Williams, who held 2,500 improved acres and 1,500 unimproved acres with a total value of $120,000, was a close rival to Williamson. The next nearest was E. W. Charles, whose 1,000 improved and 3,500 unimproved acres were valued together at $68,000.

Williamson's lands produced 215 bales (of 400 pounds each) of ginned cotton in 1860. Williams (the district's leader with 450 bales), Charles (220 bales) and five other planters produced more.

Williamson's emphasis on self-sufficiency and diversification may have explained his relatively low cotton production. His son Bright Williamson II recalled:

During the fifty-three years Mr. Williamson was engaged in planting he never bought a ton of hay nor a bushel of corn, until 1881 when he bought fifty bushels, a fact that he was always ashamed to own. An abundance of bacon, rice, flour, vegetables and fruits were raised on his plantation. Beeves were regularly butchered, and his hams and mutton were the choicest. Those who remember him know his constant and unvarying advice to those who planted was to raise their own provisions and "live at home."

In 1860, Williamson's lands produced 29 tons of hay, 4,000 bushels of Indian corn, 1,500 bushels of oats, 300 bushels of rye, 1,500 bushels of peas and beans, 2,000 bushels of sweet potatoes, and 15 bushels of Irish potatoes. His livestock, valued at $5,090, included eight horses, 16 asses and mules, ten "milch" cows, 40 other cattle, 45 sheep and 250 swine. The value of animals slaughtered totaled $1,950. His sheep produced 100 pounds of wool and his cows 250 pounds of butter. He was one of the leading producers in Darlington District of all the aforesaid commodities. This canal still exists today. In his use of livestock, Bright Williamson II recalled, "Even the mules were used for the work that each was best fitted to do." In addition to his draft animals, he had farming implements and machinery valued at $1,000.

During his ownership, a branch of Black Creek which bisected the plantation was converted into a canal to facilitate transport of produce from the interior of the plantation to Black Creek, and thence to the Pee Dee River. From about 1840 to about 1890, there was regular boat service on the Pee Dee. The principal boats, the Planter, the Merchant and the Farmer, transported cargo and passengers to and from Georgetown. After about 1890, the boat business was taken over by the railroads.

The scale of Williamson's agricultural operation fit into the pattern of the economy of Darlington District, as described by historian Horace Rudisill:

In the ante-bellum period, the wealth of the district was, for the most part, concentrated in the eastern half of the area, which was made up of numerous huge plantations, each an independent community within itself. With a few notable exceptions, the western portions of the district contained smaller and less prosperous plantations and farms, and fewer slaves.

In addition to his investment in agriculture, Williamson contributed to the capital stock of railroads, banks, cotton factories and other enterprises. His interest in industry perhaps was sparked by his older contemporary and neighbor, Gov. David Rogerson Williams, who built a cotton mill, a shoe factory and a cotton oil mill at Society Hill. Benjamin Franklin Williamson I also was one of the chief supporters of the South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical Fair Company.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson I continued the family line by marrying in 1841, Leonora Wilson, with whom he had five sons. She died in 1855. In 1858 he married Margaret McIver, daughter of Gen. Evander Roderick McIver and Eliza Cowan McIver. By the second marriage, he had three daughters and three sons. His sons all followed him into the field of agriculture. He brought up his children in a "cultured atmosphere," followed the family tradition of educating the future generation. His son Bright Williamson II, for example, attended Sandy Ridge Academy, Kings Mountain School, the University of Virginia and Eastman Business School.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson I replaced his father's old house near Williamson's Bridge with a new house, which formed the core of the present Oaklyn house. As he built it in the 1830s, it was a one and one-half story residence with eight rooms on the main floor and two garret rooms, an oversized cottage to accommodate a large family. The eight square rooms on the main floor were clustered in two squares of four rooms, with a wide hall (entrance hall and stairhall articulated by a classical arch) centered between the two squares. The main entrance was set into a large arch, with a fanlight and sidelights, in the late Federal style. There probably was a porch across the front. Though large, it was unpretentious. It was similar to other houses in the Pee Dee region, such as the Peter Abel Wilds House at nearby Mechanicsville, built about the same time, and Boxwood Hall at Cheraw, in present-day Chesterfield County, built ca. 1822.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson I also bought a home in the summer village of Springville in 1856. Springville, in Darlington District, was one of many summer villages established by South Carolina planters seeking to escape the "summer fevers." By the middle of the eighteenth century, the planters had realized that there was a connection between swamps and malaria, although the connection between the anopheles mosquito and malaria was not realized. It was assumed that malaria was caused by "miasma" or bad air, emanating from the stagnant water of the swamps. By the late eighteenth century, it was realized that high, sandy land was free from malaria. Planters began to build homes in such areas, in which they spent the summers. Such a place was the site of Springville, on Horse Branch of Black Creek, about five miles north of Darlington Court House. The settlement was named for the abundant natural springs in the vicinity.

The flush times of the antebellum period were interrupted by the Civil War. The Darlington Guards were the first company from outside of Charleston to report to that city at the start of the war. During Union Gen. William T. Sherman's campaign across South Carolina in 1865, Darlington District was out of the direct line of march. There were no battles fought in the district, although at one point Union and Confederate cavalry troops engaged in a running skirmish between Florence and Darlington. Detachments of Sherman's army made foraging sweeps through the western section of the district, carrying away cattle and supplies, but the district escaped the "scorched earth" policy employed by Sherman elsewhere.

During the war, the Confederate congress adopted an annual tax in kind on agricultural products, as part of its program to raise money to fight the war and carry on the new national government. In obedience to the law Benjamin Franklin Williamson I in September 1864 paid a tithe of his agricultural products. His taxable produce for that year consisted of 26 2/3 bushels of middling quality wheat, valued at $160; 125 bushels of good quality oats, valued at $135; 15 1/2 bushels of good quality rye, valued at $98; and 146 pounds of unwashed wool, valued at an unspecified amount. His total tithe consisted of 2 6/10 bushels of wheat, 12 1/2 bushels of oats, 1 3/4 bushels of rye and 14 9/10 pounds of wool and was valued at $149.60. That cotton was not listed in Williamson's tax accounts perhaps reflected his compliance with governmental efforts to promote production of food which vitally was needed by the Confederate military as well as the civilian population. In 1863, for example, the South Carolina General Assembly sought to foster food raising by limiting planters to three acres of cotton per hand.

The end of the war brought the return of the United States government and a new federal tax of two or three cents a pound on cotton for three years. On January 12th, 1867, Benjamin Franklin Williamson I was obliged to pay to the United States Internal Revenue, Deputy Collector's Office in Darlington, a tax of $232.86 on 17 bales of cotton shipped to Messrs. Adams Frost & Company, Charleston, plus a collector's fee of $5.25. On January 19th, 1867, he paid an additional $47.22 in tax and $1.05 in collector's fee, for three bales of cotton. He paid them under duress, maintaining that it was an illegal tax. Subsequently, he petitioned the Federal government for a refund to the tax and for compensation for cotton confiscated at the close of the war by Union authorities claiming it as "Confederate" cotton. Williamson's claim still was pending in 1886.

High taxes were only part of the Darlington planters' problems in the years following the Civil War. Ambrose Gonzales, writing in 1889, gave a romanticized, white conservative version of their travail:

homes were wrecked, barns and fences destroyed, cattle swept away, and labor demoralized. Nothing daunted, however, these people braced themselves up, saddle and carriage horses were put to the plough, and soft but firm fingers grasped the handles, and once again under the new order of things the land blossomed. With so fertile a soil, so genial and salubrious a climate, and withal so industrious a people, the achievement of material success, even without capital and slaves, could not long be deferred.

