Millford Plantation

Also known as: Gov. John L. Manning House, Millford
W of Pinewood on SC 261, Pinewood, South Carolina


Milford Plantation, Water Tower

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress



An integral part of one of the outstanding antebellum plantations of South Carolina. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-358)

Symbolic of the rural community life that flourished before the Civil War, Milford, ca. 1839, is considered one of the most outstanding Greek Revival plantation homes in the South. Having escaped being burned by General W. T. Sherman’s troops, it remains a museum piece of the traditional antebellum south. The Mannings, the original family owners, contributed many governors to the State of South Carolina and were leaders in the politics and society of the area. When first built, it earned the title of “Manning’s Folly” since its location was so remote and the details so elaborate. The façade has six magnificent carved columns on granite bases that support a classical portico with a parapet adorned with a Greek motif. The walls of Milford, two feet thick, are of handmade brick fired on the place, but the granite came by boat from Rhode Island, and much of the marble as well as the carving and ornamentation came from abroad. One of the most striking features of the interior is the rear rotunda that features an art-glass eye, framed by elaborate carving, on the ceiling and an imposing, unsupported, flying, circular stair. Milford’s builder was Nathaniel F. Potter of Rhode Island. While Potter may have designed the building as well, the architect is unknown. The property also includes contributing guesthouses/dependencies, a ca. 1850 stable and water tower (bell tower), and a spring house. Listed in the National Register November 19, 1971; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 11, 1973. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 1971
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Architecture; Politics/Government
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Secondary structure; Single dwelling
Current functions
Secondary structure; Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Contributing structures: 1

Update Log 

  • October 23, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Alternate Name" & "Description", Corrected "NRHP Status" to reflect property's NHL Designation and Imported Photo