Friday, March 23, 2012

If You Visited Orton Plantation...

before it closed to visitors in 2010, count yourself fortunate.

Orton's new owner isn't going to reopen the historic rice plantation to tourists after a massive restoration project is finished:

Landowner Louis Moore Bacon is determined to turn back the clock at Orton Plantation.

Bacon, the direct descendent of the plantation's founding family who purchased the Brunswick County property in 2010, is working to restore Orton's 8,500 acres to the antebellum rice plantation it was in the 1700s, Orton's Property Manager, Dillon Epp, said.

Plans for the property, which borders N.C. 133 and the Cape Fear River, include the restoration of about 7,000 acres of longleaf pine forest, removal of invasive species that have overrun the plantation's 320 acres of rice fields, and preservation of the plantation's historic house and gardens, Epp said.

The goal is to create the landscape that Bacon's ancestors knew hundreds of years ago, Orton's Landscape Property Manager Nick Dawson said.

Bacon is a direct descendent of Roger Moore, who built the original Orton residence and established the property as a rice plantation.

"The owner is doing all this because of his family history," Dawson said. "He would like to look at what his ancestors looked at. But the restoration is also benefitting the community because a piece of North Carolina history is being preserved."

Nice thing to say, but the benefit to the public is minimal, since the NO TRESPASSING signs will prevent "the community" from seeing the improvements.


BobG said...

"He would like to look at what his ancestors looked at."

So, how many slaves will he have working the plantations?

Rob Reed said...

Eh, give it a few years and as the operating costs mount up I bet they'll relax that "no tourists" policy quite a bit.

Right now they say they'll offer prearranged tours to certain groups. I'd expect that will expand over time as they realize they gotta pay for this thing.

Borepatch said...

Went there in (probably) 2006. Enjoyed it, but never really felt the need to go back.