One of the largest plantations in the South was the Butler Island Plantation, located just south of Darien, across the Darien River on what is now US Highway 17. The story of the plantation is a fascinating one, beginning in the 1790s, when Major Pierce Butler planted the land on the Altamaha Delta, which provided perfect conditions for growing rice. In 1838, the major's grandson, Captain Pierce Butler, who married the famous and beautiful British stage actress Fanny Kemble, arrived at the plantation for a six-month working visit. Kemble, who was not familiar with the reality of slavery, immediately became very opposed to the treatment of the slaves. She penned her feelings and eventually published the notes in a book called "Journal of a Resident on a Georgia Plantation," which some say helped persuade the British to oppose slavery and the Civil War.
The plantation site is now owned by The Nature Conservancy, and the land (excluding the house) is open to the public for picnicking, fishing and birding. Sunsets can be dramatic, as the setting sun creates reflections of brilliant color in the Butler River.
Admission & Fees
Civil War Site