Historic Structures

Millwood - Wade Hamption Mansion Ruins, Columbia South Carolina

Date added: February 13, 2016 Categories: South Carolina Plantations & Farms Mansion House

Only the ruined portico of this important South Carolina plantation house survives. These are the remains of a hexastyle, prostyle, Greek Revival portico, supported "by square, red-brick piers. The two end columns were square in plan, with sunk panels and molded bases. The four round center columns were fluted and had molded bases. They are of red brick, stuccoed. In height they range from 2 feet to 20 feet.

Millwood plantation was one of the largest and most profitable plantations in the middle section of the state. Colonel Wade Hampton I owned the property as early as 1787. His son Wade Hampton II was born in Columbia on April 21, 1791. Hampton I operated a toll bridge across the Congaree River, which was washed away in 1791, and was a member of Congress in 1795. He erected a cotton gin at his mill on Gill Creek in 1799. The following year he harvested and ginned 600 bales from 600 acres, proving that the center section of the state was good for cotton, a fact on which the tremendous fortune of the family in later years was built. In 1815, Colonel Hampton I carried the message of the victory of New Orleans to Washington. He died in 1835, and Hampton II took over the,plantation. He built the great house, of which these ruins remain. Hampton II died in 1858.

Wade Hampton III was born in 1818 and became the great Civil War cavalry general; his cavalry, known as Hampton's Legion, was outfitted, armed, and paid from the family fortune. Hampton II purchased the mansion house, known as the "Hampton-Preston" house as a wedding present for one daughter. Another daughter married Lawrence Manning and took him a dowry large enough to enable him to build Milford house in Sumter County, probably the finest plantation house ever erected in the southeast.

Millwood was burned by Sherman's raiders in 1865; the men were all at war, and very little of the vast accumulation of art, books, and family records was saved, except a few paintings and silver that had been taken to "Woodlands," another Hampton plantation about two miles south of Millwood house.

Millwood - Wade Hamption Mansion Ruins, Columbia South Carolina