Midway: Archaeological Profile of a Nineteenth Century Rice Plantation on Waccamaw Neck

Author(s): Paul E. Brockington, Jr.; Eric C. Poplin

Year: 1988


Midway Plantation is a former rice plantation on Waccamaw Neck, Georgetown County, South Carolina. Established in the late eighteenth century, rice production as pursued throughout the nineteenth century through slave and tenant labor. Three components of the site were identified as significant and/or sensitive cultural resources. These include 38GE362 (the Midway manor house/main residential complex and a prehistoric campsite), 38GE363 (the slave/tenant village and prehistoric components), and 38GE364 (a Black cemetery). Survey and testing activities indicated that intact cultural deposits were present at the two former sites. Portions of both sites were protected by the placement of fill. Other portions of these two sites were excavated prior to ground disturbing activities. Site 38GE364, the Black cemetery, has been defined as an area permanently precluded from development plans. A fence has been erected around the cemetery and screening vegetation left •in place to inhibit possible vandalism.

A sewer line trench through 38GE362 was excavated prior to machine removal of the trench. Historic artifacts and features related to the former manor house were encountered. The relative early date for these remains and the relatively high percentage of high status remains suggested that 38GE362 represented the initial location of the manor house at Midway.

Data recovery activities were conducted near the presumed locations of five former structures at 38GE363. Architectural features (e.g., brick house piers, chimney bases) were encountered in all five excavation loci. Domestic artifacts associated with each structure appeared to represent a late nineteenth century occupation (freedmen?) rather than a slave occupation. However, architectural remains suggested that the structures were probably built during the early nineteenth century. These remains and the small percentages of early nineteenth century ceramic types at all loci suggests that the structures were built and occupied initially during the early nineteenth century (by slaves) , and continued to be occupied throughout the nineteenth century. In addition, earlier interpretations of 38GE363 (Smith 1986) suggested that the northern portion of the site contained the remains of an early manor house at Midway. Comparisons between the assemblages recovered from this portion of the site, from the southern portion of the site, and from 38GE362 suggest that this interpretation is in error. Rather, the northern portion of the site contains an early nineteenth century occupation of slightly higher socioeconomic status than slave occupations in the region, but of lower status than the occupation sampled at 38GE362. This suggests that the northern portion of 38GE363 may contain a residence associated with an overseer or driver.

Cite this Record

Midway: Archaeological Profile of a Nineteenth Century Rice Plantation on Waccamaw Neck. Paul E. Brockington, Jr., Eric C. Poplin. Brockington and Associates, Inc. 1988 ( tDAR id: 391067) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8416XWZ

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -79.703; min lat: 33.142 ; max long: -79.137; max lat: 33.536 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Eric C. Poplin

Principal Investigator(s): Paul E. Brockington, Jr.

Sponsor(s): Heritage Plantation, Ltd.

Submitted To(s): South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Record Identifiers

Brockington and Associates, Inc., report number(s): 0030


General Note: Curation facility: South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology

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