LeConte-Woodmanston Plantation and Botanical Gardens

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  2. March 8, 2013 3:35 am

LeConte-Woodmanston Plantation and Botanical Gardens

In 1760, John Eatton LeConte, a former resident of New Jersey, acquired over 3000 acres of land in what is now Liberty County, Georgia, south of Savannah. Surrounded by the waters of Georgia’s lowlands, the site was an ideal place for an island plantation. LeConte purchased a number of slaves and began growing corn, rice and cotton at his home, which he named Woodmanston. Eatton LeConte had two sons, Louis LeConte and John Eatton LeConte, Jr. Both sons distinguished themselves as naturalists. However, John Eatton, Jr. moved to Philadelphia to continue his career, and his brother Louis, remained in Georgia, at Woodmanston.

Louis and his wife, Ann Quarterman, lived on the plantation and raised six children while Louis LeConte farmed the land and built a fabulous garden.

The garden was filled with camellias, crepe myrtle, and other plants. It was so magnificent that it became famous throughout both America and Europe, but by the end of the 19th Century, the garden had been abandoned and had nearly disappeared.

In 1971, rescue efforts to restore the LeConte-Woodmanston Garden began. In 1978, the Garden Club of Georgia took title to the sixty-four acres that now comprise this once-fabulous garden. Since that time a number of organizations and individuals have worked to build and preserve this remarkable garden.

Today visitors to the LeConte Woodmanston Plantation and Botanical Garden National Historic Site can picnic, hike, or enjoy a self-guided tour of the garden. The mile-long nature trail is a favorite of visitors and the Bulltown Swamp, a black water swamp ecosystem provides a fascinating, if sometimes difficult hike, as well. Visitors can also enjoy strolling the Avenue of Oaks, seeing a restored slave cabin and studying many of the birds who visit the garden or call it home.

For more visit: http://leconte-woodmanston.org

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