Botany Bay Plantation WMA-Bleak Hall Plantation


Jul 5, 2015
Western N.C.
An avenue of Oaks leads down the entrance road to historic Botany Bay Plantation WMA.
You are now on the grounds of Bleak Hall Plantation. Walk through the black gate, and you will see two small buildings, both built in the 1800's.
The white building to the left is referred to as the Ice House. The building was a multipurpose structure used as a carriage house,
the drying of crops, and general storage, as well as an ice house. Beneath the floor boards of the building is a storage pit that was used to
store ice. The ice was cut from rivers and lakes in New England and brought down on tall ships where it was insulated in saw dust. The
small tabby structure served as a gardener shed for Oqui, a Chinese gardener, who brought here by Admiral Perry's expeditions in the 1850's.
Oqui laid out the extensive, oriental garden with olive, citrus and spice trees as well as poppies, sugar cane and multiple flowers and vegetables.

The first Bleak Hall mansion overlooked Ocella Creek. It was two and a half stories high with a cupola on the top used by both Confederate and
Union troops as a lookout over the North Edisto River. The original Bleak Hall burned after the Civil War and was replaced by another large
house, built in an eclectic mix of Victorian styles.
A98A6494 -1.jpg
Botany Bay Plantation WMA.jpg
Ice House.jpg
Oqui's Garden Shed.jpg


I would love to ride my horse down that avenue of trees!
If you ever visit in Maryland, the plantation where I volunteer allows horses and the 2 mile one lane gravel drive has many sections of Osage which form a similar avenue. (Friend down the road has a great riding area and we could find you a horse to borrow.)

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