July 29, 2023 at 9:28 a.m.
Lewisfield Plantation is a historic plantation house located near Moncks Corner in Berkeley County, SC.
(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, SC,8-MONCO.V,6-1)
Compiled by Jennifer Baker, Vesuvius Furnace Chapter, DAR
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Skirmish at Lewisfield Plantation
Lewisfield Plantation is a historic plantation house located near Moncks Corner in Berkeley County, South Carolina. It was built about 1774 and is a 2 1/2-half story clapboard dwelling. It is supported by a high brick foundation that encloses a raised basement. It has a five bay wide verandah supported by six slender Doric order columns. With its wide veranda, raised basement, and central hall, the Lewisfield Plantation house is typical of many plantation residences in this region of South Carolina.
The two-and-one-half story clapboard dwelling is supported by a high brick foundation that encloses a raised basement. The façade consists of a veranda which is five bays wide. The veranda is enclosed by a balustrade and supported by six slender Doric columns. The house is a fine example of the influence of West Indian architecture in this area of the state. Lifting the house from the ground and shading it from the sun, the raised basement and wide veranda provide a comfortable residence, well suited for the low-lying land of the Coastal Plain. Other features such as high ceilings and many windows all combine to alleviate the discomfort caused by the hot summer climate of the area.
Lewisfield fronts on the Cooper River and was bounded by Exeter Plantation to the north and Mulberry Plantation to the south. Sedgewick Lewis bought the 1000 acre plantation in 1767 from Baronet John Colleton. Through marriage Keating Simons became the owner and built the plantation house near a landing on the Cooper River ca.1774. At that time, the plantation was known as Little Landing, but it was later known as Lewisfield because of Lewis' ownership. Lord Cornwallis was a guest of Lewis when Cornwallis was heading to Charleston from Camden.
Keating Simons was the child of Benjamin Simons, of Middleburg Plantation and Ann Keating. In 1774, Keating Simons married Sarah Lewis and built Lewisfield Plantation on the land dowry of his wife. He also served in the American Revolution with Gen. Francis Marion. He had many children with Ann, 10 but not verified. She died in 1791 and two years later he married Eleanor Ball with whom he had one more child. He died a widower in 1834. Records show over 100 slaves were held in bondage on the plantation as of 1835.
On the 10th of June 1774, Keating Simons married Miss Sarah Lewis, and thereby became possessed of a rice plantation and negroes, on the western branch of Cooper River, which he called Lewisfield, which still retains that name, and is still in the possession of his grandchildren.
On the commencement of hostilities, he was enrolled in one of the volunteer companies, as a private. His brother, Maurice, was colonel of the militia regiment and was in that capacity at the Siege of Savannah and other expeditions.
In the fall of Charleston, Keating became a prisoner, on parole, and retired as he had a right to do by capitulation, to reside on his plantation, Lewisfield. Having heard of the army advancing, under General Gates, he bid his time, acted with great discretion, and tried to promote it among his neighbors. Mr. Simons remained on parole, at Lewisfield, waiting to be exchanged, until the middle of July 1781. At this time, General Greene sent his calvary down into the lower part of the State, even within sight of Charleston.
A Revolutionary War skirmish occurred directly in front of the house when Colonel Wade Hampton surprised a British force that had stopped at Lewisfield Plantation to await that paroled prisoner of war, Keating Simons. This successful Patriot surprise attack against the British led by Colonel Hampton. He and his men took 78 prisoners. This effort is associated with the siege and occupation of Charleston.
In 1937, Robert R.M. Carpenter bought the estate for $50,000 from the Lewisfield Club, a collection of owners. He intended to use the house as a duck hunting property in the winters. In 1948, Carpenter sold the plantation (by then increased to 2500 acres) to the Williams Furniture Corporation of Sumter, South Carolina. The business bought the house not for the historic plantation house but rather to secure several million board feet of lumber growing on about 1500 acres of the estate; the business did not have immediate plans for the portion of the estate with the house and hunting grounds.
South Carolina politician Rembert Dennis lived on the plantation. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.