(Georgetown County). Hopsewee Plantation is best known as the birthplace and boyhood home of Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749–1779), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is located about thirteen miles south of Georgetown at the point where U.S. Highway 17 crosses the north branch of the Santee River. This was also the site of the main colonial thoroughfare running north and south, the “King’s Highway.”
In 1704 John Bell took out a warrant to survey five hundred acres at a place called “Hobsheewee.” Bell chose to settle farther up the North Santee, however, and either sold his warrant or allowed it to lapse. Colonel Thomas Lynch (1675–1738) formed Hopsewee Plantation from a five-hundred-acre grant purchased from John Abraham Motte and a three-hundred-acre grant originally claimed by George Montgomery. Lynch also secured a grant for an island in the Santee River Delta of fourteen hundred acres between Push and Go Creek and Six Mile Creek. The Hopsewee rice fields were on the island. In the 1740s Thomas Lynch, Sr. (ca. 1727–1776), built the house that still stands at Hopsewee. It is a two-and-one-half-story black cypress structure of mortise and tenon construction, set on a brick and tabby foundation. Its double-tiered piazza displays the influence of West Indian architecture in the eighteenth-century lowcountry.
Robert Hume purchased the plantation from Lynch in 1762 for £5,000. His descendants held Hopsewee until 1945. In 1969 Mr. and Mrs. James Maynard acquired the Hopsewee house, renovated the building, and opened it to the public in 1970. Hopsewee was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972. It has remained in private hands but is still open to the public.
Lachicotte, Alberta Morel. Georgetown Rice Plantations. 1955. Reprint, Georgetown, S.C.: Georgetown County Historical Society, 1993.
Linder, Suzanne Cameron, and Marta Leslie Thacker. Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History for the Historic Ricefields Association, 2001.