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Lowcountry Spotlight: Belfair

Posted by Randy Smith on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 4:41pm.

belfair south carolina, entry sign

Throughout the Southeast United States developers have incorporated the term ‘Plantation’ in the names of communities they create. This conjures up in the minds of the potential residents, visions of all the comfort, luxury and genteel ways during the Antebellum period.

Although many municipal governments throughout the south have passed legislation limiting the use of ‘plantation’ in the name of a community, inserting it is quite a common practice

So, it is a pleasure to describe a splendid community that before the War of 1812, was actually a working, thriving plantation - Belfair Plantation.

Legitimate Plantation Origins

Belfair had its beginnings as a plantation a year before the British invaded our shores in their attempt to re-inject themselves into the affairs of the independent United States, June 18, 1812.

In 1811, William Telfair and Betsey Bellinger, a married couple, established a country estate and working plantation devoted to agriculture. They took the first part of "Bellinger" and the last of "Telfair" to name their new majestic country estate.

The Telfairs and their decedents maintained the original agricultural concentration, growing on the property, crops including rice, indigo and beans.

Over the next 183 years this 1,100-acre plantation bordered by the Colleton River in Bluffton, would be reinvented four times, finally in 1994, starting the process to become the beautiful, diversified community we know today.

Continual Renewal

belfair's avenue of the oaks - south carolinaIn 1927 Belfair was purchased by a new owner, William Mosely Swain. Mr. Swain expanded the products of the plantation to include foul, the largest species being turkeys, the decedents of which can be seen in the wood and fields around Bluffton.

But Mr. Swain is best remembered by the current residents of Belfair Plantation as the man responsible for planting the oaks that now constitute the magnificent Avenue of the Oaks.

In 1953 the Swains moved on and sold the entire 1,100 acres to Walter Lee Mingledorff, Sr. for the all-inclusive price of $50,000. (A building lot of .8 acre sells today, on the very same plantation, for $360,000). Walter turned most of the property into a ranch to raise his herd of Polled Hereford cattle.

turkey in belfair plantation, south carolinaWalter and his cows lasted until 1963 when he concluded that cattle ranching in the Lowcountry was a less than profitable endeavor, so he and his relatives sold the cattle at auction. The Mingledorffs then took a page out of an earlier owner of the plantation’s book and returned the land to turkey farming, a business they hoped would reach at least a revenue neutral operation.

It must have worked, because the records indicate they held onto it for over thirty years when in 1994 the family sold it to Belfair Plantation, L.L.C., the developer of today’s Belfair Plantation and Club.

The developer’s vision called for the creation of a world class private golfing community.

They succeeded.

Belfair Plantation Today

The last repurposing of the Telfair’s aggregation of 1,100 acres of the Lowcountry is a bit of paradise. Turned into a private golf community in Bluffton, South Carolina, It is an exceptional next step for those wanting to take on life's next adventure with passion and offers the best of a quality lifestyle combined with a unique community attitude.

With two world-class golf courses, recreational facilities to serve all chosen activities, access to the glorious Colleton River, together with dining and entertaining facilities to meet all tastes, the new resident never wants to leave.

…and it is only going to get better. From the announcement by the plantation itself;

“Belfair is passionate about the stewardship of the club and continual re-investment into the member experience. Belfair is about to break ground on one of the largest infrastructure and community experience projects to date.

We are in the process of creating a new Sports & Lifestyle Campus, a new Cafe, a new Indoor Lap pool, a dedicated Tennis area and a Tennis Pro’s office. While golfing amenities are also being upgraded, the Fitness Center will see new locker rooms, steam rooms and massage rooms. A new covered dining area with lounge will enhance the outdoor dining experience.”

Add to that the recent announcement from the National Professional Golf Association (PGA);

“Belfair has been selected to host the 2019 PGA Professional Championship, the world’s largest all-professional event. Scheduled to be played April 28-May 1, 2019, the 52nd edition of the PGA Professional Championship will be conducted for the first time in the spring.”

And you can see how far William Telfair and Betsey Bellinger’s Belfair has come.

If you'd like to know more about the Belfair lifestyle, please contact us online or call 1-843-785-9500 for the latest information of the community and available real estate.

belfair golf & country club, south carolina

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