"A" is for Ashwood Plantation

Jan 15, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

“A" is for Ashwood Plantation. Located in Lee County,  the Ashwood Plantation Project was established as a resettlement site for tenant farmers displaced during the Great Depression. In 1934, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration [FERA] acquired 7,000 acres south of Bishopville, including the 2,200-acre Ashwood Plantation of former governor Richard I. Manning. Other parcels ultimately raised the total to 11,000 acres. Project directors planned to settle about 200 families at Ashwood. After proving their mettle as renters, settlers could purchase small farms on extended credit, receive advice on agronomy and farm management, and eventually become self-sufficient. Despite the best intentions, the project was dogged by problems. In 1944, the project was disbanded, the surviving buildings were razed and the acreage was eventually sold.  By the 1980s all traces of the Ashwood Plantation project had disappeared.