Tour this grand country estate that once served as a playground for the rich and famous.
Hobcaw Barony has a rich and varied history. This 17,500-acre (7,080-hectare) tract of land started out as a collection of rice plantations, like much of this part of South Carolina, in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Wall Street millionaire and presidential adviser Bernard M. Baruch bought the property in 1905 as a winter retreat. He hunted ducks, turkey and deer here. Hobcaw House hosted Baruch’s rich and famous friends, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Baruch’s daughter later bought the property. When she died, a foundation was established to ensure the land would be used for education and research.
Today, two universities have long-term research facilities on the property and an on-site education center offers exhibits on the estate’s ecology and history.
A three-hour driving and walking tour is the best way to grasp the scale and beauty of Hobcaw Barony. The paid tour includes a look inside Hobcaw House, a stunning example of Colonial Revival architecture with beautiful interior design details. It’s listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Tours are run Tuesday to Friday. Experienced guides share information on the history, native ecology and wildlife found on the property. Reservations are required, and can be made online or by phone. There is also a yearly special program of events, including photography nights, horse-riding trips and history-themed suppers. Check the website for specific programs, prices and booking details.
Hobcaw Barony is located in Georgetown, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Myrtle Beach. The property is open weekdays. Admission to the visitor center is free but donations are appreciated. The wider property can only be accessed via the scheduled tour.