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Historic “Bonnie Doone” Plantation is sold

After six months on the real estate market, the historic and waterfront Bonnie Doone plantation in Colleton County has been sold.
The plantation sold last week for $2.45 million. It sits outside of Walterboro, near Green Pond, and dates back to 1772. It carries a long list of national and state historical attributes, including being located in the ACE Basin, between the Ashepoo River and Horseshoe Creek.
The actual property includes a 9,600-square-foot plantation manor that boasts a library, a grand ballroom, and massive formal dining room. The property also includes a dock, a private island called Vesper Island and several other buildings that also sit on the land.
The entire plantation pre-dates the Civil War.
According to the property’s real estate firm, the new owner of Boonie Doone is Gene Slivka, of the Slivka Family Children’s Trust. This is the same owner that purchased Myrtle Grove Plantation in Colleton County: that plantation was destroyed by a massive fire in 2018.
Prior to its recent sale, the former owner of the plantation was the Baptist Association of South Carolina. This association used the property for summer camps, Christian youth events, and conferences.
“Bonnie Doone is a significant historical and cultural asset representing America and the Lowcountry in an important transitional era,” said Charles G. Lane, BIC of Holcombe, Fair & Lane. Lane represents the Charleston-based real estate firm that listed the house for the Baptist Association of South Carolina.
“Too many of these estates have been destroyed in fires and other natural disasters throughout the years. We are fortunate to have secured a new steward for this property,” he said.
The property was originally listed for sale at $2.9 million. Stan Ashbury, with the Charleston Baptist Association, told The Colletonian in March of this year that the association decided to sell the historic property because the plantation no longer fit into their plan for the association’s mission. This is the only plantation that the association has ever owned, he said. The association purchased Bonnie Doonie from a private seller in 1978.
“One of the reasons we have decided to sell the property is we have changed our focus,” said Ashbury.
According to Ashbury, the proceeds from the sale of the plantation will help the association with three of its immediate goals. Those goals are: strengthen pastors, strengthen churches, and fund new churches.
“I know everybody loves this plantation and whoever owns it is getting a great property,” he said. “We have enjoyed being a part of the Colleton County community.”
Bonnie Doone was first established in 1722 as part of a Royal Land Grant, which includes 15,000 acres given to William Hopton from King George. The paperwork trail about what happened to the former rice plantation is a bit pieced together, as records were destroyed during Gen. Sherman’s march through the South. However, historical documents relating to the plantation’s history state the plantation changed hands in early 1861, when a man named Dr. Theodore DeHon acquired property from the estate of Maj. Henry T. Ferguson. During the war, the original house was destroyed.
As for the actual property, it changed hands again when it was bought in 1931 by New York businessman A.H. Caspary. He bought several adjoining acres of land in Colleton County and renamed the entire tract, including the plantation grounds, “Bonnie Doone.” Caspary then rebuilt the then-burned down house and created the grounds that are now for sale.

Heather Walters (1568 Posts)