Fish Haul Creek (Drayton) Plantation

Fast Facts:

General Information - Location: along Port Royal Sound

Owners -    

  • Edmund Ellis and Samuel Green, jointly given an original Royal grant dated 7 May 1762 (SC Archives Royal Land Grants, vol. X, p. 220).
  • Edmund Ellis in 1775 left his holdings to his sons Thomas and Edmund.
  • Samuel Green took Fish Haul as his portion and left it to his son Samuel and his Colginse Point Plantation to his daughters Sarah and Susannah in his will of 24 February 1767.
  • Sarah Green eventually controlled all this property; married William Pope, Sr. after death of husband Thomas Tucker.
  • In 1856 400 acres of pine barrens were added in purchase from Daniel Jenkins and Harriet Pinckney.
  • Property eventually passed to their son John Edward Pope, likely builder of  “Drayton House,” who leaves property to his widow Mary Baynard Edings Pope and daughter Emma Catherine.
  • Catherine Emma Pope eventually inherits from her mother Mary Drayton Pope; marries Thomas F. Drayton, of Rephaim Plantation, Bluffton.  Fish Hall used as their home.
  • Brig. Gen. Thomas Fenwick Drayton of the Confederate Army used family home here as headquarters in 1861.  Capt. Percival Drayton, his brother, served in the Union Fleet which participated in the Battle of Port Royal and captured Hilton Head from the Confederate army.
  • After confiscation, part was kept by Federal government, part sold to Negroes, remainder redeemed by heirs of Mary Drayton Pope.
  • In 1871 heirs began selling in small plots.  March Gardner owned about 70 acres, left to son Gabriel, and then to Gabriel’s wife and daughter.  Granddaughter Eugenia Heyward inherited and let go to delinquent taxes.
  • J. E. Laurence bought part for Roy Rainey about 1930.
  • Thorne and Loomis in 1931 purchased in thirteen different transactions.


Land - 1100 acres, 700 were the original Fish Haul Creek Plantation, 400 were Pine Barrens.

Maps - Hack, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, before 1861

Bibliography -

    Holmgren, Hilton Head, A Sea Island Chronicle
    Holmgren, Research on Hilton Head Island
    Peeples, An Index to Hilton Head Island Names
    Peeples, Tales of Ante Bellum Hilton Head Island Families
    Porcher, The Story of Sea Island Cotton

Addtional Information:

38BU1152, 38BU805/806

Beach City Road
Also see Coggins Point Plantation, Fort
Howell, Fort Walker

The plantation lands acquired jointly by Samuel Green and Edmund Ellis after 1740 stretched from Fish Haul Creek westward along Port Royal Sound.  In 1785, Sarah Green Tucker, widow of Thomas Tucker and daughter of Samuel Green, married Captain William Pope and made Fish Haul their primary residence.  Emma Catherine Pope married General Thomas Fenwick Drayton in 1832.  General Drayton used Fish Haul as his headquarters for the Confederate defenses of Hilton Head Island until 1861. Tabby ruins and a plantation cemetery are all that remain.  (198?)

South Carolina Institute of A & A original listing 

"...island planter Samuel Green in his earlier will of 24 February 1767 left his Fish Haul Plantation, where he lived, to his son Samuel...Eventually Sarah Green...became sole heiress to all this and married William Pope, Sr..."

Peeples, Tales of Ante Bellum Hilton Head Island Families, p. 2

 "William Drayton and his wife Mary were owners of 1100 acres, 700 of which were the original Fish Haul Creek Plantation (often called Fish Hall) probably bought from Samuel Green heirs about 1770... (see above entry)...Part of this estate was sold by the Federal government to Negroes and part kept for a military reservation.  The remainder was redeemed March 1875 for $407.83 in taxes by the heirs of Mary (Drayton) Pope who had evidently remarried....and they offered to give land for a new cemetery and for a church also if the next-of-kin would remove bodies buried near their home.  In 1877 the heirs began selling in small plots and in 1931 Thorne and Loomis bought Fish Haul land in thirteen different transactions."

 Holmgren, Virginia C., Hilton Head, A Sea Island Chronicle, p. 115

 The 1989 Chicora Foundation work on the Fish Haul Slave Row was the first published archaeological documentation of a slave settlement on Hilton Head Island. Three five foot units and some standing tabby chimneys were noted.

 Trinkley, Chicora Research Series 28, Archaeological Testing at the Stoney/Baynard Plantation, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina, p. 16

(Source material noted in survey)

The 38BU806 portion of Drayton's Fish Haul Plantation slave row (38BU805 in 1986 Chicora work and in 1989 Brockington work), judged to be one of the most significant archaeological sites on Hilton Head.  High degree of site integrity and archaeological remains in excellent state of preservation.  Recommended as eligible for National Register of Historic Places. Barker Field is about ten acres county owned and operated, managed by Beaufort County Recreation Department.

 Trinkley, Chicora Research Series 17, Archaeological Survey of the Barker Field Expansion Project, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina

(Source material listed in survey)

 Colonel John Barnwell received a Royal Grant for 500 acres on December 10, 1717.  He named it Fish Haul.  His son, John, and wife, Martha, sold it to Edward Ellis, October 24, 1760.  In 1838 Thomas F. Drayton married Mary Baynard Pope and they resided with her mother, Mary Baynard Pope, at Fish Haul.  (father was John Edward Pope)  When Mary died in 1856, Thomas was named administrator of her estate and operated Fish Haul in trust for seven minor Drayton children. 