Much of the capital of the planters before the war had been tied up in slaves who were freed without compensation to the planters after the war. The hope expressed by abolitionists that freedom for the ex-slaves would lead to their becoming independent farmers, mostly remained a dream. Only two per cent of Darlington County's freedmen owned land in 1883. The majority of freedmen became wage workers, sharecroppers and tenant farmers, all three labor systems being employed in Darlington County. Wages in 1883 were $120 a year for men and $90 for women, with house, rations, fuel and truck patches furnished by the planters. In Palmetto Township, in which Oaklyn was located, wages were about 50 cents a day in 1883. In sharecropping, the planter furnished land, mule teams and implements, advanced money and provided ginning facilities; the planter and sharecropper prorated the cost of fertilizer, bagging, and ties; the sharecropper did all the work, and in return kept one third to one half of the crop. In the tenant system, the planter leased tracts of land to individuals for an annual rent. Tenancy was perhaps the easiest for the planter. The average market value of land in Darlington County in 1883 was $10 per acre, and rents yielded an average of about seven per cent on the investment. In Palmetto Township, land rented for about two dollars an acre in 1883. Laborers preferred the wage system because, although it gave them less potential income than sharecropping or tenancy, the wage system gave them more independence. Both the wage system and tenancy were employed at Oaklyn.

Cotton remained king in the Pee Dee region for half a century after the Civil War. The post-war recovery was aided by a demand for cotton which kept prices high, (above 28 cents a pound through 1869), and although subsequently increased production pushed prices down, the profitability of high-grade cotton was maintained until the late 1880s. In 1870, Darlington County led all South Carolina counties in cotton production, yielding nearly double the crop of the next highest county. In 1883, Darlington was eighth in total production of cotton, with an average yield of 197 pounds of lint cotton per acre, compared with an average yield of 267 pounds of lint cotton per acre in neighboring Marlboro County, which was the leading producer that year. The yield in Palmetto Township in 1883 was 500 pounds of seed cotton per acre, as well as eight bushels of corn and twenty bushels of oats per acre. The major market town was Darlington Court House, from which 7,000 to 18,000 bales of cotton were shipped annually in the 1880s.

By the mid-1880s, Oaklyn Plantation was sufficiently prosperous to support an expansion and remodeling program for the main house. Contractor Wesley Dickson literally "raised the roof" of the 1830s building in order to insert a new second floor between the first floor and garret. The expanded house also was given a new two-tiered portico in the then popular Victorian Italianate style, with brackets fitted to the capitals of the square columns, of which there were four on each level. The intercolumniation was like that of the present portico, with a wide space between the two inner columns. The changes reflected a trend toward Victorian Italianate architecture in the vicinity, perhaps begun a decade earlier by Captain A. F. Edwards who built a house with two-tiered Victorian Italianate porticoes at nearby Palmetto community in the mid-1870s. General William E. James also built a Victorian Italianate house with two-tiered piazzas at Palmetto in 1879. In Darlington, contemporaneous counterparts included a Victorian Italianate house with a two-tiered portico built by George W. Dargan. The portico at Oaklyn also resembled that of an earlier Italianate house, the Julius A. Dargan house in Darlington, built ca. 1856.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson I died October 20th, 1887, at Oaklyn, "under the shade at the beautiful oaks he had planted in his youth," according to his son Bright Williamson II. He left a long and complex will which indicates that he had regained a considerable level of prosperity since the war. The provisions in regard to Oaklyn included the following:

I give and devise to my beloved wife Margaret Jane Williamson my dwelling house, and the land on which it stands, the yard, the garden, the outbuildings appertaining to the dwelling house as a residence, the orchard, the grounds in front of the residence to the public road, and a tract of land South of the residence, containing twelve acres more or less, known as the old orchard and bounded North by the Yard & Grounds, East by a ditch running parallel with the public road, South by the Northern skirt of a small tract of woodland and West by the public road, for and during the period of her natural life and from and after the death of my said wife I give and devise the said property to my son B. F. Williamson Jr.

The widow also was to be provided with a trust fund of $3,000 annually, to be administered by B. F. Williamson, Jr. He was Benjamin Franklin (Ben) Williamson II, one of five children of Benjamin Franklin Williamson I by his second wife, Margaret Jane McIver.

In addition to the remainder interest in the main house and grounds, after the death of his mother, Benjamin Franklin Williamson II was bequeathed by his father's will the largest portion of Oaklyn. The will described his bequest as being "made up and constituted of lands of my Home plantation lying East of the Public Road, of lands in front of my dwelling house lying East of the Canal, and of personal property on my said plantation, consisting of provisions, stock, plantation implements, etc."

Other parts of the estate, including the the western portion of Oaklyn, were to be divided as bequests to other children, with the exception of his sons Bright Williamson II and Evander McIver Williamson, to whom he previously had given property.

Subsequently, Benjamin Franklin Williamson II acquired the interests of his siblings in the portion of Oaklyn to the west of the canal and public road.

He continued his father's policy of improving the plantation, and his efforts were cited by an agricultural surveyor, about the turn of the century, as "fairly illustrative of the great advances made by the best farmers in this section of the south in the past few years."

Benjamin Franklin Williamson II personally planted 430 acres of the plantation, letting the remainder to tenants. The agricultural surveyor described his establishment:

The residence is a spacious and comfortable two story frame house, approached by a magnificent avenue of Darlington oaks and has an extensive lawn of Bermuda grass well laid out and relieved by shrubs and flower beds. The house is thoroughly plumbed, water being furnished in ample supply by a wind mill. The out buildings and vegetable garden are in the rea of the house. Good stable accommodations are furnished the stock and the tools are fairly well housed. The commissary, shop, smoke-house, guano-house, pack-house, gin, mill, and various stores and curing houses for the tobacco complete the building equipment. The cabins of the principal servants and laborers are near by and while the rest of the field help are located on rented tracts surrounding the area under cultivation. With the exception of the overseer who exercises personal supervision over the details of the field operations, the rest of the labor employed is colored. The average wage is 50 [cents] per day.

The live stock consists on the average of 7 horses and 6 mules which are stabled, 15 head of cattle pastured during the day and stabled nights, 25 head of swine penned at night and about 30 hens. .. The amount of poultry kept is not an indication of the extent of that form of husbandry in the locality, as it forms a large item with many farmers. . .

Yields of cotton on this place do not vary much from 1 bale per acre on the average for a good season but this yield is never far exceeded. Average yields of corn are from 60-70 bushels per acre and of oats about 50 bushels, although yields of from 80-100 bushels are occasionally secured. The wagon roads are in fair condition for hauling at most all seasons of the year. Palmetto is the nearest shipping point about 2 miles away [to the southwest]. Darlington is the local market and much of the tobacco is sold through the warehouses there although some is shipped and sold at Danville, va.

The dispersal of tenants on small tracts throughout Oaklyn was typical of the tenant system on Southern cotton plantations. According to a survey by the United States Works Progress Administration in 1934, the typical Southern plantation was occupied by fourteen families, exclusive of the landlord's family, of which three were headed by wage hands, and eleven by tenants or sharecroppers. Oaklyn's well-built tenant houses, some of which were of substantial size, provided the tenants with better housing than was available on many Southern plantations, albeit conditions generally were better in South Carolina than elsewhere.

