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.
Harris McRae, from Ellerbe, N.C. came to Boone Hall Plantation before WWII with an outstanding reputation as a produce shipper, broker, and sales agent. 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, son 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, over 40 different kinds of produce are grown each year on the 120 acres that make up the agricultural arm of the plantation known as Boone Hall Farms.
Boone Hall Farms Market opened in March 2006. The building where this business operated out of 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. For a number of reasons, this building closed on Feb. 18, 2020. The new Boone Hall Farms Market will be relocated and built just off Hwy.17 in Mount Pleasant on the farm side of Boone Hall. Stay tuned for updates as details unfold. It will be an exciting new beginning for this market.