“M” is for Middleton Place [Dorchester County]. Middleton Place is an Ashley River Plantation located on Highway 61 [Ashley River Road], just outside Charleston. In the early 18th century, John Williams settled the site and his daughter married Henry Middleton. Middleton acquired additional acreage and began the elegant gardens that have made Middleton Place internationally famous. The gardens, thought to be the oldest surviving formal landscaped gardens in the country are renowned for their collection of Camellia japonicas which were first planted in 1786.
Today, in addition to the gardens, the property contains a house museum, a plantation chapel, a rice mill, an African American freedman’s cottage, and a reconstructed stable complex. Burned by Union soldiers in 1865, Middleton Place continued in the Middleton family until 1984, when ownership was vested in the nonprofit Middleton Place Foundation.