The history buff in you will be pleased after a visit to the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick, GA. A short drive from our homes on St. Simons Island, this property attracts visitors from all over because of its historical significance placing it on the list of interesting St. Simons Island GA things to do.
William Brailsford of Charleston, SC originally founded the area as a rice plantation in the early 1800s. His family kept cultivating rice until 1913, when it was no longer a profitable crop for the plantation. From then on, the property was used primarily as a dairy farm until 1942. Marsh fields reclaimed the rice that once grew in the almost 700 acres of marshland at Hofwyl-Broadfield. Today, the plantation home stands as a symbol for the importance of early agriculture in the South – both the positives and negatives and it has become one of St. Simons popular things to do.
A historical museum inside the plantation house is one of the highlights when visiting Hofwyl-Broadfield. It has a display with original silver from the family collection and a working model of Hofwyl Plantation St. Simons Island during its heyday. You’ll get to glimpse what it would look like to be a farmer, planter, or slave on the property during the peak of the plantation’s output.
Much of the furniture inside the house is original décor. It spans many centuries and includes rare pieces of furniture that indicate the wealth and success of Hofwyl Plantation St. Simons Island during its prime. The home was modeled after a large farmhouse, and even though the original residence was likely destroyed, the house has been standing since its reconstruction in 1850.
Tours & Events
When visiting Hofwyl Plantation St. Simons Island, it’s highly recommended that you take a guided tour of the property. Lasting around 1.5 to 2 hours, the “Ghosts and Legends of Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation” tour is available to groups of 10-30 people. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance, and the tour costs $15 per person. The tour features an “eerie journey back in time at Coastal Georgia’s most haunted rice plantation.”
The annual Hofwyl Plantation Christmas is worth checking out if you’re in the Golden Isles during the holidays. This event has been running for 36 years, and is a favorite amongst locals. It will demonstrate how Christmas would have been celebrated at Hofwyl Plantation St. Simons Island in 1850. Attendees will be able to take a candlelit stroll down the old carriage road while enjoying hot wassail and cookies. You should check out the Georgia State Parks website for more information closer to the event date.