Middleton Place (South Carolina States) : The oldest landscaped gardensi n United States

08-11-2018

(USKings.us) Middleton Place is a plantation in Dorchester County, directly across the Ashley River from North Charleston and about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Charleston, in the U.S. state of South Carolina. Built in several phases during the 18th and 19th centuries, the plantation was the primary residence of several generations of the Middleton family, many of whom played prominent roles in the colonial and antebellum history of South Carolina. The plantation, now a National Historic Landmark District, is used as a museum, and is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States.

John Williams, an early South Carolina planter, probably began building Middleton Place in the late 1730s. His son-in-law Henry Middleton (1717–1784), who later served as President of the First Continental Congress, completed the house's main section and its north and south flankers, and began work on the elaborate gardens. Middleton's son, Arthur Middleton (1742–1787), a signer of Declaration of Independence, was born at Middleton Place, and lived at the plantation in the last years of his life.

Arthur Middleton's son and grandson, Henry Middleton (1770–1846) and Williams Middleton (1809–1883), oversaw Middleton Place's transition from a country residence to a more active rice plantation. In 1865, toward the end of the U.S. Civil War, Union soldiers burned most of the house, leaving only the south wing and gutted walls of the north wing and main house. An earthquake in 1886 toppled the walls of the main house and north wing.

The restoration of Middleton Place began in 1916 when Middleton descendant John Julius Pringle Smith (1887–1969) and his wife Heningham began several decades of meticulously rebuilding the plantation's gardens. They had New York architect Bancel LaFarge design a stableyard complex of barn, stable, work buildings, and cottages; the buildings were constructed of brick salvaged from the ruined main house.

In the early 1970s, approximately 110 acres (45 ha) of the 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) plantation— including the south flanker, the gardens, and several outbuildings— were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the same period the Middleton descendants transferred ownership of the historic district to the non-profit Middleton Place Foundation, which presently maintains the site.

According to  wikipedia


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