10200 U.S. Hwy. 17 N., Wilmington
HOURS: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.;
tours Mon.–Sat. 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 a.m., and 1–4 p.m. on the hour, Sun. on the hour noon–4 p.m. (closed mid-Dec.–Feb.)
COST: Tours $10 adults, $9 seniors (62+) and military with ID,
$5 children 6–15, free children 5 and under; includes home and grounds; $7 to tour grounds (and not the house) and for craft demonstrations
The 628-acre Poplar Grove Plantation and estate were purchased by the Foy family in 1795 for a mere $1,500. The plantation was one of several self-supporting agricultural communities in the South and produced peas, beans, and corn with the help of 64 slaves.
The original antebellum home burned down in 1849 and was replaced with the current home in 1850. The Greek Revival home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is filled with period furnishings, including some original pieces, and artifacts.
One of the original owners, Nora Foy, was the first postmistress in the town and the front room of the home was used as a post office. The plantation is best known for its peanut crops, which operated until the late 1960s.
When the slaves were freed, 63 remained on the plantation and became tenant farmers. One of the original tenant houses still exists on the grounds.
Other buildings on the grounds include a blacksmith shop, basket-making and weaving studios, an exterior kitchen, carriage house, and greenhouse. There is also a burial ground with historic grave markers.
The plantation remained in the Foy family until it was sold in 1971. Over time, the grounds grew to include more than 1,000 acres of land; the current site is comprised of just 16 acres.
The Poplar Grove Foundation purchased the site in 1980 and undertook extensive restoration efforts, turning the former working plantation into a living-history museum. Museum docents are dressed in period costumes and offer tours of the home as well as spinning, weaving, blacksmithing, and basket-making demonstrations.