Williamson's establishment at Oaklyn was part of the general pattern of agriculture in Darlington County, which in 1907 had domestic animals valued at $426,271, including 17,518 swine; poultry valued at $49,428, producing 274,130 dozen eggs; 49,512 acres planted in corn, producing 481,110 bushels; 55,951 acres in cotton, producing 28,832 bales; 9,101 acres in oats, producing 155,180 bushels; and 6,975 acres in tobacco, producing 5,083,150 pounds.

The Darlington County figures, provided by the State Department of Agriculture in 1907, support the assessment of the agricultural surveyor that cotton and corn remained "the chief crop interests" and that the cultivation of bright leaf tobacco had been of comparatively recent introduction in Darlington County.

Production of brown leaf tobacco had been of some importance in South Carolina in the first two decades following the American Revolution. But the industry had been extinguished, pushed out by cotton by the early nineteenth century.

According to one account, production of bright leaf tobacco, which for some time had been a staple in Virginia and North Carolina, was initiated in South Carolina in 1885 by Frank M. Rogers of Darlington County (on land now part of Florence County). Rogers turned away from cotton at a time when it was selling at only nine cents a pound, and began to experiment with tobacco. His first crop was successful and Rogers increased his acreage in 1886 and secured the services of an experienced North Carolina grower. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture became interested and offered a premium for the best tobacco sample grown in the state. Rogers won the premium and continued to experiment with planting and with curing. Half his crop was cured on the stalk, the other half by gathering the leaves as they ripened. The second lot brought twice the price as the first, and the system subsequently was adopted throughout the bright tobacco belt, from South Carolina to Virginia.

According to another source, Bright Williamson II, brother of Benjamin Franklin Williamson II of Oaklyn, was credited with planting and raising the first successful crop of bright leaf tobacco in Darlington County. His example (or Rogers') was followed by others and shortly afterwards, the first cotton market in the state was set up in Darlington. About 1890, J. Cc. Hemphill, editor of the Charleston News and Courier, began promoting tobacco as an alternative to "cottontot." Darlington County became one of the leading producers of the state's tobacco crop, which by 1895 totaled about 10 million pounds and sold for about $1,000,000. By 1907, South Carolina growers produced more than 29 million pounds of tobacco, valued at more than $2,900,000. By the end of World War I, tobacco had replaced cotton as Darlington County's primary cash crop. Darlington County benefitted from a demand for bright leaf tobacco, which was prized for its mild taste, and from the advantage of large areas of sandy loam soils which are ideal for the cultivation of bright tobacco.

Benjamin Franklin Williamson II enriched his tobacco fields with about 1000 pounds of "high grade mixed fertilizer" and two "horse loads" of stable manure per acre. Tobacco planting was rotated with the planting of cotton in the same fields. Similarly, corn was followed by oats, which after harvest were followed by a crop of cowpeas, after which corn was planted again. In the planting of corn, two rows of cowpeas were planted between each row of corn. The cornfields also were fertilized with nitrite of soda. The surveyor noted that the use of cowpeas as a soil enricher had been introduced about 25 years earlier. The method of alternating rows was "used by only a few planters in this section but they are satisfied that the resulting yield is nearly if not quite double that secured with the usual means."

The surveyor also reported that at Oaklyn:

The adaptation of certain soils to particular crops has been well recognized; the Norfolk [sandy loam] series from their lighter and better drained features have been used principally for the bright tobacco in the rotation mentioned … the adaptation of the better drained Portsmouth [soil] types to oats and grain crops has been taken advantage of, while the heavier and poorly drained soils have been utilized for Bermuda grass, pasture, or left uncultivated until opportunity offered for their improvement.

By 1912-13, Oaklyn's prosperity permitted another building program, coinciding with a change in architectural taste. By then, according to Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Williamson III, the Victorian Italianate changes were considered "too ornate." Benjamin Franklin Williamson II added the present portico and terrace in the Colonial Revival style. He apparently designed the changes himself, making calculations in a ledger concerning the number of columns, modillions, balusters, etc., needed for the project, and making site drawings. Also, at the request of his wife ("Miss Isabel wanted a dining hall," explained her son, Benjamin Franklin Williamson III), he extended the square dining room into a rectangular space. A decade earlier, he had built a new brick kitchen to the rear of the house, and about 1895 had introduced a waterworks system, powered by a windmill, and a water heater fired by wood or coal.

Prosperity in Darlington County continued until after World War I, but in 1920-21 the county, along with the rest of the South, was adversely affected by a deflation in cotton prices, causing an agricultural depression the effects of which continued into the 1930s. The inroads of the cotton boll weevil which arrived in South Carolina in 1921 brought NPS about the further decline of cotton production, and contributed to the further ascendancy of tobacco production. The chief boll weevil laboratory in the state was located at the Pee Dee Agricultural Station in Darlington.

By 1939, South Carolina ranked fifth in the nation in the farm value of cotton, and fourth in tobacco. But in Darlington County, flue-cured bright leaf tobacco had eclipsed cotton as the major crop two decades earlier. Oaklyn was part of that trend from the beginning.

As is stated above, numerous sites of former buildings and structures on Oaklyn Plantation have been identified and located on an accompanying map by Williamson family members. The archaeological remains of these resources are likely to exist and to contain sufficient integrity, given the rural character of the landscape, to be capable of yielding information about the operation of Oaklyn from the eighteenth through the first half of the twentieth century, as well as about everyday life on a large antebellum and post-bellum plantation in South Carolina's Pee Dee region.

Building Description

Oaklyn Plantation, situated on South Charleston Road near Darlington, is a location that historically has been important in the life of rural Darlington County. The property contains a nineteenth-century plantation house with early twentieth century alterations, an avenue of oaks, and a flower garden; related domestic service buildings, including a brick kitchen, smokehouse, privy, garage, and servants' house; various nineteenth and early twentieth-century agricultural buildings including tobacco curing barns, tobacco packhouses, livestock barns, vehicle and equipment sheds, an engine-powered grist mill, a sawmill, a planer, a nineteenth-century cotton gin, and a drive-through barn and scales for mixing "guano"; nineteenth and early twentieth-century tenant houses; the remains of a nineteenth-century canal, a marl pit (mine), charcoal-making pits, underground drainage lines, open water wells, and a narrow gauge railroad (tram road); a nineteenth-century pecan grove and grape arbor; and agricultural fields and pastures. The Old Charleston Road, recently renamed South Charleston Road, runs through the plantation in a northeast-southwest direction, crossing Black Creek at Williamson's Bridge, on the south side of the property. The property contains numerous potential archaeological sites. They include the site of a Revolutionary War skirmish at Williamson's Bridge, the sites of a store and warehouse, a school, a church, and a water-powered mill, all of which were situated on the Old Charleston Road; and the site of an antebellum slave settlement to the rear (east) of the plantation house. The various cultural resources represent two centuries of residence and Occupational activity by at least six generations of a prominent local family.

