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Lowcountry Spotlight: Oldfield Plantation

Posted by Bill True on Monday, October 21st, 2019 at 6:02pm.

One of the many attributes of the marvelous South Carolina Lowcountry that visitors and new residents of the area find fascinating is the area’s history.

You can stroll down the lanes of large and small communities, drop into a fifty-year-old restaurant or spend a few hours inside a 177-year-old home. Once in this residence you will experience the culture and history of Bluffton, from inside one of the few structures left standing after the end of the Civil War.

For those who enjoy ‘feeling’ history, visiting some of the historic sites in Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island, the experience is sometimes a bit surreal, like being transported back in time 100, 200 or even 300 years.

Now let your imagination run a little wild and envision living in a community that can trace the history of the plantation on which the community is built back 286 years to a Lord Proprietor’s grant to Governor Robert Johnson in 1732, (The title of Lord Proprietor was a position akin to head landlord or overseer of a territory). This grant included a parcel of land referred to as ‘Old Field’, the sight of the glorious and unusual community known today as Oldfield Plantation.

Down through the two-hundred-eighty-six years since Governor Johnson got the original grant of tens of thousands of acres, which included the 927 acres that became the original Oldfield Plantation, there was a bit of shrinkage. Due to public road and infrastructure building, today’s Oldfield Plantation encompasses approximately 800 acres.

Activities on today’s plantation include most that were occupations or avocations in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but carried out today at a more leisurely pace. In this article I’ll try to bring to the reader enough of them to give a feel of what an awesome community Oldfield Plantation is.

Fishing

All of the occupants of the plantation engaged in fishing for sustenance in the early days and a combination of providing day-to-day provisions for the farm staff and entertainment for the property owners after the Civil War.

One element that has remained constant are the fish provided by the waters of the Okatee River. The estuary of the Port Royal Sound are abundant. Included in the available catch 300 years ago and today are Red Fish, Flounder, Whiting and Sea Trout. The lucky fisherman may occasionally hook a Tarpon.

All of these are good eating and have been in the Okatee River, all four seasons, in varying quantities, since the river was formed some thousands of years ago. So, a day of fishing for today’s Lowcountry resident is much the same as it was for inhabitants of Oldfield before the War for Independence.

Kayaking

In my opinion one of the finest ways of experiencing the magic of the rivers and estuaries of the South Carolina Lowcountry is from a kayak, an activity that is available to residents of Oldfield Plantation from right within the boundaries of the plantation itself.

The kayaker that rises early and paddles along the miles of river and marsh, will encounter diversity of wild life seldom encountered anywhere else. The varied waterfowl come upon, will include herons, egrets, and other waders which breed or visit. The varied water birds, from rails to terns, will be overhead observing…and searching for their breakfast.

You may even be fortunate enough to have several Dolphin swimming and leaping alongside your craft.

Kayaking these waters, whether on an evening sunset paddle, or for the very healthy exercise, this activity provides a unique combination of rejuvenation for the mind and the body.

Equestrian

I cannot enumerate the features of Oldfield Plantation without describing the beyond impressive equestrian facilities. Using the Oldfield description of the Equestrian Center “Horses are as at home on our pastoral acres as our horse lovers and owners.”

Horses have been an integral part of the history of Oldfield Plantation since before the Revolution but really became the core activity of the property in 1985. Purchased in that year by a Hilton Head developer, the new owner used the plantation as a quarter horse farm and built the extensive system of fences (more than six miles in all) that stands as one of Oldfield’s most distinguishing features.

The center features 20 acres of meticulously maintained pastures surrounding the architecturally delightful red barn. The ‘barn’ itself has twelve, 12 foot by 12 foot rubber matted stalls with automatic waterers and individual fans.

The barn comes equipped with three tack rooms, hot/cold wash racks, washer/dryer, an automatic fly spray system and a fire monitoring system. On-site staff lives above the barn to ensure twenty-four-hour oversight of the horses’ welfare.

A large arena with Premier GGT footing, maintained daily for optimum performance during training and exercising sessions. A full jump course is available as well as a sixty-foot round pen and miles of scenic trails.

A virtual paradise for the horse owners and lovers fortunate enough to be a resident.

Last, but not least is an amenity of Oldfield Plantation that is a feature of the property only since it became one of the Lowcountry’s most unique communities, The Greg Norman-designed golf course. The course has won several awards and is renowned for its environmentally sensitive construction, earning the designation as, CERTIFIED AUDUBON COOPERATIVE SANCTUARY in recognition of its “environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical reduction and safety, water conservation and water quality management.”

Interested in learning more about living in Oldfield Plantation? Please take a moment to contact us online or call 1-843-785-9500 to consult a local Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina real Estate professional.

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