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  • Writer's pictureKen Murray

A Visit to McLeod Plantation and Folly Beach

Updated: May 12, 2022

Day 3 - McLeod Plantation

Day 3 started a bit later in the morning. We got to the McLeod Planation around 10:00am. It's located about 15 minutes west of downtown Charleston. We walked the grounds while we waited for the 10:30am guided tour. The grounds were beautiful with dozens of live oak trees covered in Spanish moss. There was the main, "big house", a half dozen small, bare buildings where enslaved people lived, and several other buildings like the kitchen and smokehouse.

The guided tour was excellent. It focused on the history of the owner and family, McLeod, and the enslaved people who worked the rice and cotton fields, and tended to the house and grounds. The original crop that made Charleston wealthy was indigo, and the Britain was the main buyer. When the Revolutionary War broke out, and Britain was no longer a trading partner, rice replaced indigo as the cash crop. But rice was relatively expensive to produce, and cotton replaced it as the primary money-making crop.

Many of the enslaved people were of the Gullah and Geechee heritage of Africa-Americans. These were highly skilled farmers and craftsmen with their own language and culture who were transported from western Africa under horrific conditions to the new colonies of North and South America to build new cities and enable the wealth of their "owners". It's a sad history, but one that must be learned and retained.

The McLeod Plantation "big house" has little furnishings so I have only included photos of the grounds.

Day 3 - Folly Beach

Folly Beach is located about 20 minutes south of the McLeod Plantation. The beach is maybe a couple miles long, and there is a main road that runs north-south along the beach with beachfront houses on one side of the east side of the road, and other home on the west side of the road. There are a half dozen restaurants and a few shops on the main drag.

We chose to eat lunch at a restaurant Kate's son, Michael, recommended, Rita's Seaside Grill. Kate had shrimp and grits with a fried egg on top, Shelly had a seafood platter with shrimp and grouper, and I had a grouper sandwich. All meals were very good, and we were well-satisfied. Kate bought a Rita's t-shirt for a souvenir.

Shelly and Kate walked the beach looking for shells and shark teeth. My legs were tired so I sat on a bench and watched the surf. Both Kate and Shelly brought back a plastic bag each full of shells, and Kate found a half dozen sharks teeth.

We then walked to Snapper Jacks and had a couple drinks on their rooftop bar. It's got nice views of the beach area, and the sun was magnificent.

We left Folly Beach and stopped at a Harris Teeter so Shelly and Kate could buy some Carolina Gold rice. We got back to our Airbnb and walked to Jeni's Ice Cream on King St. I had a delicious waffle cone with 3 scoops of Gooey Butter Cake. I also bought a pint to go and finished it off that evening. We chatted as the the ice cream slid down my gullet, and reviewed our itinerary for tomorrow. We had another great day, and looked forward to more sightseeing.

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