Butler Island Plantation
Butler Island Plantation
3.5
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles21 reviews
Excellent
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Lisa B
Charleston, WV701 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
Tony and I traveled up the coast from Jacksonville FL to Darien GA. We located this home on Route 17, Butler Island Plantation. This is not the original Plantation house, this is referred to as the Huston House (second owners)
Plantation was a Huge Rice Plantation owned by Major Pierce Butler, one of the founding fathers of USA.
When he died property was handed down to his unwed daughter Frances Butler, over 436 Slaves sold in 1859 and this was considered the largest slave sale in American History. During Civil War, the plantation was abandoned. After Civil war attempts made to revive and reconstruct the plantation but it never happened. Sold in 1926 to Tillinghast Huston and turned into a Lettuce & Dairy Farm.
Now it's owned and ran by State of Georgia Natural Resources. Free for use, you can walk around, picnic, and enjoy the area, even fish here!!
Written August 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mcannon2021
Savannah, GA5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This significant part of history needs to be brought back enough to its former glory that it can be shared with the public before it falls completely apart. Read the book "The Weeping Time" and all the books that have been written about the Butler Plantation. It's captivating. Where are the tours????
Written September 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wimkim
Atlanta, GA13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Solo
I have wanted to visit Darien for years now, and I finally made it in late June 2015. I had two stops in mind: Fort King George and Butler Island Plantation. Here, I'll tell you a little about Butler Plantation.

I knew several days in advance that I would be touring these places, so I started reading Fanny Kemble Butler's Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in advance. I downloaded it to my Kindle for free, and I downloaded the free audio using the Librivox app. (See also https://librivox.org/journal-of-a-residence-on-a-georgian-plantation-1838-1839-by-frances-anne-kemble/).

By reading about half of the book prior to visiting the plantation, I arrived with a head full of knowledge (at least from the perspective of the privileged plantation owner's wife) about Butler Island Plantation. You learn about the effects and uses of the tide, about Fanny's rowing on the Altamaha River (which looked like pea soup, she said), about the dreadful conditions of the slave infirmary (I don't think that building exists anymore), about conditions in the four slave settlements (for example, the way in which slaves were allowed to raise poultry, which often entered their homes; they sold these poultry in Darien about once per month), about the forbidding old-growth forests which are now gone due to Darien's sawyering history, about the treatment of house slaves, about the peculiar workings and tools of a rice plantation (God-awful places), etc. Fanny Kemble, though privileged, was an abolitionist, and her telling, thankfully, is not particularly romantic. She and her husband eventually divorced. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p1569.html and http://www.gacivilwar.org/story/butler-island-plantation for more overviews.

The plantation is poorly marked from the road. I didn't realize this during my visit, but the current house is postbellum. One might assume the original plantation house(s) was/were near the site of the current house. That might be a fun thing for later folks to try and figure out and share on Trip Advisor. It is true that it's "On U.S. 17 about a mile south of the port town of Darien, Ga." And the towering rice mill chimney is a salient landmark from the road.

This is the kind of site you have to work to appreciate. If you just drive up to it without any knowledge, then you will probably find it lacking. There is neither tour nor gift shop nor toilet. It seems the only modern function of the place is that there is boat ramp access to the Butler River behind the plantation house.

During my visit, the place had a vividly haunting effect. The lawn and grounds were unkempt, and the lack of upkeep allowed me to immediately connect with the history of the place. I was able to imagine the people who dwelt here. I left with a strong feeling of having seen something valuable. It was the least developed plantation site I have seen, and also one of the most powerful. I think the towering rice mill chimney helps conjure feelings. The house, though built after the Civil War, helps orient you.

I recommend you go in a group of people (including a male or 2; sorry, the world we live in). The plantation is so undervisited that it has a very desolate and therefore not particularly safe (for lone females or children) feel. Cell phone service is also spotty. Remember, snakes and gators thrive in this region, so watch where you step!
Written July 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

barbaragwen270
Sebastian, FL1,044 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Couples
I knew the history behind this plantation before I ever went. So I wasn't expecting a huge plantation home, slave quarters, a museum etc. Since this property is associated with the Nature's Conservancy, ( I saw one of their signs on the property) I was expecting to find a clean, well kept area. What a disappointment to see the property unkempt and even the path leading up to the front door overgrown and full of weeds. The house itself is badly in need of some up keep also. The grounds just looked awful, like nobody gave a damn. I have been a member of The Nature's Conservancy for many, many years. Always in the past when visiting Conservancy sites, I've felt pride and joy--not this time. I was just filled with embarrassment and a feeling of utter sadness. This IS an historical spot and it should be treated with some reverence. Shame on those who are supposed to be caring for this sacred site.
Written December 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cslnh
new hampshire179 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
As other reviewers have noted, the Butler Rice Plantation is a very rundown building with not much to see/learn in the way of history. However, as a spot for birders, it can be interesting. The front lawn can yield Meadowlarks and Pine Warblers in winter and snipes in the field across the driveway. The walk back behind the plantation along the river and several ponds is worth checking out for coots, gallinules, ducks, osprey, hawks and an occasional eagle. Across the street, just a few feet down on the left is a turn in for a road that leads to an observation tower overlooking what were the rice fields. The tower is easily visible from the road. Like always with birding, it's hit or miss, but we have seen hundreds of egrets, herons, ibis, spoonbills, sandpipers and on warm days some hefty gators. You can wall along the dikes between the fields to check out different ponds in the area.
Written February 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael Sama
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
"Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it." The story behind the Butler Plantation is one of sadness for those that lived through it, We ALL need to learn and understand the past and how far we have progressed as a society.
Written June 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kendall Arp
Bremen, GA213 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
Hidden little gem. Thank goodness for GPS. Really cool to read the historical markers and to think about what all took place here
Written March 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Budrock9
Columbia, South Carolina519 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
I have passed by this site since the 1950's but never stopped. It is of historical significance but the site could have been more informational and better maintained. Not sure why it is not. We took the road to the public kayak landing there and walked around some. There are pretty trees on the site to include Swamp Cottonwood, Pond Cypress, Cabbage Palmettos, etc. We were there about 15 minutes. I would still stop to explore and appreciate the hard work a rice plantation must have endured back then.
Written May 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steffi-Zeeva
Gainesville, FL31 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Family
Couldn't get too close to the house, the yard and surrounding areas were flooded. Nice fishing dock on the river. WMA for duck hunting.
Written February 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MotorhomeWillTravel
Tennessee16 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
It's a fascinating piece of history, but it's occupied by a business, so not open to the public., although they seem to allow folks to roam around the outside. If it was set up for inside, it would have gotten more stars. But still worth seeing- even the outside.
Written December 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Butler Island Plantation - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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