Location: Yemasee, Beaufort County, South Carolina
Year Built: 1938 (Commissioned)
After a full day of volunteering for the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Wright 150 Housewalk in May 2017, I was very ready for the After Party held at the Home and Studio. While celebrating a successful day of showcasing Wright homes and other historic homes in the Oak Park area while navigating the rainy conditions, I was ready for some relaxation.
At the After Party, I met several Wright enthusiasts. I began a conversation with a gentleman named Greg who told me he was a docent at Auldbrass in South Carolina. I had never heard of Auldbrass, nor had I ever been to South Carolina. (I am Chicago born and raised). Greg showed me photographs he had taken of the Plantation while serving as a docent. I was truly amazed at the beauty of the Main House and land in the Lowcountry. (I also had never heard of the Lowcountry). I then remembered my father telling me that a Sprite lives in South Carolina. To my delight, I discovered this was its home!
After hours speaking with Greg, I was convinced this was a ‘must visit’ Wright sight. To my dismay, Greg told me it is nearly impossible to obtain entry to Auldbrass as it is only open one weekend every two years. Greg went above and beyond by helping me to secure two tickets for the November 2017 weekend. Needless to say, Greg was every bit the Southern gentleman and host.
And now a little history for you. C. Leigh Stevens owned several tracts of land in the Lowcountry called Old Brass. Stevens commissioned Wright to design several buildings on the Plantation. Wright termed the design and location Auldbrass.
Unfortunately, after Stevens’ death and many years of neglect, Auldbrass was in bad shape.
In 1986, the Beaufort County Open Land Trust approached Joel Silver and requested he purchase and help restore Auldbrass. Joel Silver lives on the Plantation with his family and continues to maintain the restored Plantation as well as work with the Beaufort County Open Land Trust to plan and realize the rest of Wright’s design including a guesthouse wing.
The buildings on the Plantation are built with red Cypress on an 80 degree angle. Wright chose this angle based on the Living Oak trees which grow on the property. The Living Oak Trees grow at an 80 degree angle. The screws are also at an 80 degree angle. Details!
The Auldbrass symbol, which can be see on the main gate and in the clerestory windows of the Main House, is an abstract design from the Yemasee Indians who used to live on the location.
There are also many animals living on the Plantation including horses, a hippo, a pheasant bird of some exotic variety and a lynx!
HINT: Visit Beaufort County Open Land Trust for information on the next November weekend Auldbrass will be open for tours. We opted to purchase tickets for the Southern BBQ held at a neighboring plantation for lunch. This was my first ever real Southern BBQ! It was delicious!
If you try to do a drive by visit for a look of this Plantation, think again. The Main House is set far back on the property. The buildings visible from the road include the stables and guests houses. There is also a fence blocking the view from the road.
Auldbrass is located in between Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA. We chose to stay in Charleston, SC. What a beautiful Southern city! I hope to visit again soon!
I included several photographs I took while enjoying my day at Auldbrass. I hope you have a chance to visit and experience the beauty of this Southern Plantation. Thank you, Joel Silver!