Prior to the War Between the States, the coastal South became richly aristocratic due to the rice and indigo culture. Residents lived in grand style in huge plantation houses up and down the rivers of South Carolina. Plantation owners also maintained large beach houses and mountain homes to except the summer fever (malaria).
Even in the 1500's Spain, France and England all tried to claim the low country. However, it was England that prevailed and by the time George Washington visited the South in 1791, elegance of the low country plantations was known worldwide.
The heart of the rice empire was Waccamaw Neck where today you will find Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, Debordieu and Winyah Bay. After the Civil War the plantation grandeur began to fade and except for the plantations bought and restored by wealthy people from the North, many of the beautiful old homes have faded into ruin.
During late March each year plantation tours, sponsored by Prince George Winyah Parish are held. Plantations often featured during the tour are Esterville, Kinloch, Woodside, The Wedge, Hopsewee, Friendfield, Springfield, Arundel, Excange, Rosemont and Arcadia besides other historic homes and places.