John Thomas Boone, an Indian Trader, received the land known as Boone Hall Plantation as a grant from the Eight Lord Proprietors in 1681. The Boones began growing indigo, and thus began a long history of providing Boone Hall crops for the South Carolina low country and the world.
The Horlbecks, architects who designed and built many buildings and landmarks in Charleston, purchased the plantation in the mid 1800’s. They manufactured bricks and ventured into commercial pecan production. The plantings became known as the world’s largest pecan groves in the early 1900’s.
Thomas Stone, a Canadian, bought the plantation in the 1930’s. He built the present house and planted crops such as cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes. The crops became popular lowcountry commodities for shipping to the northern markets.
The McRae family, the present owners who are shippers, brokers, and sales agents, have handled crops for many growers in the Charleston area. Harris McRae came to Boone Hall Plantation before WWII. He bought and loaded produce grown at the plantation on flat bottom cargo boats. The boats took the produce from the docks at Boone Hall to the Charleston Harbor. From Charleston, the crops were shipped to Philadelphia and New York by railroad. Harris McRae returned to Charleston after WWII to continue the produce business and purchased the plantation in 1955. The produce operations ceased production in 1989 due to Hurricane Hugo.
In 1996, Willie McRae resumed produce production with a three acre U-Pick Strawberry operation. He later added peaches, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables to the U-Pick fields. Today the farming operation is known as Boone Hall Farms.
Boone Hall Farms Market opened in March 2006. It is located on the site of an old packing facility that packed and shipped crops for many local growers including Boone Hall as late as 1983. The market specializes in a full line of locally grown South Carolina produce, meats, fresh local seafood, and specialty products, The Boone Hall Farms Market Cafe, located inside the store, prepares and serves a diverse selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and farm fresh meals.