South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Evergreen Plantation — Starr, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Anderson County  |  Evergreen Plantation

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Evergreen Plantation

This home in Starr, circa 1923, overlooks the rural landscape of southern Anderson County. The surrounding property, known as Evergreen, was owned during the first half of the nineteenth century by Samuel Girard Earle. Earle, who also owned a town home in Anderson of the same name, was one of Anderson County’s earliest residents, witnessing the county’s formation in 1826.

Evergreen Plantation

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Samuel Earle purchased the land in 1828 from Samuel Smith. He then not only operated a plantation, but also established grist mills and a cotton gin on the property, which at the time numbered thousands of acres. Earle sold many of his products in a general store that he also owned and ran. Another venture of Earle’s was printing; he owned a printing business and published a weekly newspaper featuring religious, political, and agricultural news. Legend has it that Earle once printed the Bible in its entirety, complete with annotations.

Evergreen Plantation Rear

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Following his death in 1848, Evergreen came under the ownership of Samuel Earle’s oldest living son, Elias John Earle. The younger Earle lived on the plantation, but in a different home than his father’s (neither of which remain extant). During the Civil War, Elias Earle and his slaves – in particular, a slave named Thomas Jefferson who lived to be 102 – ground mill for Confederate soldiers. Over the years the Evergreen property was subdivided, and different Earle descendants lived in various dwellings on the property. Much of the land, however, was sold to outside families.

Evergreen Plantation Sunflowers

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In the 1990s the Faulkenberry family purchased this 40-acre portion of the former Evergreen estate as both a private home and a site for their daughter’s wedding. Restoration work included renovating the Neoclassical home, seen at the top of the page. Originally known as the Earle Home, the house was not built until 1923. It replaced an earlier house on the Evergreen property called Ingleside, which burned in 1920. At one point a grist mill supplied the home with electricity.

Evergreen Plantation Starr

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

After their daughter’s wedding, the family decided to create a venue for other couples wishing to tie the knot. They landscaped the property and added several modern buildings to accommodate guests. Meetings and retreats are also held at Evergreen Plantation in the Carriage House, pictured second to last on this page. With a dining room, sitting room, and two guest bedrooms, the Carriage House provides quarters for a small business gathering or a corporate getaway.

Evergreen Lodge

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The outbuildings on the revitalized farm are not original but include a lodge, a cabin, and a carriage house. The Evergreen Lodge, pictured above, stands at more than 10,000 square feet and serves as a space for receptions and banquets. The Bridal Cottage, seen below, provides a place for the bride and her court to prepare.

Evergreen Cottage

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

These photos, taken by frequent contributor and professional photographer Vanessa Kauffmann, capture the history of the working fields as well as the covered bridge and modern facilities added to the property for use as an event site. Lodging and gathering space is designed to complement the property’s rustic character.

Evergreen Plantation Bridge

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Evergreen once encompassed a huge swath of land, and other portions are today owned by various neighbors. Darlene Roach owns 600 acres of the former plantation. Her land features one of the oldest cotton gins in the state as well as a compound of agricultural buildings. She now rents the property to a group of farmers who raise cows and grow Coastal Bermuda Hay. Mrs. Roach also owns a local nightclub named Wendell’s Dippin Branch, in honor of her late husband, and Shallows Farm in nearby Starr. At 235 acres, Shallows Farm is home to the iconic but crumbling Shiloh School.

Evergreen Carriage House

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

For guests looking for a little adventure during their free time, Evergreen is located just east of popular Lake Hartwell. Fishing and watersports are favorite pastimes on this beloved lake. For others wishing to simply enjoy the panoramic countryside, there is no shortage of natural beauty surrounding Evergreen.

Evergreen Starr

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Evergreen Plantation Info

Address: 4800 South Carolina Highway 187, Starr, SC 29684
GPS Coordinates: 34.396680,-82.792005

Evergreen Plantation Map

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10 Comments about Evergreen Plantation

Bob Hatcher says:
July 19th, 2019 at 8:58 am

Just beautiful & it gives meaning to the term “Big House.” Great pictures & story. Thanks for sending.

SCIWAY says:
August 28th, 2017 at 10:49 pm

Hello Jane, we do believe they allow visitors. Here is the official website where you can reach out to them directly and inquire about visiting the cotton gin. We hope you enjoy it! Thank you!

Jane says:
August 28th, 2017 at 7:30 am

Is it possible to visit the cotton gin since it is one of the oldest in the state?

Paulette "Holmes" Austin says:
August 26th, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I remember this house as a child my dad rented it and we lived here for a good while. We loved this place. I live in NC now and every time we come that way I always look at the home and say I use to live there. Lovely place.

SCIWAY says:
August 25th, 2017 at 10:54 pm

That’s wonderful, it’s a beautiful property!

Giles Earle says:
August 25th, 2017 at 7:51 pm

I am one of the descendents that still own a portion of the original plantation.

Tim Ricker says:
March 27th, 2016 at 9:41 pm

I want to introduce myself. I am married to a descendent of the Earle Plantation. Her maiden name was Gayle Earle and her dad was Oval Earle. We visited the Plantation several years ago when Aunt Margaret still lived there. Some day we want to come and see the place after all the improvements. I would like to hear from you sometime. Thanks.

R says:
August 26th, 2017 at 7:51 pm

They charge you a fee to take pictures, and I think someone walks around with you as well.

SCIWAY says:
October 12th, 2015 at 7:04 am

You would need permission from the owners before coming onto the property and taking photos.

Kayla Johnson says:
October 11th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Am I allowed to come and take pictures on the property, like walk around and take them?


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