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Bonnie Doone — Walterboro, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Colleton County  |  Bonnie Doone

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Bonnie Doone

The land surrounding Bonnie Doone along the Ashepoo River outside of Walterboro was issued to William Hopton as a royal land grant in 1772. Subsequently the tract changed hands several times, and Dr. Theodore DeHon owned it by the time Union troops burned his plantation house here at the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Bonnie Doone

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The property had served as a rice plantation, and rice continued to be cultivated here until 1911 despite the fact that the industry had all but disappeared after the war due to the loss of slave labor. After the war the property continued to change hands, and at the beginning of the twentieth century the title to the property passed between the Sanders family and Colleton Mercantile until it was bought by New York stockbroker A.H. Caspary in 1931.

Bonnie Doone Walterboro

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Caspary purchased several tracts of land in Colleton County – including the former DeHon plantation and a tract called Bonnie Doone – and he combined them all to create a single 15,000-acre property which he called Bonnie Doone.

Bonnie Doone Entrance

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

He then built this 32-room, 10,000-square-foot Georgian home on the site where DeHon’s plantation house had stood before it was burned.

Bonnie Doone Rear

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1965 the Charleston Presbytery bought the property for use as a camp and conference center. The Presbytery then sold 132 acres – including the house – to the Charleston Baptist Association in 1978.

Bonnie Doone Interior

Susan Buckley of Charleston &copy, 2008; Do Not Use Without Written Consent

By 1987 the Charleston Baptist Association had established an endowment fund to preserve the house and property. Bonnie Doone can be rented as a conference center by other denominations or groups and is also a popular event site. The mansion was featured in the 1994 television mini-series Scarlett.

Bonnie Doone Oil

Darlene Usry-Byrd of North Charleston, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The above oil painting by Charleston artist Darlene Usry-Byrd hangs in the library of Bonnie Doone.

Bonnie Doone Info

Address: 5878 Bonnie Doone Road, Walterboro, SC 29488
GPS Coordinates: 32.758506,-80.557444

Bonnie Doone Map

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5 Comments about Bonnie Doone

Sparrow says:
September 17th, 2019 at 1:15 pm

This is such a beautiful place! I stayed here once with a college group, and we helped to do some work around the grounds. I remember getting up early in the morning and sitting on the wide front porch and just enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

SC Picture Project says:
March 1st, 2019 at 4:22 pm

This is really great information, thank you so much for sharing it with us. Would you mind if we added it to the page as a reflection quoted by you?

Thomas Hollingsworth says:
February 28th, 2019 at 8:48 pm

My father, Rev. Charles J. Hollingsworth, was the Director of Bonnie Doone from 1969-1975. Our family spent summers and weekends on the property through church summer camps, band camps, church conferences, and other special events. I was there the morning Horseshoe Lodge burned, the building whose foundation still resides between the old garage & upstairs apartment (since converted) and the old caretakers house, now a guest house. After getting up for breakfast, I saw the smoke as I left the garage. I ran as fast as I could to the Big House and screamed to dad that it was on fire. We couldn’t save it. Bonnie Doone is my friend and I hope she finds a caring new owner. Bonnie Doone touched many lives and I had many encounters with nature and God on the grounds.

Sarah Bailey Kayan says:
June 29th, 2018 at 11:37 pm

I know every inch of Bonnie Doone, as we came there every summer for church camp! Horseback riding, canoeing in the rice patties with my Dad, telling ghost stories at Vesper Island, playing the piano in the Ball room, tons of great times with my friends! Thanks to all who have cared for it!

nan busby says:
June 20th, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for the beautiful pictures, at least you are trying to help save this gem.


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