 The 1860 slave census shows 52 slaves on Fish Haul. The Agricultural census of 1860 shows 250 improved acres, 450 unimproved, valued at $10,000.  Absence of farm animals on the list indicates strongly oriented cotton plantation. Grain and food were raised for local use.

 In the 1863 tax sales the property was sold to the Federal government for $3,000. The listing of 1300 acres suggests the combining of Fish Haul and the adjacent Pinelands Plantation. Drayton is recorded as providing "substantial slave quarters in good condition" and the main house as "lordly".   Photographs from 1862 substantiate these statements.  

 In 1862 about 200 acres was used to create the freedmen’s village of Mitchelville.

 Fish Haul was rented to Bacchus Singleton, in trust for himself and those living on the land who paid their part of the rent of $220 in 1862.  The rental was subject to military occupation and half of the mansion house was held for a school.  Certain restrictions applied such as only half of the arable land could be cultivated in any given year - the other half being fallow.   The government could take a lien on the crop guaranteeing payment of rent, no one living on the property could be forced off, all work was shared equally and no one could live in the mansion house. 

 In 1867 the plantation was home to 120 blacks. The rent was $90.

 By 1868 the land was rented to Summer Christopher.   In 1871 the rental was $140 and no longer "in trust".  After 1871 the land was no longer rented.

 On April 17, 1875 the heirs of Mary Baynard Pope paid $407.83 for about 1300 acres including Pineland tract and the village of Mitchelville.  Approximately 803 acres on Hilton Head Point south and east of Fish Haul Creek were retained by the Federal government for a military reservation. (Coggins Point). Wishing to sell the property the Draytons (heirs of Mary Baynard Pope) offered to donate some lots for 'church purposes'.   They authorized their attorneys to establish a cemetery on Fish Haul and to give plots to those who would move their dead from the burial site near the mansion house. This seems not to have succeeded.

 On December 9, 1876, 147.5 acres was sold to Robert McIntire who in turn sold it to Gabriel Gardner on February 20, 1878.   On August 20, 1888 Gardner sold 650 acres (included the Gardner Plantation) to Summer Christopher, et. al..   The heirs of Christopher sold the ten acre parcel containing the Fish Haul Slave Row to Fred Owens, Jr. in 1894.  

 By 1920 the main house had disappeared. He held the property until it was sold in 1965 to the Hilton Head Company.   From there it went to the Port Royal Plantation Group and then to Palmetto Dunes.

 In 1978 the Hilton Head Gators acquired 7.4 acres from Palmetto Dunes. In 1980 the Beaufort County Recreation Commission took over the property.

 In 1989 the site contains at least six structures.   Above ground each building is marked by a tabby chimney base.   The tabby used is a distinct mix containing whole clam shell in addition to the normal oyster shell aggregate.   Broken brick, glass and ceramics are also spotted in the tabby.   The mix provides a well compacted, dense and strong material.

 Trinkley

 "The project area is situated on a portion of what is traditionally known as Fish Haul Plantation... A typical cotton producing plantation in the antebellum period, Fish Haul and all of Hilton Head became victims of war. Union forces took over the island in 1861, used the Fish Haul main house as a home for the commanding general, camped troops, built sawmills and logged the property, and on the project tract constructed a freedman village (Mitchelville) and an earthwork fort (Fort Howell).

 ...in 1717 John Barnwell received a grant on the northwest corner of the island.  Trinkley cites several sources...that the grant was for 500 acres and was described as Fish Haul in a 1760 sale to Edward Ellis.  Both Holmgren and Peeples contribute colonial ownership of Fish Haul to Samuel Green and thence to his daughter Sarah Green Tucker... William Pope was the widower of Sarah Green Tucker Pope in 1798...Confederate General Thomas Drayton was managing Fish Haul in trust for his children, the heirs of Mary B. Pope, when the Civil War began.

 The heirs of Mary B. Pope were among those reclaiming land. They paid back taxes in April 1875, and received Fish Haul Plantation...the express purpose of the Pope heirs was 'disposing of Fish Haul'.   Perhaps anticipating their recovery of the plantation, they sold it ten years before it was redeemed to a black man named March Gardner. Early in 1877 Robert McIntire purchased 130 acres of high and 17 1/2 acres of rice land 'known as Mitchelville' from the Pope heirs. The exact description is used in 1880, when the sons of March Gardner transferred title to his wife and daughter.   March Gardner's son, Gabriel, bought 650 acres called Fish Haul from Mary Pope's heirs in 1894; the same tract had been sold by Gardner to a third party eight years before and the two deeds again have identical wording. Fish Haul was sold off, over 13 years, in parcels of varying size.   Some of these sales appear to be investors while others are obviously to yeoman farmers...The bulk of the project area seems to have gone to Rutledge and Young, Esq. in 1878...F.R. Klem purchased the Rutledge and Young tract in 1889 and sold parts of it to Lucy Myers and Thomas Wigfall two years later.

 At the turn of the century another northern investor became active on the island.   W.P. Clyde bought whatever was available, at sheriff’s auction or from individuals, owning 9,000 acres by 1919.   His activities marked the beginning of the ‘investment era’ on Hilton Head. Roy Rainey of New York bought all of  Clyde’s holdings in 1919 and sold the entire 9,000 acres to Loomis and Thorne in 1931.   A timbermap of the property shows that most of the project area was wooded at the time. Oddly the map shows Fort Walker but not Fort Howell.”

 Brockington, 1991,  Cultural Resources Survey of the 20 Acre Commuter Terminal Tract, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina, pgs. 11, 13, 19

(Source materials listed in survey)

 

 

 





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