John Boone arrived from Barbados with the first fleet of colonists in 1670. Boone Hall is at the site of the original 150 acre King Charles II land grant. At it’s heyday it grew to over 1700 acres and was the first farm to learn to rotate crops. It is presently America’s oldest working plantation and still comprises over 730 acres. It also housed the South’s largest brickyard, producing over 1,000,000 bricks a year. Virtually every brick in Charleston came from Boone Hall.
This is the 4th building on this site. The first three fell victim to fire, earthquake and hurricanes.
The Avenue of Oaks was planted by John’s son Thomas in 1743. Thomas insisted that he be buried next to the trees so that he could watch them grow.
Over 130 slaves worked this plantation for over 200 years. The skilled and house slaves lived in these brick cabins. The wooden field hand shacks have long since been destroyed. Slaves and their descendants lived in these cabins until the 1940’s.
These cabins were locked at night. Long puzzeled by the lack of calories in the slave’s diet recorded by the owners, historians have discovered that slaves would crawl out through the chimney at night and hunt for animals in the woods to augment their meager diets.