COMINGTEE PLANTATION
Coming and Ball Families
 
     The Coming name takes us back to John Coming, mate of the pioneer ship Carolina and later captain of the Blessing. In the new colony he was married to a passenger on the Carolina, Mistress Affra Harleston, who was listed by Joseph West as among those to sail for Carolina Aug. 10,1669. 
     They had grants for land on White Point and at the "T" where the Eastern and Western Branches of the Cooper River come together. Coming made his will in 1691 and died in 1695. Being childless, he left his entire estate to his widow and described himself as mariner and planter in this simple will. In relation to his career as a mariner, the story is told of his having set sail from Charles Town in his long boat and arrived at the River Thames in England to "vindicate his character" when once accused of cowardice. 
     The widow Affra described her late husband as "Gent." when she made her will in 1698, leaving all her estate to her nephews, John Harleston of Dublin, Ireland, and to her husband's half-nephew, Elias Ball. 
      John Harleston is considered to have arrived in the Province in 1699 or 1700 and was married in 1767 to Elizabeth Willis. Elias Ball was in the Province in 1701, was married to a sister of John Harleston, and was living at Comingtee. 
      Both men founded families that have been prominent as planters on the Cooper River and in the various activities of the State. Harleston and his son were loyal to the Crown as opposed to the Commons, and both served as attorney for the Colletons. Captain John Harleston represented the Colletons in the release of land for the parsonage and glebe for Biggin Church. John Harleston was appointed a Justice of the Peace June 7, 1734, and March 25, 1.737. He served as Trustee of the Free School at Childsbury before his death in 1738. The son John served as a Captain of t.he Berkeley Regiment of Foot. 
     Any place as old as this one usually has conflicting stories that have developed about its history. One account attributes the origin of the name to a village named "Combe-in-Tene" in Coming's native Devonshire. The other is simpler and attributes the name to a combination of the family name with the location at the "T" formed by the branches of the Cooper River. The first reference to the name "Comingtee" in South Carolina wills is in the 1750 will of Elias Ball. 
     Ball built a briek house across the end of an older wooden house. The wooden building disappeared over the years, but the brick house with the original Ball woodwork survives. In Samuel Gailard Stoney's Plantations of the Carolina Lowcountry one illustration shows the woodwork around one ehimney in this house. One of the outstanding events that took place here was the marriage of Henry Laurens and Eleanor Ball. 
     In her record of the Ball family, Miss Anne Simons Deas gives numerous anecdotes about the family and Comingtee. One is about the origin of the section called "Missis Ground." The lady of the house asked her husband for land which she could plant to earn money of her own. The hushand went on about his business after turning hands over to her to "clear her little place." When he returned she had pushed the hands to work so well that she had cleared more land than the husband thought possible. He immediately stopped the clearing and the remaining woods were then called "Forbidden Wood." 
     Here, as on most plantations, the family moved with the seasons back and forth between the plantation house and the pineland in an effort to escape Malaria. 
     At the time when Dr. Irving wrote his Day on Cooper River Comingtee was owned by Keating Simons Ball who in 1865 buried the Church silver of St. John's, Berkeley, under a barn here. The exact location was forgotten but 82 years later it was located by use of a mine detector. 
     The house was damaged by a storm in 1893 and the place was then sold to Alwyn Ball, Jr. of New York who had much work done on the building. This place had remained in the Ball connection from the time of the original grant until Alwyn Ball, Jr. sold it to the COMINGTEE CORPORATION. In 1927, Senator Frelinghuysen of Rice Hope became the sole owner of Comingtee and Fish Pond Plantation. 
     Eventually this property came into the possession of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. 
 
Information and Article from
"Historic Ramblin's Through Berkeley"
 written by and used with permission of
Mr. J. Russell Cross