About Peachtree Plantation

Dr. Altizer’s thesis, Three Hoes in the Kitchen: The Conceptualization of Peachtree Plantation, St. James Santee Parish, South Carolina, focuses on the ruin of Peachtree Plantation, where she used archaeology and archival evidence to understand the ground-level floor plan and room uses of Peachtree at the time of the fire that destroyed it in 1840.

History of Peachtree Plantation

Peachtree Plantation is currently a 481-acre parcel located at the northern extent of Charleston County, South Carolina along the banks of the South Santee River. It was originally a 2,500 acre land grant developed predominantly as a rice plantation in the first half of the eighteenth century by Colonel Thomas Lynch. His son Thomas Lynch, Sr. directed the construction of the domestic core of the plantation. Though Lynch, Sr. was a well known planter and ardent patriot in colonial era politics, Peachtree is more broadly known as the home of Thomas Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He lived here at least part time until he and his wife were lost at sea in 1779. After their demise, Peachtree passed to the eldest son of Lynch, Jr.’s oldest sister, Sabinah Bowman. Jonathan Bowman Lynch, and his family lived there until 1835 when they left for Tennessee and rented the plantation to the Doar family. The Doars leased Peachtree for almost 100 years. They did not live in the main house but, instead chose to have their own house built in the Pea Field, between Montgomery Creek and the main house. 

Peachtree was sold out of the Lynch family in the early 20th century, and was owned by a series of cattle and timber companies. The present owner placed it under conservation easement in the 1980s. This was one of the first on the Santee River and set precedent for other land owners in the Santee Delta to follow suit. Because of this, the Santee Delta will never see large scale development, as has happened on other river systems in the Lowcountry such as the Ashley and Cooper Rivers near Charleston.

The Peachtree main house burned in 1840 and what is left of it today is a ruin. The ruin is the only extant building on the landscape. It is Georgian Palladian in style, built of locally made brick, and stuccoed and scored to look like stone. In the Lowcountry, it is the only one of its kind with this type of detail, expansive square footage (around 9,300 in 2 1/2-3 stories), and one of very few brick plantation houses ever built in the colonial era. The current property boundary encompasses the ruin, former agricultural areas, an African American cemetery, and archaeological sites, which are all that remains of enslaved labor housing.