“In 1686 Medway Plantation was granted by the Lords Proprietors to Jan Van Aarrsen, seigneur de Weirnhoudt. In 1689 the property came into the possession of Landgrave Thomas Smith, Governor of South Carolina November 1693 to October 1694. He died in November 1694 and is buried at Medway.”
On Sunday, September 27, 2009, Sugar and I went on a little day trip to Goose Creek, SC, to see if we could find Medway Plantation. It had rained buckets most of the night before, and we were concerned that it might deluge again. But we were determined to get out of town, so we set out, with the plan that we would turn back if the weather got too bad. We went past the turn-off, even though we had a good map. The road wasn’t marked, and the properties at the turn-off were industrial with large earth-moving equipment. Not the type of entryway we were planning on finding.
The photo above is heavily cropped. Here’s what the historical marker really looks like:
I didn’t even mention the railroad track. So we finally got turned in the right direction. Further along the road was a neighborhood. Looked a little rough. When the houses ended, we saw the sign for Medway Road and knew we were actually on the right track.
We drove down the narrow lane, and the “No Trespassing” signs began to appear. So we stopped. The property is only 6700 acres, and we didn’t know how far we’d have to trespass before we got to the grand entrance gates. Something about being taken to a court of law is reason enough to stop moving forward.
“Do not enter looking for dogs. If we find your dogs we will notify you. Persons ignoring this notice are trespassing and will be prosecuted. G.S. Legendre, Owner”
G.S. Legendre was Gertrude Legendre, an amazing woman who lived to be 97. She lived 70 or so years at Medway. She has an amazing story including escaping as a prisoner-of-war in Europe in WWII.
What was our motivation for seeking out Medway? Thomas Smith was one of Researcher Sugar’s grandfathers. Of course.
What the sign doesn’t say about how Thomas Smith acquired the property is that he married the widow of Jan Van Arrsen. Golddigger. Tom is buried at Medway near the house.
We were disappointed not to get onto the plantation, but Sugar has decided that he will write a letter to the trustees of the plantation and explain that he needs to visit his grandfather’s gravesite, for closure or something like that. I think it’s worth a shot. The worst is that they could say is no. Or maybe “Hell no”.
If anyone has an extra $25 million around, Medway is for sale. I’ve got exactly $24 million, so perhaps someone can loan me $1 million. One million doesn’t sound like much money when put in that context. And don’t even think about sub-dividing the property. It is protected land with two conservation easements. When I buy it, I’ll invite everyone over. But only if you request an invitation in my “comments” section.
Or maybe I’ll just save my $24 million and buy this car.
Tags: Enjoying the day