The plantation has been owned and occupied since the eighteenth century by the Williamson family, who carved fields out of the virgin forest; planted crops, groves and pasturage, and kept herds of animals; diversified agriculture to make the plantation self-sufficient, improved the productivity of the soil, and experimented with new seeds, methods and crops which proved to be of economic importance to the county and state; built a succession of plantation houses and auxiliary buildings; employed a large number of slaves and later, tenant farmers; constructed a canal; mined marl; kept a country store and operated a cotton gin; performed a leading role in the economic, political and social life of the county; and at one time provided sites for a church and a school. The South Charleston Road, which traverses the plantation, historically was the major road from Cheraw, in the upper Pee Dee region, to Charleston. The road crossed Black Creek at Williamson's Bridge, a strategic location which was the site of skirmish during the American Revolutionary War.

The plantation house is situated facing to the northwest and all the domestic outbuildings and farmyard buildings are oriented in relation to the main house. The oldest portion of the imposing mansion house, according to tradition, was built in the 1830s as a one-and-one-half story house. It subsequently was enlarged and remodeled by building programs in 1886 and 1912-13. The expansion and remodeling programs transformed a simple but substantial Federal-style plantation house into a substantial two-and-one-half-story edifice with one-and-one-half-story wings and a giant order portico in the Colonial Revival style.

The house is constructed of wood frame on a brick basement, and faced with clapboards.

Its main block measures approximately forty-five feet in width by thirty feet in depth. The two-and-one-half story, massed plan center block has a side gable roof with four interior end brick chimneys, finished in scored stucco and symmetrically placed on the front and rear slopes of the roof. The facade of the center block has five bays, widely spaced. On either side of the center block there are one-and-one-half story wings, two bays square. The wings are further extended by recessed one-story sub-wings, one bay square, on either side. The wings and sub-wings have side gable roofs. A fifth chimney of scored stuccoed brick rises from the back slope of the roof of the southwest wing.

The front portico has four giant order Tuscan columns of wood. The intercolumniation is irregular, the two inner columns being spaced more widely apart to reveal the main entrance.

The columns and two giant order Tuscan pilasters on the facade support a full entablature and pediment, with a dentil cornice and block modillions, which are repeated in the rake of the pediment. A large fanlight is centered in the pediment. Within the portico is a smaller-scaled porch with two wooden Tuscan columns supporting an entablature, above which is a wooden railing in a "Chinese Chippendale" pattern, enclosing a wide balcony with access from the second floor. A balustraded terrace extends from either side of the portico, in front of the main block and wings, connecting on either end with a flat-roofed porch that fills the ell between the wing and sub-wing.

An entablature, plainer and smaller in scale than that of the portico, extends below the eaves on either side of the portico and continues around the main block. Giant order, paneled pilasters, at either end of the facade of the main block, support the entablature. The same manner of entablature extends below the roofline of the wings, terminating by breaking across the pilasters at either end of the main block facade. A cornice and a reduced frieze articulate the rakes of the gable ends of the main block and wings. The wide main entrance, centered in the facade, has paneled double doors, and an elliptical fanlight and sidelights. The door surround has wide moldings articulating the openings and a keystone in the arch, all executed in wood. The second level doorway, also centered and opening onto the railed deck, has a single door with sidelights and a wide-molded surround. Most windows have double-hung, nine-over-nine light sash, plain surrounds and shutters.

The symmetry which characterizes the front and side elevations of the house is compromised in the rear elevation which is encumbered by additions including a bathroom built in 1903-04 over the back piazza, a sleeping porch adjacent to the bathroom, and a flat-roofed rear bedroom wing. A brick kitchen building, erected in 1903-04, is attached to the house by an enclosed passageway (see below).

The complex plan of the house radiates from the wide central hall. On the first level, the central hall is divided in the traditional manner into two portions: an entrance foyer in front and a stairhall in back, with the division articulated by a wide arch. The first floor contains eight original rooms arranged in a square of four rooms on either side of the central hall. The principal rooms on the first floor are a drawing room to the south of the central hall, and a double parlor to the north. The rectangular dining room and a library are situated in the north wing adjacent to the double parlor.

The atypical mantelpiece in the drawing room presents a conundrum. The mantelpiece has eccentrically carved sunburst designs in the late Federal (Regency) style, and the chimney breast wraps around the chimney, in a manner more typical of French colonial architecture of the Gulf Coast region than of English-inspired architecture of South Carolina. The French influence is unexplained. The mantel may be original work dating from the 1830s when the house was built, or it may date from the 1912-13 Colonial Revival building program. Other rooms have mantelpieces in the Greek Revival and Colonial Revival styles, consistent with other South Carolina work of the 1880s (in which there was a lingering Greek Revival influence) and the early twentieth century, when Colonial Revival was popular. All mantelpieces are of wood. All rooms have simple woodwork, smooth plaster walls, deep ceiling moulding, flush board ceilings, vertical two-paneled doors with moulded surrounds, and bull's eye corner blocks.

The second-floor plan parallels that of the first, with four large bedrooms divided by the center hall, and additional rooms in the garrets of the wings.

In the attic story of the main block is revealed the early nineteenth-century construction of the roof, which was raised to permit construction (insertion) of the second floor, ca. 1885. There are additional storage rooms in the basement.

Extending from the public road to the front of the house is an avenue of Darlington Oak (a sub-species of Quercus laurifolia, or Laurel Oak), flanked by a lawn and flower garden on the south and a lawn and three rows of trees to the north. According to tradition, this avenue originally consisted of a row of oaks, a row of cedar (Juniperus virginiana), and a row of maple (Acer rubrum). The present oak trees are replacements; three of the cedar trees remain, but one is now dead; and the maple trees have disappeared. On the north side are two magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora) planted about 1950, and about six crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) planted about 1920. The avenue/lawn area is bordered on the south by a nineteenth-century flower garden with terraced "rooms" outlined in native sandstones; plants include Photinia, Rhododendron, Boxwood, Yucca, Anise, Stewartia, Quince, roses, an unidentified lily, and numerous exotic and native species. Outside the avenue/lawn area is a horseshoe-shaped driveway with overhanging dogwood trees planted about 1930. Similar dogwood trees border the Old Charleston Road on the east side for about one-fourth mile, north and south. Between the driveway and the house is a smaller lawn area enclosed by a hedge of azalea, crape myrtle, yucca, and other trees and shrubs. In the centipede grass lawn in front of the house are two Willow Oak (Quercus phellos), a live oak (Quercus virginiana), and a decaying Darlington Oak. Adjacent to the house are Boxwood, Camellia sasanqua, and Camellia japonica. The dirt road which ran up the center of the oak avenue was converted to a wide brick walkway in the early twentieth century.

The new kitchen building was built in 1903-04 to replace the old kitchen building, this building is constructed of red brick laid in American bond and measures 16'10" in length by 14'9" in width. The main floor, which is on the level of the first floor of the main house, is raised on a high basement. The able roof has a low monitor along the ridge for the escape of heat from the attic. A square interior chimney rises from the south slope of the roof, near the ridge and near the southeast gable end. At the basement level a pent roof, carried on brackets, extends around two sides and partly around a third, covering a paved walkway. Both the main roof and the pent are covered with metal, and a simple box cornice of wood extends along the eaves of both and is repeated in the rake of the main roof. There is a single large window with six-over-six light double hung sash, on each of the northwest and southeast sides of the main level, and no openings in the rear. Fenestration is irregular on the basement level, where there are two doors on the northwest side and a door and window on the southeast side. No windows are present on either gable end. The kitchen is attached to the house on the northeast end by an enclosed passageway of wood frame construction on a high brick base, with a low-pitched gable roof.

