Red Bluff Plantation
Red Bluff Plantation is an outstanding lowcountry recreational property featuring upland quail forests, duck ponds, a 20-acre dove field, and trophy deer woods. There is a modern 5,500 sq ft plantation home, two guest cottages, and manager’s and caretaker’s houses. An 8-stall horse barn and a gathering/storage barn, boat dock and launching ramp, plus equipment and storage sheds provide all the facilities for comfort, outdoor recreation and property maintenance.
Red Bluff Plantation is located near Hardeeville, South Carolina. The property lies south and west of the New River, with frontage on Glasgow Landing Road. Red Bluff is readily accessed from Savannah or Hilton Head, and is an easy drive from Charleston, Columbia, or Atlanta.
Red Bluff residences include a main lodge, two hunting cabins, a manager’s house, and a caretaker’s house.The main lodge, a replica plantation home built in 1981, is ~5,500 sq ft with three floors. There are four bedrooms, six bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, gathering room, and a recreation room, along with ample storage rooms and closets. Large porches complement the first and second floors. The house is well-maintained, fully furnished and in excellent condition. The two 760 sq ft hunting cabins are fully restored, comfortable guest quarters. The 1,150 sq ft manager’s house and the 1,130 sqft caretaker’s house are functional residences for a property manager and staff. The property includes a modern 8-stall horse barn with tack storage areas and a renovated older barn with gathering area, storage, and maintenance shops. Additional equipment sheds and outbuildings provide storage for recreational and maintenance equipment.
Red Bluff Plantation has been groomed as a hunting property. The upland woods feature quail courses, and there is a 20-acre dove field adjacent to the main driveway. Two former controlled duck ponds can be restored to provide excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities. Whitetail deer and turkey are abundant. The property has over 900 feet of non-marsh (or dry land) deepwater frontage on the New River, and a floating dock and boat launching ramp provide easy access to the river.
Red Bluff Plantation has a fascinating history, both pre-contact and following European settlement of the Low Country. A 2015 Cultural Resources Study (CRS) on a portion of the tract describes archeological evidence found on the study area, and is available to prospective purchasers. The following brief history from the Colonial period on is summarized from the CRS.
The current Red Bluff Plantation is the central portion of the historic Red Bluff Plantation in St. Peter’s Parish. The Blake family of Bonny Hill Plantation owned the property by 1757. They likely farmed their Red Bluff property, but did not reside there. The first recorded European residents were the Whitehead family in the 1820s. The Whiteheads were involved with early efforts to gain public road access to the New River, to benefit themselves and neighboring landowners. There is visible archeological evidence (a tabby kitchen foundation) which locates the Whitehead residence near the present main lodge.
Stephen Whitehead was operating Red Bluff Plantation at the outset of the Civil War. As the property was strategically located on the New River, Confederate forces constructed a battery, Fort Drayton, as part of the defenses of Savannah. The remains of this fort are still evident today. In 1862 Union troops raided the plantation and burned some of the structures.
After the war, the plantation enterprise was abandoned, and Red Bluff reverted to a subsistence farm with an absentee landowner. By 1884 it had been acquired by John Estell of Savannah, who amassed considerable holdings in the area. In 1891 he sold Red Bluff, along with other lands, to the Wilson family, who in 1900 conveyed it to Red Bluff Trading Company.
Red Bluff was acquired by Elbridge C. Gale, a Massachusetts insurance magnate, in 1939. Mr. Gale reestablished agricultural practices on the land, ultimately concentrating on poultry production and timber plantations. Several of the existing barns and outbuildings were built during Elbridge Gale’s tenure.
Gordon E. Gale inherited the property in 1965, and continued establishing pine plantations and other improvement work. The current main lodge was built as his residence in 1981. Gordon Gale granted several conservation easements on the freshwater wetlands.
In 2011, Gordon Gale sold the property in its current configuration to Red Bluff Tract, LLC, the present owner.
*Based on a January, 2019 timber inventory, the Red Bluff property contains over 82,000 tons in timber volume. For more detailed information please contact Crosby Land Company.*