Overview | Location and Hours | Offerings
Walnut Grove Plantation
Walnut Grove Plantation recounts how free and enslaved people settled the South Carolina Backcountry, fought for independence, and built a new nation.
Charles & Mary Moore established the plantation in 1763. They raised ten children in the house they built and lived in for 40 years. Mr. Moore relied on a dozen enslaved African Americans and his own large family to work his sizable farm. During the Revolutionary War, the Moores, including daughter Kate Barry, supported the Patriot cause and militia even mustered at Walnut Grove. Loyalist William "Bloody Bill" Cunningham raided the plantation in November 1781 and killed three Patriot soldiers sheltered by the Moores.
November & March: 11:00-5:00, Saturday only
December, January, & February: CLOSED
April-October: 11:00-5:00, Tuesday-Saturday, 2:00-5:00, Sunday
Closed Mondays and holidays
Groups of 10 or more can schedule visits year-round
REGULAR ADMISSION: $6 Ages 18+, $3 Ages 5-17, Free Ages 0-4. Scheduled groups receive a discount. Rates may vary for special program and events.
GROUP VISITS & OUTREACH PROGRAMS: For information on how to schedule a group visit, download our Group Visit & Outreach Planner.
EVENT RENTALS: For information on renting Walnut Grove for your event, download our Rental Policies & Agreement.
LOCATION: 1200 Otts Shoals Road, Roebuck, SC
DIRECTIONS: At Exit 28 off I-26, take US 221 toward Spartanburg. Turn at 1st stoplight onto Stillhouse Road, then right onto Otts Shoals Road, then right into the parking area. Signs are at each turn.
A Visit to Walnut Grove
Walnut Grove offers hourly guided tours of the site's 250-year-old buildings. Regular programs examine Colonial & Revolutionary Era history and often feature reenactors portraying people of the time.
Hourly guided tours take visitors through the Moore family home, a typical plantation kitchen, and Rocky Spring Academy, one of the first schools in the county. During this tour, visitors see a wide variety of18th-century artifacts used by colonists in their daily lives. Visitors hear stories of the Moore family, their slaves, and life on the frontier in the late 1700s.
Following the guided tour, visitors may walk the grounds on their own to see the farm's outbuildings including the blacksmith forge, smoke house, wheat house, well house, dry cellar, barn, and reconstructed doctor's office.
One-tenth of a mile from the house is a cemetery where visitors can see the burial sites of Moore family members and 146 other people including the graves of enslaved African Americans marked only by field stones.
Visitors can also hike the site's nature trail and enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of the pavilion. Restrooms, drinks, and snacks are available in the Visitors Center & Gift Shop. Available for purchase in the Gift Shop are replica 18th century toys and games, Walnut Grove tee-shirts and souvenirs, handcrafted items made by plantation artisans, and a wide selection of books for kids and adults about colonial life, the American Revolution, slavery, and South Carolina history.
Brief History of Walnut Grove
Charles Moore immigrated to Pennsylvania from Ulster (today's Northern Ireland) in the 1750s. He traveled down the Shenandoah Valley's Great Wagon Road into North Carolina and ultimately, with his family, to the South Carolina land given them by King George III's government for settling along the colony's tough western frontier. Starting with 550-acres, Mr. Moore expanded the farm to 3,000-acres through additional grants and purchases.
After getting settled, like many aspiring Backcountry planters around him, Mr. Moore likely worked as a commercial farmer growing mainly corn, wheat, tobacco, livestock, and perhaps timber for market. He, his large family, and about a dozen enslaved African Americans (named in Mr. Moore's will as Robert, Dinna, Phillis, Nelly, and children Prince, Simon, Fanney, Bob, Tom, Toney, and Dove) did the necessary labor--working the fields, tending the livestock, blacksmithing, cooking, cleaning, and textile making--to make the plantation a success.
In 1961, Thomas Moore Craig, Sr. and his wife Lena Jones Craig, descendants of the Moore family, donated Walnut Grove Plantation with eight acres of land to the Spartanburg County Foundation in a special trust fund. The Historical Association is the sponsor for the trust. From 1961 to 1967, numerous volunteers, including invaluable assistance from members of the Junior League, researched and acquired period furnishings for the historic site. Several structures were moved to the plantation to complete the restoration. On October 15, 1967, the plantation opened to the public. Additional land donations have increased the site's size to about 60 acres.