Charleston Regional Business Journal
By Liz Segrist
SEP 28, 2017
The sound of gravel crunches underfoot, adding to the cicadas’ symphony nearby. All around, long-leaf pines stand tall, parting only for the centuries-old roadways that wind through Cainhoy Plantation. Clearings in the trees let history seep into view. A plantation-style home sits empty at the end of a lengthy drive. An old slave cemetery with crumbling headstones has freshly cut grass.
Tucked away from the sounds of cars that speed down Clements Ferry Road each day, the Cainhoy land feels far removed from the hustle of Charleston.
The plantation has stayed mostly unchanged since the early 1900s, but the surrounding region has exploded with growth, most notably in the past few decades. The industrial base has diversified, population numbers keep rising and the area’s charm has been repeatedly lauded internationally.
The land sits mostly untouched in Berkeley County, within the city of Charleston, bounded by the Wando and Cooper rivers, Daniel Island and the Francis Marion National Forest. Clements Ferry meanders through the land.
One family — the Guggenheims — has owned the 9,000-acre plantation for decades. It is one of the few large tracts of undeveloped land remaining in the city of Charleston, seemingly unfazed by the development advancing toward its borders. But plans are now moving forward to transform it into an integral part of Charleston’s footprint.