Published on 7/11/2012
By Clayton Stairs
A local plantation that has been off limits to the public for generations is now open for weddings and other special occasions.
Greenfield Plantation, located off U.S. Highway 701 on Choppee Road, is owned by Daralee Inman, widow of Walker "Skipper" Inman Jr., heir to the Duke and Inman fortunes.
With its expansive grounds, scenic ponds, sculpted gardens and historic mansion, the property is ideal for outdoor events.
"I think, hands down, this is one of the prettiest plantations in the South," Daralee Inman said.
"It has history behind it and it is just the way it was when the whole Inman family lived here."
She said couples can plan "a true southern wedding" at Greenfield Plantation.
Plantation Manager Ron Altman said there can be a lot of flexibility for weddings and other parties.
"We don't require a wedding planner, but you can have one if you like," Altman said.
"As far as the grounds go, what you see is what you get from us, but people can bring flowers, lanterns, tents and other things to create the atmosphere they want to create."
Just like any outdoor location for a wedding, the families should have a Plan B, just in case of rain.
"If our guests need help, we want them to feel free to ask for help," Altman said. "We want a special occasion to be as stress free as possible."
He said parties can continue until around midnight and wedding parties can change in upstairs bedrooms.
The plantation also offers lunch parties, with or without catering, for up to 26 sit-down guests and up to 60 guests for hors d'oeuvres or wine. Some groups that have booked parties are the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Red Hat Society and the North Myrtle Beach Garden Club.
The plantation also offers a 200-foot dock on the Black River for guests who would like to arrive by boat.
And don't forget the camels, Sinbad and Lady Ann, who reside at the plantation.
"They were an anniversary gift," Daralee Inman said.
For bookings, call Pawleys Island Realty at 843-237-2000.
History of the plantation
According to the plantation's official website, www.greenfield-plantation.com, Walker Patterson Inman purchased Greenfield in 1935 from the receivers of the Bank of Georgetown.
He was a native of Atlanta where his family had been prominent cotton merchants.
Widowed when Walker was a small child, his mother, Nanaline, married Buck Duke, president and founder of the American Tobacco Company in 1907.
This union later produced a half-sister to Walker, Doris Duke. In 1924, Duke established The Duke Endowment, a $40 million trust fund (about $430 million in 2005 dollars), which contributed substantially to Trinity College, subsequently renamed Duke University.
The current house was completed and featured in 1938 in House and Garden, the article calling it a "Carolina Classic" with its painted white brick and stucco exterior.
During his ownership he built a landing strip there and piloted his airplane in and out of Georgetown.
Inman was one of six men who together completed the first transcontinental short wave radio transmission. He was a trustee of the Duke Endowment and Duke University and was actively involved in the development of Duke Hospital.
Walker Inman Jr., known as Skipper, attended high school in Georgetown and is described as a "colorful persona" who "enjoyed making a grand gestures of generosity."
He passed away in 2010, leaving his wife, Daralee, and twin children, Patterson and Georgia.