Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, in cooperation with the Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary, is offering a special tour of the Silver Bluff Slave Cemetery, also known as Cohlvin Cemetery, this upcoming Saturday at 10 a.m.


The burial site of more than 250 individuals enslaved at Silver Bluff Plantation in the early 19th century, today the cemetery is little more than an expanse of forest with unmarked depressions in the ground to represent the gravesites, according to Redcliffe Plantation. Participants will learn about black burial practices, the history of Silver Bluff Plantation and about the lives of the individuals actually buried in the cemetery.


“This tour celebrates a very special anniversary,” Park Interpreter Elizabeth Laney said. “One hundred and fifty years ago on Aug. 9, 1864 an enslaved laborer named Alonzo died at Redcliffe Plantation just three months before his owner James Henry Hammond passed away. Our tour of the Silver Bluff Slave Cemetery is in honor of the life of Alonzo and recognition of the anniversary of his death. We'll be holding a tour of the Hammond family cemetery later in October in honor of the anniversary of the death of James Henry Hammond.”


There is an $8 charge per participant and registration is required. Please call Redcliffe at 803-827-1473 or email redcliffe@scprt.com to register for the program. Program details will be sent out to registered participants before the program.


Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site is located in Beech Island. Completed in 1859, it was the home of S.C. Gov. James Henry Hammond and three generations of his descendants, as well as numerous generations of black families who lived on the plantation as slaves and later as freedmen. It was donated to the state of South Carolina in 1975 and is managed today by the S.C. State Park Service. It is located on Redcliffe Road about three miles from Beech Island off Highway 278.


Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary is situated along 2.6 miles of the Savannah River and comprises 3,250 acres of upland pine forest, hardwood bottomlands, open fields, lakes and streams. The property is actively managed for sustainable forest products revenue. A Revolutionary War skirmish was fought on the high bluff overlooking the Savannah River, and Audubon protects an antebellum slave cemetery containing over 200 burial plots.