The large Smokehouse building, erected as a smokehouse for the curing of meats, is of late nineteenth or early twentieth-century construction and is set on brick piers. It is similar in construction to tobacco curing barns on the plantation, but more neatly finished, as befits a major domestic building. Measuring 18'3" in width and 24'2" in length, it is built of wood frame, covered with weatherboard, on a brick foundation, and has a steeply pitched, metal-clad, front gable roof. An old photograph depicts a wood shingle roof. A box cornice with frieze returns on the front (northwest face) of the building and is repeated without frieze in the gable ends. Narrow cornerboards and a wide baseboard, which continues around the building, add to the crisp appearance. There is a single entrance on the front, featuring a batten door faced with diagonal boards and carried on long, cast iron strap hinges. A rectangular louvered opening for the emission of smoke is centered above the door; another pierces the opposite (southeast) wall.

On the southwest side of the smokehouse is a small, partially submerged potting shed of brick with a gabled, wood-framed greenhouse roof. Measuring approximately 5' by 10', it is accessed at the front gable through a wood plank door. A small excavated area to the front of the building features steps and a masonry retaining wall.

The Dressing Room was built ca. 1903-04. This 9'4" by 8'9" building is now freestanding but formerly was attached to the southwest corner of the main house, where it was used as a dressing room. The little building is of wood frame, faced with shiplap or German siding, and crisply trimmed with fascia, cornerboards, baseboard, and plain door and window surrounds. Set on low brick piers, it has brick steps to the doorway. It is one bay square, having a door on the northwest front and a six-over-six light, double-hung window on the south and east sides. It features a low-pitched pyramidal roof with a covering of wood shingles, and exposed rafter ends.

This Privy is of late nineteenth or early twentieth century construction. It is a 5' wide by 8'8" long building of wood frame, faced with narrow clapboarding, and elevated slightly on small brick piers. The front has a small two-paneled door, placed off-center, with a plain board surround. The front-gabled roof is metal-covered. A plain boxed cornice and returns is repeated in the rake of the front and rear gable ends. A six-over-six, double-hung sash window is on the east elevation. While all material is circular sawn, the interior features a wood board ceiling and provides evidence of a formerly plastered wall finish.

Measuring 28'4" in width and 18'3" in length, the early twentieth century three-car garage is a low one-story balloon-frame building clad in shiplap siding and built at grade, with a hip roof covered with corrugated metal. The facade (northwest elevation) has three large automobile bays, with the doors on each door consisting of a wide vertical-batten leaf mounted on strap hinges. A wooden box cornice continues around the building and below slightly overhanging eaves. There are two windows with six-over-six light double hung sash on each other elevation. A single-leaf door is located between the windows on the east (rear) elevation.

This building was later converted to a carpentry shop.

The Servants' House is the surviving one of a group of houses for the main residence and yard servants, referred to in an early twentieth-century description of the property. Facing the southwest, toward the main house and built by ca. 1903-04, it is a one-story heavy frame building, faced with clapboard and set on low brick piers. This 16' x 35'6", two-room house features hewn sills and floor joists, log wall studs and roof rafters, and early-cut nails. The roof is gable-on-hip, with louvered vents in the small end gables. A square interior chimney of brick, with a simple cap, rises from the center of the roof ridge. The roof is covered with corrugated metal. A box cornice with frieze continues around the building and there are narrow cornerboards. The facade has two doors, one to each of the two rooms of the rectilinear plan. There are two corresponding windows, widely spaced apart, on the rear, and a single window on each side. The windows in the west room have six-over-six light sash while those in the east room feature two-over-two, hand-made double-hung sash. Some windows retain batten shutters. The doors are four-paneled. A porch with a metal-covered hip roof, square posts and horizontal board railings, extends across the front of the house. Interior details include plastered walls throughout and wainscotting in the east room.

There are two small Covered Work Bench structures that were auxiliary to the garage after it was converted to a carpentry shop. One housed a gasoline-powered stationary saw, while the other was used for storage (and possibly drying) of lumber. This carpentry complex produced most of the boards and millwork used in repairing and modifying the main residence and other buildings, as well as wooden equipment, such as wagons.

A rambling wood picket fence separates the back yard of the house from the farmyard, which contains numerous barns and other buildings devoted to the operation of the plantation. The buildings range in age from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century.

Measuring 20'1" x 36', the commissary is a one-story, rectangular, gable-roofed building, built in the early twentieth century. It is three bays wide and four bays long. The entrance is in the northwest end where the door is centered between two four-over-four, double-hung sash windows which feature board and batten shutters. A pent roof on brackets shelters the door. A louvered window fills the north gable end. A shed-roofed porch with square posts extends along three-quarters of the northeast side. The northeast side features two central doors flanked by two windows, with the first three openings sheltered by the porch. Along the north elevation is a shed roof lean-to measuring 10' x 27' and containing two board and batten doors. There is a single exterior chimney, on the southeast end. The structure is of wood, on low brick piers. The exterior is now faced with corrugated metal, and the main roof and porch roof are covered with the same material. The commissary, which formerly provided staples for the tenants, is now used for storage.

The old shop is a complex structure composed of several parts including two one-story frame, rectangular gable-roofed buildings, one larger than the other, which are joined together by a gable-roofed section, and having an attached open shed extending along the southwest side of the larger of the two buildings and connecting section. The two original structures appear to date from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The larger (east) of the two buildings, the blacksmith shop, measures 13' x 25' and is faced with wide roughly-cut clapboards and roofed with corrugated metal. It has fenestration only on the northeast elevation, and that is asymmetrical, consisting of a window with a batten shutter on strap hinges, and a rectangular opening with a swing-down shutter of horizontal boards, mounted on strap hinges. The southeast wall, adjacent to the attached shed, has been removed. The attached shed consists of a long and narrow, flat, corrugated metal roof, supported on the southeast end by a section of wall perhaps reused when the southwest wall of the older structure was removed, and supported on the northwest end by a post. The smaller (west) of the two original buildings, used for tools and supplies, measures 16' x 20' and is faced with German or shiplap siding. It has irregular fenestration, suggesting changes, including strip windows on the northeast side and two windows, one with modern louvered glazing and one with four-over-four light, double hung sash, on the southwest side. The building is entered through a single door leading from the connecting section. The gable roof, which has a gentler pitch than that of the larger structure, is covered with tin. A metal-covered pent runs along the southwest face of the building, supported by wooden braces. The connecting section is walled only on the northeast side and has a standing seam metal-covered gable roof, paralleling the pitch of, but slightly lower than, the roof of the smaller (west) original structure. The west building was used for tools and supplies. The east building was the blacksmith shop. The complex is now used for storage of fuel containers and sundry other items.

The new shop is a tall, rectangular structure of clapboard over balloon frame, gable-ended. The gable roof is covered with corrugated metal. The single opening in the building is a door on the northwest end. The structure originally was a tobacco barn and was situated on the other side of the Old Charleston Road. It was moved to the present location in the 1980s and is used as a shop building. Attached to the west end of the building is a large shed, square in plan and gable-roofed. The lower portion of the shed walls is faced with vertical boards, above which are rows of fixed six-light sash. The northwest gable end of the shed open and the roof is covered with opaque plastic roofing material. Within this 18' x 19'4" building, the top four tiers poles and gable tiers for each of the barn's five rooms are still evident. The roof is wind-braced and features a monitor.

