Parks and rec department looks to buy McLeod Plantation

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) – The owner of McLeod Plantation will be moving forward with the sale of the property.

It was just months ago when the Historic Charleston Foundation, the owners of the important piece of Charleston County history, asked potential buyers to make a proposal for the purchase of the McLeod Plantation.

Now, HCF board members have voted to do business with Charleston County Parks and Recreation.

The parks and recreation department says it plans to buy the plantation for more than $3 million and it has an extra $2 million set aside for the upkeep of the plantation and the grounds.

The parks and recreation department has plans to organize a committee of community members and preservation experts to recommend future plans for the site.

Parks and recreation director Tom O'Rourke says the important issues for the department is the upkeep of the plantation and allowing the historic site to remain open to the public.

"Anyone would feel the history of that place. Our agency feels this is an amazing responsibility that falls at our feet," O'Rourke said. "We don't take that lightly."
There have been a number of interested parties in the McLeod plantation including the American College of the Building Arts who bought the land, but then the HCF bought it back.

Under former Mayor Mary Clark, the Town of James Island looked to acquire the property through power of condemnation. The College of Charleston also expressed interest in buying the plantation.

The property is very important to the community because following the Civil War; the site is where the Freedmen's Bureau was located. The Freedmen's Bureau is the government agency that helped the newly freed slaves during reconstruction.

Parks and recreation officials hope to have a contract with McLeod's owners within a month and close on the sale within three months after that.

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