With its grand columns that frame a generous front porch, the Poplar Grove Plantation looks like it was plucked from Gone with the Wind. Only a half hour drive from North Topsail Beach in Scotts Hill, this grandiose home is practically next door. Despite being so close, the Poplar Grove Plantation can transport visitors back hundreds of years. This three-story manor has seen first-hand incredible stages of our nation’s history, from the Revolutionary War to Civil Rights. Open today as a museum and event grounds, Poplar Grove Plantation is as educational as it is multifaceted.
History of Poplar Grove
The history of this region is complex and often unsettling, which today’s museum doesn’t shy from. In 1795 the manor was built by slaves purchased by the Foy family and extensive records have survived that detail this sordid chapter of American history. The plantation is located on the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, a stretch of land from Pender County, NC to St. Johns County, FL. The Gullah Geechee people were brought from Africa to the American Southeast as slaves and the community developed a new language and culture out of their displacement. The corridor represents where this cultural amalgamation began and continues to persist into today. After Emancipation, some former slaves remained at Poplar Grove as tenant farmers. On the grounds remains a tenant house and heritage art studios to give visitors a better understanding of the lives of these African Americans before Civil Rights.
The former sweet potato and peanut plantation remained in the Foy family until 1971 when it was bought, restored, and opened to the public in 1980 as a museum. Today the nonprofit Poplar Grove Foundation maintains the museum while the North Carolina Costal Land Trust retains stewardship of the 15 remaining acres. The grounds are not only a place to learn about the manor, its occupants, and the complexity of the past; the Poplar Grove Plantation of today is a place for people of the community to gather.
Farmers’ Market at Poplar Grove
Whether looking for groceries or a fun and educational daytrip, the Poplar Grove Plantation is worth stopping at. A farmers’ market takes place on Wednesdays from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm until September where more than just local farmers have stands. Vendors include jewelry makers, beekeepers, fisherman, bakers, and more. For additional information about this and other area farmers’ markets, click here.
The Stables at Poplar Grove
The Stables at Poplar Grove is home to animals that would have been on the farm in the 1800’s. A volunteer-led effort, the Stable is home to animals such as pigs, goats, roosters, hens, horses, ducks, and sheep, giving visitors the full barnyard experience. The Stables is also home to a group of equine rescues for abused and mistreated horses.
Events at Poplar Grove
Throughout the year, the Poplar Grove Plantations hosts events with proceeds going to the property. Full Moon Paranormal Tours take place monthly to explore the creepier side of the plantation and festivals such as the Brews, Bourbon, & BBQ Food Truck Derby and the Summer Harvest Festival offer more fun reasons to go to Poplar Grove. The beautiful buildings and expansive grounds make it ideal for weddings and other parties.
Please visit here for more information about the Poplar Grove Plantation museum, home tours, events, and everything else going on.