The grist mill, measuring 12'4" x 26'2", is a one-story frame structure with a monitor roof. It is three bays long, with a batten door in each bay on the northwest and southeast sides, and one bay wide, with formerly one window opening (now enclosed) in each end. The exterior is faced with wide boards and the roof with corrugated metal. Set on brick piers, the east and west elevations have three symmetrically arranged doors and bevel-edged flushboard. An open two-stall shed with a flat roof on three posts is attached to the south side. The interior retains a gasoline-powered mill apparatus, patented in 1920 by the Williams Mill Manufacturing Company of Ronda, North Carolina. Part of the mill apparatus is built into the framework of the monitor roof.

The Four-Stall Barn with Hayloft is a substantial (26' x 43') barn, probably dating from the mid-to-late nineteenth century, has a heavy wooden framework, partially enclosed with wide boards. Some of the timber supports have been replaced with concrete block piers. The hayloft, under the high-pitched gable roof, has large openings in the gable ends, which are faced with bevel-edged flushboard siding. The structure has a V-crimp metal roof covering. A full-width (10' x 26') shed is on the northeast elevation.

The small shed is a small (16'3" x 10'5") one story frame, gable roofed structure, two bays long and one bay wide, on low brick piers. It dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth-century. The front has two batten doors with strap hinges and wood block latches. The roof is covered with corrugated metal. On the interior there are two rooms, which are accessed by two board and batten doors on the north elevation.

The Mule Barn with Hayloft is a large (72' x 26'3") rectangular wooden barn, with a gable and monitor roof, one and one-half stories high, on a foundation of stuccoed brick piers. The wood frame is faced with wide boards and the roof is covered with metal. The front gable end has a large centered hayloft opening, with a block and tackle apparatus above it. A wide wooden ladder provides access to the hayloft opening. On the first level, flanking and slightly below the hayloft opening, there are two batten doors on strap hinges. Along the north side there are a series of batten doors leading to animal stalls, the whole shaded by a pent roof on wooden brackets. Another pent roof on brackets extends along the south side, shading an outdoor storage area.

The southeast side of the barn has an open shed addition with a shed roof carried on rough posts. The shed partially is enclosed on its long side by a fence of horizontal boards.

The Packhouse is a two-story frame structure with a one-story frame extension along the northeast side, all raised on story-high piers of stuccoed brick which form a raised basement. Measuring 38'6" x 27'6" and including a 9'2" lean-to, it was built as a tobacco pack house and is similar in design and construction to other buildings of that type on the plantation. The building is rectangular, with a gable roof, covered with corrugated metal. The wood frame is faced with clapboards. The entrance is a doorway in the northwest end, reached by a single flight of narrow wooden steps ascending to a small landing. A single window is centered above the door. Another single window is located at the end of the one-story extension, to the left of the door. The southeast end has a wide opening centered on the upper level, and a door centered on the lower level, both now partially obscured by the gable roof of an attached tractor shed. A protruding beam for a block and tackle is centered over the opening. A window is situated at the end of the one-story extension to the right of the large opening. The fenestration of the lateral sides is regular, having four openings on each level of the two-story structure and one-story extension. Openings have batten shutters with strap hinges. The raised basement is open on two sides, enclosed by a vertical board fence on the north side and covered by the attached tractor shed on the southeast end. A line of attached tractor sheds, gable-roofed and partially enclosed, have been added to the southeast of the building. There are two central doors on each floor of the gable ends.

Guano House: This late nineteenth-early twentieth century two-level (20'4" x 30') wooden barn has a lateral gable roof. It is rectangular, with a one story, shed-roofed extension on the southeast side, and (added more recently) large open tractor sheds, with flat roofs supported by large round wooden poles and brackets, on the northeast and southwest sides. The wood frame of the main structure is faced with clapboards, with much patching, and the southeast extension is faced with wide boards. The roofs are covered with corrugated tin. The entrance to the main structure is on the (long) northeast face, now sheltered by one of the tractor sheds. The entrance is a wide doorway with a wooden rail gate mounted on strap hinges, centered on the first level. There are three windows, regularly spaced on the second level of the northeast facade. Also on the second level there are single windows on the northwest and southeast ends, and one window, off-center, on the southwest (rear) side. Windows have batten shutters with strap hinges. The southeast shed extension has a door on the northeast end. There are two wide doorways on either side of the long sides (north and south elevations), which admitted mule-drawn wagons for unloading and loading "guano" (fertilizers). Originally the guano was mixed on a hard "gumbo" clay floor, which was later covered with concrete. Adjacent to the building on the south is the pit and remains of a wagon scale, for weighing ingredients of fertilizers to be mixed and for measuring the amounts to be applied to the fields.

Corn Barn: According to Williamson family tradition, this is the oldest barn on the plantation, and is believed to have been built ca. 1830 as the Seed House for the first cotton gin which was located to the east of this building; however, it contains all circular sawn material with a timber frame that employs mortise, tenon and peg technology. The building has hewn plates, half-lapped rafters with pegs, and hewn corner and front door posts. Some of the material, however, could be reused. It is a gable-roofed building, rectangular in shape, with 10' shed-roofed extensions along both sides. It measures 30' in length and 20' in width. The whole is set on low brick piers and the gable and shed roofs are covered with wide metal sheets connected with standing seams. Open sheds with flat roofs (covered with corrugated metal) supported by posts, have been added on either side of the building. The gable roof structure, which houses a hayloft, extends forward several feet from the main (northwest) face of the building, to form a cantilevered overhang which is supported on one side by wooden braces. The facade has a door centered under the overhang and a door in each of the shed-roofed extensions. A large opening for the hayloft is centered in the front gable end. The rear elevation of the barn has been refaced with metal strips and has a large metal door centered, and square windows in the shed-roofed extensions.

There is a well and windmill located to the north of the Mule Barn.

The overseer's house was a small (27'4" x 16'3") vernacular structure, built to house the plantation's overseer and his family, sometime before 1860. It faced northwest, toward the Old Charleston Road, on a site some distance from the main house. The house was one story of wood, with a side gable roof and a hip-roofed porch extending across the front. The facade is asymmetrical, with the single door off-center between two windows, a reflection of the hall-and-parlor plan. The front porch had simple square posts with a single horizontal rail between posts. The southwest side had a single window, while the northeast side has an exterior chimney. The chimney was rebuilt of concrete block in 1975. The door and windows had simple surrounds and the windows have double-hung, six-light sash. The house and porch had simple cornice and fascia trim. To the rear of the house was a small (9'3" x 12'3") shed-roofed addition, one bay deep. Attached to the rear southeast corner of the house was a one story wood frame building (24' x 16') which was the former kitchen for the main house. The kitchen building was moved from a location to the rear of the main house, when the two story brick "new" kitchen was built in 1903-04. Its side gabled roof, the ridge of which runs at a right angle to that of the overseer's house, sloped to slight overhangs over the front and rear faces of the building. The overhangs were boxed and a simple fascia molding trims the gable ends. Below the overhangs the fenestration was irregular, with a door and two windows on each face. A shed-roofed screened porch extended along the northeast side. The southeast end had an exterior chimney of brick, with hips and a simple cap. The overseer's house and old kitchen were set on low brick piers. This house burned in 1993.

In the field which lies east of the Farmyard Complex is the site of what, according to tradition, was a double row of houses in which slaves lived. At specific times of the year, crop marks (outlines) of where these slave dwellings were once located can still be seen.

