Dover is a historic 957± acre family recreational property in Georgetown, South Carolina, with 1.25± miles of frontage on Winyah Bay. Distinguished by its deep-water access with a brand new dock, the property provides truly rare and unique opportunities for a landowner to engage in the Lowcountry’s most premier outdoor recreational pursuits. Other exceptional and historic neighbors include Estherville, Springsteen, Rochelle, Annandale, and Kinloch.
Just eight miles by boat to the Atlantic, the access to coastal recreational opportunities that Dover’s location provides is exceptional. Georgetown is seven miles from the gate and the history and culture that abounds in Charleston is just an hour’s drive away with many other amenities nearby in the surrounding area. Georgetown County Airport (GGE) is eight minutes from Dover with a 6,000-foot asphalt runway and full-service fixed base operations.
The intrinsic and historic value of the property and structures cannot be overstated. The main house was built in 1810 and has been meticulously restored and maintained. Grand live oaks surround the house and lawn until it gently eases into marsh grasses leading into the bay. Additionally, there are four guest houses, an owner’s office and gym, theater, game room, stables, and other supporting buildings.
From an ecological perspective, Dover is in the Winyah Bay Focus Area, which is the third largest estuarine drainage area on the east coast. The 525,000 acres in the lower drainage of the four main rivers make this an important wildlife region particularly for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Dover has a diverse and mature landscape of meandering cypress swamps, gorgeous hardwood forests, towering piney woods, open fields, and wildlife food plots scattered throughout.
Just the Facts
- 957± acre historic Lowcountry property located seven miles south of Georgetown, South Carolina with deep water frontage on Winyah Bay and natural, untouched vistas that are forever protected.
- Other exceptional and historic neighbors include Estherville, Springsteen, Rochelle, Annandale, and Kinloch.
- In the Cape Romain-Santee Delta Region, the location of the largest river delta on the Eastern Seaboard and part of a nearly half-million-acre cluster of protected public and private lands that have been designated as internationally important for shorebirds and other wildlife.
- 1.25± miles of frontage on the Winyah Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway with deep water access and just an eight-mile boat ride to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Brand new 185± foot dock built in 2023 with 18’ X 20’ fixed platform pier, built-in shore power, floating extension that accommodates docking larger luxury boats, and a vehicular friendly levee making for easy access.
- Private and serene with the main house set nearly a mile off South Island Road.
- A second entrance gate midway down the main drive sets up a beautiful, canopied oak alley lined with white three-board fence leading to the Dover house.
- Anchored by grand live oaks, the main house is situated on an expansive lawn overlooking Winyah Bay, with iconic Lowcountry marsh grasses buffering the two.
- Convenient access to some of South Carolina’s most desirable coastal destinations: 25 minutes to Pawley’s Island and just an hour to the shopping, dining, and cultural opportunities of downtown Charleston.
- Conveniently located just six miles from historic Georgetown, and 45 minutes from Mount Pleasant’s many amenities.
- 33± acres of duck impoundments with controlled rice trunks and opportunity to create upland waterfowl impoundments.
- 6± acre brackish pond stocked with red fish and crab and a 2.5± acre stocked freshwater pond stocked with bass.
- An impressively diverse and mature landscape of meandering cypress swamps, gorgeous hardwood forests, towering piney woods, open fields, and wildlife food plots scattered throughout.
- Georgetown County Airport (GGE) is just eight minutes from Dover with a 6,000-foot asphalt runway, full service fixed base operations, jet fuel, mechanics, storage options, and equipped with instrument approach systems.
- Sometimes a rarity in rural areas, the property is equipped with fiber optic internet.
- Originally part of the 12,000-acre Winyah Barony, Dover has only been sold (outside of family) four times since the King’s Grant in 1711 and was once owned by famed Revolutionary War General Peter Horry.
- Directly across the bay, Hobcaw Barony is 16,000 acres of conserved land that encompasses a rich diversity of every common ecosystem found on the South Carolina coast, making it an unparalleled site for research in the environmental sciences.
- Dover is protected by a conservation easement held by Ducks Unlimited.
- Click HERE to view the maps.
Dover is a legacy property. It excels on location, land class diversity, aesthetics, water resources, and recreation. It works really well as a seasonal retreat or fulltime residence, and a wide range of individual interests will thrive with what the property and surrounding area offer. Having worked across the south’s many land markets, I find Dover to undeniably be a southern treasure.
Dover is located on the Winyah Bay and Intracoastal Waterway and among some of the finest preserved former rice plantations of coastal South Carolina, such as Estherville, Springsteen, Rochelle, Annandale, and Kinloch.
From the gate, you’re only ten to forty-five minutes from the thriving communities of Georgetown, DeBordieu, Pawley’s Island, Litchfield, and Mount Pleasant; and barely an hour to the center of Charleston. All of these are vibrant communities that offer great restaurants, amenities, quality hospitals, and plenty of engagement. With a 6,005-foot runway, Georgetown County Airport is an eight-mile drive from the front gate. Both Charleston International Airport and Myrtle Beach International Airport are approximately one hour from the property.
Georgetown: Located between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the historic seaport of Georgetown is South Carolina’s third oldest city and has been an official port of entry since the 1730s. It’s a charming town with wide, heavily canopied streets and over fifty sites on the National Historic Register in Georgetown’s Historic District. Many museums, galleries, restaurants, and shops occupy the old buildings. It’s a great launching spot for ecotourism and fishing charters.
Georgetown is also on Winyah Bay, well-known for its unspoiled coastlines and natural beauty. The lands on the rivers of Georgetown County have historically been some of the most coveted lands in the state.
