MIDDLETON PLACE is a National Historic Landmark and a carefully preserved 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. It was the home of four important generations of Middletons, beginning with Henry Middleton, President of the First Continental Congress; Arthur, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Henry, Governor of South Carolina and an American Minister to Russia; and Williams, a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. [Text taken from their web site].
Middleton Place is about a 30-40 minute drive from downtown Charleston on I-61 North.
This is a very enjoyable and relaxing estate to visit. The grounds are perfectly landscaped. One will see a very large reflective pond upon entering the grounds. Travel to the house museum area by foot or by horse-drawn carriage (for a fee).
There is a fine restaurant on site. Make sure you save room for the huguenot torte dessert. Also save time for a walk through the stableyards, the House museum, the outdoor program, and the gift shop.
The original estate was built by Henry Middleton starting in 1741 when he married Mary Williams. There were originally 200 acres as part of the estate.
The main house was originally three stories and then two flanker houses were added to either side of the main house in the 1750’s. Middleton Place was burned by Federal troops in February 1865 and the only structure remaining that was restorable was the south flanker structure, which is what one can see and visit today.
When touring the House Museum one will see many items from the personal family collection covering the years of 1740s to the 1880s, including, china, paintings, documentsm Civil War memorabilia, books, furniture and silver.
The North flanker had a library with 10,000 volumes in it. Many were destroyed by the fire in 1865 as well as untold numbers were thrown into a heap outside the home and simply rotted instead of being rescued.