To the northeast of the the plantation's main house and outbuildings is a complex of agricultural industrial buildings including a cotton gin house, a saw mill and a planing mill. A large wooden seed house which stood adjacent to the gin house was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo, September 21st, 1989.

The gin house is a large (32'4" x 46'6") wooden building in two attached sections. The larger section is a two and one-half story gable-roofed building. The smaller section is a square, gable-roofed building of one level, raised one story off the ground on timber supports. The whole is faced with clapboarding and a metal roof under which is solid sheathing and wind roof bracing. The roof rafters are half-lapped and pegged at the ridge, with collar ties being half-lapped as well. Completely circular sawn in technology, some members show carpenter marks. The top of the ridge to the bottom of the collar ties measures six feet. Fenestration is irregular. An extension over the machinery measures 21' x 20'. The Munger cotton gin mechanism was manufactured by the Continental Gin Company of Prattville, Alabama. Graffiti on the mechanism includes the initials, B.F.W. (Benjamin Franklin Williamson), with the date, 1912. Where the Seed House was before Hurricane Hugo destroyed it in 1989 is an attached building built in 1991.

The sawmill is a small (28' x 14') rectangular wood frame shed, open-sided. The gable roof is covered with corrugated metal. The building retains the circular sawmill apparatus, and a small wooden rail car, carried on a narrow gauge track, which was used to move logs into the saw.

The planing mill is a small (15' x 10') rectangular wood frame shed, partially enclosed with board siding and corrugated metal. The gable roof and gable ends are covered with corrugated metal. The structure contains the planing mill apparatus.

Near the Planing Mill is a shed, measuring 32' x 26' and featuring a salt-box shaped roof, flushboard siding with beveled edges, which was used for stacking newly sawn and planed lumber for curing.

To the north of the Old Charleston Road, across from the main house complex, the Williamson family built a group of tobacco barns and pack houses for storage and processing of the tobacco crop. One of two large pack houses in the complex was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.

Rectangular Tobacco Barn With Monitor Roof #1: This is one of several historic tobacco barns in the complex, all having similar construction, but differing in details. Typically, the tobacco barns in the complex have a square plan, wood frame construction, a gable roof, a brick foundation, and a single opening, the entrance at grade. This barn differs in that it is rectangular (18'6" x 20'6") and has a small opening in the front gable end. It is one of two barns in the complex with a monitor on gable roof. It is faced with weatherboard and roofed with standing seam metal (over original cypress shingles). It contains five "rooms" and is ten tiers in height; is down-braced with wall studs on two-inch centers.

Rectangular Tobacco Barn With Monitor Roof #2: This tobacco barn, one of two with a monitor roof, is square in plan but measures 16' x 20', with five rooms and eleven tiers. The sides are faced with board-and-batten, except for the gable ends which are faced with weatherboard. The board-and-batten has been repaired in places with roofing felt secured by battens. The wind-braced roof is covered with corrugated metal on the southeast slope and V-crimp metal on the northwest slope, over cypress shingles.

Square Tobacco Barn #1: This turn-of-the-century, 3" x 10" chinked-plank tobacco barn is square in plan (19' x 20'), with a gable roof. The barn is covered in weatherboard with early wire nails. The roof has V-crimp metal over cypress shingles. It still has an arched brick furnace and is five rooms in width by 12 tiers in height. Ruins/remnants of a coal bin, now consisting of a brick foundation in circular form (11' in diameter), are at the barn's northwest corner. This atypically elaborate construction was carried out during World War II to provide work for a highly skilled German prisoner of war.

Square Tobacco Barn #2: This square-plan tobacco barn (20' x 20') contains five rooms and eleven tiers, stud construction with horizontal 1" x 6" sheathing. The roof is covered with composition material.

Square Tobacco Barn #3: Measuring 23' x 23' this barn is a down-braced, board and batten over tar paper building with six rooms and eleven tiers. It has a brick pier with brick infill foundation. Originally equipped with an arched brick furnace, the curing system was later converted to an oil burner. It still has its brick flue with terra cotta stack.

Roofless Tobacco Barn: This is 19'4" x 18'4" tobacco barn which has lost its roof. Constructed with 3" x 8" planks laid horizontally, square-notched at the corners, chinked, and with 2 1/2 inch vertical sleepers, this barn contains five rooms and eight tiers (still visible; probably had two or three rafter tiers).

Ruins of Pack House: These are the ruins of a three story wooden, gable roofed pack house (25'6" x 36') which was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo on September 21th, 1989. The design and construction were similar to that of the surviving pack house to the west which is now altered. At the northwest elevation, there is a sloping bricked area. Also, adjacent to the pack house are the remains of a steam boiler.

Square Tobacco Barn #4: Situated approximately one-half mile south of Black Creek and north of Piano Road, this 16' x 16' square barn features four rooms and ten tiers, stud wall construction, horizontal sub-sheathing beneath vertical board-and-batten walls. It has one door and one window above it. The roof monitor is now gone.

Scattered about the plantation there are several tenant houses, the survivors of a group which were built in the early twentieth century to house tenants who leased land from the Williamson family. Unless otherwise noted, all are of wood frame construction with clapboard siding, corrugated tin roofing and low brick pier foundations. Several building types are represented, including a square massed plan with pyramidal roof; a rectangular massed plan with center hall and side gabled roof; a linear plan with a hipped roof; and a linear plan with side gabled roof and shed roofed extension. Most of the houses have regular fenestration and characteristically have centered doorways and one window per wall for each room, resulting in wide spacing between openings.

Pyramidal-Roofed House # 1, "Harrell House": Situated some distance to the southeast of the main house and barnyard complex, this is one of three houses on the plantation which are square and have truncated pyramidal roofs. Their shared characteristics include regular fenestration. Facades have a center doorway with sidelights (with glazing above panels), widely spaced between two windows, and side elevations feature two windows, widely spaced apart. This house, which measures 31' x 28', differs from the others in having a tall slender concrete block stove chimney, a replacement of the original brick chimney, rising from the front slope of the roof (compare No. 38, below). A box cornice with frieze continues around the house. There is a shed-roofed front porch with exposed rafter ends and simple wood posts, covered with V-crimp metal. Single rails supported by upright braces in the center and brackets on the ends, run between the posts. The roof on the main body of the house is clad in corrugated metal. This house was moved from its original location near house #2 (below) ca. 1960. The Harrell family rented the house and land surrounding it at its previous location for a period between 1930 and 1950. It was remodeled by Brooks Corbin in 1990, and is presently occupied by his family.

Pyramidal-Roofed House # 2, "Wright House": This house (31'3" x 28'), situated a short distance to the south of No. 36, is similar to No. 36, above, but differs in having overhanging eaves and a square brick chimney, with cap, rising from the apex of the roof. There also is a rectangular extension on the rear, which measures 14' x 24'. The front porch is shed-roofed with simple wood posts. Clad in German siding, the roof is covered in metal. This house was rented by a Mr. Wright, who lived in it and probably rented the land near it for some period between 1890 and 1920.

