History in Our Own Backyard


Sabe Rutledge. Last recorded burial at the Ark Cemetery 1952.

by Joyce Suliman


The Town of Surfside Beach was once part of the Ark Plantation.  The Ark Plantation consisted of 3,198 acres with approximately 1.5 miles of ocean front.  We have found that the Ark Plantation home site was located on 3rd Avenue (S) and Willow Drive.  It was more defined by the old oak trees that once canopied over the home.  Today the Surfside Beach Historical Society offers free tours of the Ark Plantation every 2nd Tuesdays at 2:00pm.  We meet at 3rd Ave. (s) and Willow Dr.  Our tours are done by Golf Car and are about 15 minutes long.  Complimentary tea is served while you wait your turn.  Not only do we share the story of Plantation Owner John Tillman we also share the stories of George Washington traveling through the area.  You will hear Stories of the old Ark Cemetery and stories of a slave, Rodrick Rutledge and his son Sabe.  Sabe talks of how he remembered life on the old plantation and today his story is recognized at the Library of Congress.  We are excited to say that the State of South Carolina recently has acknowledge and approved Historical Markers for the site of the Plantation Home and The Ark Cemetery.  Come join us and learn some of the history of the Ark Plantation.

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