Hobcaw Barony is made up of eleven former rice plantations, part of South Carolina’s Lowcountry “Rice Kingdom." Thousands of enslaved Africans toiled on these plantations, carving rice fields from cypress swamps and managing the ebb and flow of tidal rivers to produce the crop that made fortunes for their masters. In 1840 Friendfield Village had as many as twenty dwellings.
Although most of the structures here today were built after emancipation, this small group of houses without running water or indoor plumbing, lining a sandy road, is typical of African-American plantation communities of the Waccamaw Neck. Friendfield Village is the largest and most well preserved slave village on Hobcaw Barony. For today's visitors, it provides a window into the lives of the people who lived and labored on the rice plantations during slavery, and those who stayed on after slavery was abolished.
Photograph of Friendfield Church, c. 1944. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.