Rectangular Tenant House with Attached Cabin, "Hewitt House": Situated some distance to the south of house #1 and #2, this substantial (40' x 20') tenant house has a rectangular massed plan with center hall, one and one-half stories under a side gabled roof, and relatively more sophisticated details than most tenant houses on the plantation. As in most of the plantation's houses, however, fenestration is regular and widely spaced. The facade has a center door with sidelights (like Nos. 35, 36, 38 and 39), between two windows, and side elevations feature two windows on the main level and a single window in the gable end. A box cornice with returns runs across the front, another across the rear. Two brick chimneys with corbelled caps are symmetrically placed and rise from the roof ridge. The shed roofed front porch, with simple wood posts and railings, is in ruins. The plan features a central hall with two rooms on either side. To the rear, a small (25' x 10') frame cabin, apparently older than the tenant house, and moved from an undocumented location, is attached to the main house by a small extension. The cabin has irregular fenestration on the long sides and a single window on the northwest end. The cabin has a square brick chimney, simply capped, centered on the ridge of the gable roof (the ridge of which is placed at a right angle to that of the tenant house) and a slender concrete block stove chimney rising from the northeast slope of the roof. A shed-roofed, L-shaped back porch (4 feet in depth) runs across the rear of the tenant house and the southwest long side of the cabin. A Mr. Hewitt rented the house and surrounding land prior to 1920. According to local tradition, the rear cabin is the oldest building on the plantation. This house was occupied by Joe Ervin and family, who share-cropped surrounding land from about 1950 to 1970.

Pyramidal-Roofed House #3, "Allen-Graves House": This tenant house, which measures 38' x 31', is situated on the north side of the Old Charleston Highway, to the west of the main house. It is one of the three tenant houses on the plantation having a massed plan, pyramidal roof and other shared characteristics. It most closely resembles Square Tobacco Barn #4. Like the barn it has a corbeled chimney centered on the front slope of the roof, but unlike that of the barn, the chimney is of brick and rectangular in section. It differs from the other two pyramidal-roofed houses in having oversized dormers on the side slopes of the roof. The boxed cornice with frieze is repeated on the dormers. The house also differs in having a hip-roofed front porch with a balustrade between the posts. The posts have square lower portions and turned upper portions, like those at No. 39, below. The roof of an integral 16' x 15' left rear ell is pierced by a small chimney flue near its northeast corner. All windows are 6/6 double-hung sash. A frame garage is located some distance to the south. A Mr. Allen and a Mr. Graves, plantation overseers consecutively during the years from 1930 to 1960, lived in this house. It is presently occupied by Sam McLendon.

Linear-plan House with Hipped Roof, "Brown House": This tenant house (38' x 31'), set upon brick piers and situated on the west side of and facing the Old Charleston Highway and southwest of the main house and plantation complex, is one of several linear-plan houses on the plantation with similar characteristics including a centered doorway and widely spaced fenestration. Unlike the others it has a hipped roof, with a boxed cornice continued around the house, and the center door has sidelights similar to the doorways at the houses, above. The hip roof front porch has posts like those at Pyramidal-Roofed House #3, above, but no balustrade. A 16' x 16' hip roof ell addition with porch and porch enclosures is at the right rear section of the building. This house was occupied by the Brown family for many years; however, later occupants have included Daniel Burgess and David White and family.

Linear-plan House with Extension #1: Situated west of the Old Charleston Road and approximately one quarter mile north of the main house and complex, this is one of four tenant houses with shared characteristics, all located in this vicinity of the plantation. Each is a linear-plan house of two rooms, three bays wide and one bay deep, under a side gabled roof, and a rear extension, one-bay deep, under a shed roof. Other shared characteristics include: regular fenestration consisting of a single door between two windows in the facade and one window on each side, in the main block, and one window at each end of the extension; a square interior brick chimney with simple cap, situated slightly off-center on the ridge of the gable roof; a shed-roofed front porch with simple posts; a box cornice, enriched with plain molding, concealing a deep overhang; simple narrow door and window surrounds; and double hung, six-light sash. This particular house features a chimney offset to the right (north), and measures 30' x 16', with a 10' x 6' front porch, an original 7' x 10' rear shed room, and a 7' x 6' porch. This house was occupied by Callie Lunn from ca. 1940-1955.

Linear-plan House with Extension #2: Situated slightly to the north of Linear-plan House with Extension #1 and on the opposite (east) side of a farm road, this house is practically identical to the house above. It differs in that of having a small extra window added adjacent to the front door, a chimney offset to the left (north), and a modern board-and-batten gabled rear ell. It was occupied by John T. Lunn and family from ca. 1960-1990.

Linear-plan House with Extension #3: Situated slightly to the north of Linear-plan House with Extension #2, this house is similar to the two above. Like Linear-plan House with Extension #1, it has a chimney offset to the right (south). It features a rear shed roof ell with modern board and batten extension and porch, as well as batten window shutters. It was occupied by Elizabeth "Lizziebet" Edwards, daughter of Sam Edwards, in the 1970s, and by Daniel Burgess in the 1980s.

Linear-plan House with Extension #4: Situated approximately 600 feet to the west of the three above, this larger (38' x 20') tenant house faces south, away from the nearby road, and has a main block four bays wide and one bay deep, under a side-gabled roof. A 25' 3" right-side, shed-roof front porch and a 12' 9" shed-roof early enclosure shelter the full width of the facade. The rear elevation's fenestration is, from left to right: door, window, door, window, and there is a single window in each side elevation. The roof has no overhang. It is possible that this house has an earlier construction date than the three above. This house was occupied by Cornell Joe in the 1960s.

Linear-plan House #5: Situated on the west side of the Oaklyn canal and approximately 250 yards northwest of the Brown House, this tenant house is the only surviving one of three in this section of the plantation. The sites of the other two are clearly visible from surface evidence of brick and other rubble, as well as historic domestic plantings. Facing east, toward the canal, this house measures 31' x 14', has a full-width front porch with approximately 23' enclosed, a seven-foot long rear porch and shed-roof enclosure, and a corrugated metal roof. This house was last occupied by Jack Backus in the 1950s and 1960s.

Oaklyn Canal: Flowing in a westerly, then southerly direction, this historic structure traverses one and one half miles through the central portion of Oaklyn Plantation and deposits into Black Creek approximately 400 feet east of present-day Black Creek bridge on the Old Charleston Road. Remnants of locks along its length are still extant.

Swimming Hole "Will Hole" with Bathing House and Picnic Benches: Located on the north side of Black Creek, approximately one half mile northwest of the Old Charleston Road bridge, this site was identified on a mid-1800s plat in the possession of the Williamson family as a "Swimming Hole." Family tradition holds that it was known as "Will Hole." Although the present bathing house and picnic benches were probably constructed ca. 1955, they replaced earlier buildings and structures of a similar nature from the historic period.

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, main facade (1989)
Oaklyn Plantation House, main facade (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, main facade and south side (1989)
Oaklyn Plantation House, main facade and south side (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, rear and north side with New Kitchen (1989)
Oaklyn Plantation House, rear and north side with New Kitchen (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, rear and south side with New Kitchen (1989)
Oaklyn Plantation House, rear and south side with New Kitchen (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, front door from central hall (1991)
Oaklyn Plantation House, front door from central hall (1991)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, stair hall from front hall (1991)
Oaklyn Plantation House, stair hall from front hall (1991)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, drawing room February (1989)
Oaklyn Plantation House, drawing room February (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, drawing room mantelpiece (1989)
Oaklyn Plantation House, drawing room mantelpiece (1989)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, view from drawing room to front hall, showing large folding doors (1991)
Oaklyn Plantation House, view from drawing room to front hall, showing large folding doors (1991)

Oaklyn Plantation, Darlington South Carolina Oaklyn Plantation House, north sitting room (1991)
Oaklyn Plantation House, north sitting room (1991)