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Millwood Plantation

Location: Abbeville Co., SC; on the Savannah River about 5 miles west of the town of Calhoun Falls
Constructed: 1833

History: Millwood was the site of a large plantation built in 1833. The plantation was constructed by James E. Calhoun (Colhoun), brother-in-law and cousin of John C. Calhoun, American statesman and Vice President of the United States. Millwood was a concentrated village allowing overseers to exercise control over about 200 slaves, livestock, storage facilities and workshops. One of the first structures built was a gristmill and millrace, completed in 1834. Turbines for the mill were powered by water with a 14-foot drop. In all, Millwood consisted of about 10,000 acres of land. Major crops were cotton and corn. After the decline of the cotton economy following the Civil War, Calhoun faced great financial losses. The concentrated population of tenants, overseers and slaves were dispersed to about one house per 30-40 acres. Large fields were replaced by numerous small ones, and a network of roads was built to maintain contacts. Calhoun managed to keep most of his land by renting to tenants and by renting the use of water power and a gold mining operation. Following Calhoun's death in 1889, a board of trustees continued to rent and manage the estate. The main village became a locally popular "resort" in the early 20th century. Duke Power Company acquired the property in the 1940s to develop hydroelectric power.

Associated Surnames: Calhoun

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