Rose Hill Plantation Historic, Union

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is a historic site in Union County, South Carolina, that preserves the home of William H. Gist (1807-1874), the 68th governor of South Carolina. Gist helped instigate a Secession Convention in South Carolina, which led to the creation of the Ordinance of Secession that preceded the Civil War.William Gist was the natural son of Francis Fincher Gist (c. 1773-1819), a Charleston merchant and South Carolina state representative, who by 1811 had purchased land in Upstate South Carolina. Either Francis Fincher or William Henry built a Georgian-style brick house (c. 1811-1830), eventually called Rose Hill after the many varieties of roses planted in its formal gardens.In the late 1850s and early 1860s, William Gist remodeled the house, adding two-tiered back and front porches and stuccoing the brick in order to transform the exterior into the more fashionable Greek revival-style. The final house had three stories, the first two used as living quarters and the third a mixture of living and storage areas. According to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Rose Hill featured "more refined ornamentation than usually found in upcountry houses of the period." A spiral staircase led to the second floor, which included a ballroom with two fireplaces so that the space could be converted into two bed chambers to accommodate guests.During Gist's term of office (1858-1860), the house served as the governor's mansion. From Rose Hill, Gist wrote the governors of Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, suggesting that if Abraham Lincoln were elected President, South Carolina might take the lead in seceding from the Union.
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Rose Hill Plantation Historic Reviews
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  • We really enjoyed our visit to Rose Hill Plantation...we were the ONLY ones there for a little while which made it seem like we owned the place! The tour of the home was interesting and not what you e...  more »
  • We are visiting all 47 SC state parks, but this was one of the best. Such a beautiful plantation home and the tour with the knowledgeable park ranger was very good. The grounds are fun to walk around ...  more »
  • My husband and I came to Rose Hill Plantation after picking up the South Carolina State Parks passport. Not too far from Greenville, SC this was a fantastic afternoon getaway. We came to the park on a...  more »
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  • Rose Hill was a working Plantation of about 7,000 acres that grew cotton, corn, and oats with slave labor. Rose Hill was built around 1832 in a Georgian style, brick house, later stuccoed over and added to, to be more fashionable, by William H. Gist. Mr Gist was the 68th governor of South Carolina ( 1858 - 1860 ) and Rose Hill, named for its many roses, was used as the governor's mansion. He was an advocate of states rights, and he led the way to South Carolina seceding from the Union, which led to the start of the Ordinance of Secession that preceded the Civil War.
  • This is a plantation home of Henry Gist one of the governors of South Carolina shortly before the Civil War. This Plantation was once surrounded with acres and Acres of cotton fields. As I walked through the house I could imagine the secession conversations going on in each of the parlors. This place is certainly out of the way and a long drive from nearly everywhere today the plantation is in the middle of a state park. I thought it was quite fun
  • Attractive old plantation house and grounds. Very peaceful,
  • Nice grounds and exhibits. Hard to get a tour as it is so sparse with nothing around till the next tour.
  • My most memorable visit to Rose Hill was in September 2008. My now-husband planned our first date several months prior, and we went there for the first anniversary of when we first met (Sept 2007). Little did I know that he had other "plans" that afternoon. He proposed to me on the front porch of the plantation house that day, September 22, 2008! Thus, Rose Hill is one of our most favorite day-trips. We just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on June 2016, and spent an afternoon at Rose Hill for our 9th engagement anniversary in September 2016.

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