Charleston: Founded in 1670, Charleston is South Carolina's oldest city and a charming waterfront destination with a rich history and culture. A National Historic Landmark itself, Charleston has over 2,800 historic buildings featuring well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and beautiful gardens and courtyards. Charleston is recognized for its tremendous beauty, exceptional dining, world-class shopping, and unspoiled nearby beaches. It has been named the Number 1 City in the United States by Travel + Leisure for the tenth year in a row.
Located within the humid subtropical region of the Atlantic Seaboard, the area features a mild climate and four distinct seasons. Georgetown’s January low averages 35°F and July highs are around 91°F. Average annual rainfall is about 54 inches and snow is rare.
Originally part of the 12,000-acre Winyah Barony, Dover has only been sold (outside of family) four times since the King’s Grant in 1711 and was once owned by famed Revolutionary War General Peter Horry.
One day after receiving the King’s grant, original owner Robert Daniel conveyed the property to Thomas Smith. In 1756, following the death of their father, Smith’s sons sold to Elias Horry. Elias Horry was the uncle of General Peter Horry, who eventually inherited Dover. Upon General Peter Horry’s death, he divided Dover leaving the current Dover property to his wife, and to his nieces he left the north and south ends that became known as Prospect Hill and Belle Isle, whose name pays homage to the birthplace of his good friend, Francis Marion.
In the early 1900s, New York State Senator Henry M. Sage, who ultimately became a U.S. Senator, and his wife, Cornelia, purchased Dover. Since the main house at Dover had burned down, Mrs. Sage purchased the Woodlawn house, located in nearby Berkeley County and doomed to be flooded by the Santee-Cooper Lake created for hydro-electric power. She had the house dismantled, stored, then transported down the river to be reassembled at Dover in 1949.
By then a widow, Mrs. Sage left Dover to her son upon her death in 1969. His children sold the property in 1995 to the current owners, who have enjoyed it as their primary residence for nearly 30 years now. The intrinsic value they and the previous owners have added to Dover is immeasurable. A property like Dover simply cannot be duplicated.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Dover consists of 957± acres made up of a diverse and exciting blend of ecosystems that include upland pine savannah, mature hardwoods, cypress swamps, both freshwater and brackish stocked ponds, managed rice impoundments, wildlife corridors, and tidal marsh.
The main house, situated overlooking Winyah Bay, feels a world away despite its convenience to so many amenities. Located a mile from the gated entrance at South Island Road and centered over a half mile from the north and south property lines, it does not get much more private on the east coast. Upon entering the house, your eye is drawn down the center hallway where you are teased with views of marsh grasses and the sparkling waters of the bay. The only noises you hear are from an occasional boat traveling by.
When Mrs. Henry M. Sage decided to re-erect the Woodlawn house at Dover in 1949, she was a bit of a pioneer in the field of deconstruction and salvaging. Her meticulous preservation of the materials and workmanship of the original circa 1810 house allows it to be enjoyed today, just as it once was over 200 years ago. Dover wasn’t her first house move. She had already overseen the moving of the Mendenhall house to neighboring Belle Isle, the adjoining property she had leased for ten years prior to relocating to Dover. When the lease was up, she had stipulated she would keep the commanding mahogany staircase and the exquisite original hand-blocked Zuber and Fils wallpaper, both of which are showstopping interior details of the Dover house. Because the intricate moldings were hand carved out of wood –and not made of plaster– they, too, were able to survive the move. Since travel was by water when the house was built, Mrs. Sage added a salvaged door, balcony, and Palladian window from the historic Hunter house in Savannah to create a more welcoming façade to the back of the house, which serves as today’s approach to the home. The author of Georgetown Rice Plantations (1955) applauded the house as being “beautifully done and unsurpassed by any...home in the state.”
The two-and-a half-story wood frame colonial style house is 7,910± square feet with five bedrooms and four full and two half baths with a Vermont slate roof. The first floor features a lovely two-story stair hall entry, a living room, a handsome gun room, dining room with a built-in china cabinet, a sunny breakfast room off the updated kitchen, an ensuite guest bedroom, laundry room, and two powder rooms. The master bedroom, two guest bedrooms connected by a bathroom, and the morning room overlooking the entry are on the second floor. The third floor is currently set up with a bedroom, an office, a crafting/storage space, and a bathroom. A small staircase leads up to the widow’s walk, offering birds eye views of Dover and out to the Winyah Bay. The house also has a temperature-controlled wine cellar and cigar room made of Spanish oak.
The current owners enjoy the outdoor living areas and added a serene, screened porch off the living room, only accessible through an “invisible” jib door, seamlessly crafted into a historic window and moldings. The grounds around the home include a pavilion, pergolas, fountains, reflection pool, parklike trails, firepit, vegetable garden, and rose gardens. By running ads in local papers and purchasing his own tree spade, the current owner was able to acquire and transplant over 700 mature camellias, azaleas, and gardenias from cities and towns surrounding Dover, which includes 150 named varieties of camellias.
- The home park surrounding the main house creates a fun and functional setting for living and entertaining.
- “The Office” just steps away from the main house, the 1,400± square foot owner’s office is situated with tranquil views of the brackish pond from a screened porch. The office has beautiful heart pine paneled walls, a fireplace with a wildlife hand carved mahogany mantle, wet bar, as well as a gym and full bathroom.
- “The Lodge” is 933± square feet and nearly entirely built of heart pine. This historic guest house was moved to Dover and has a kitchen, living room, three bedrooms, one bathroom, and wood burning fireplace.
- “The Big Guest House” is 1,585± square feet with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and has a full kitchen and fireplace.
- The ultimate spot for catching up on movies or sports, the theater is 661± square feet with reclining chairs for eight.
- An architecturally interesting three-car garage has arched doors and also houses the property’s generator. “The Picnic Building” is 1,845± square feet and can accommodate up to 50 guests comfortably with a large fellowship hall/dining room, kitchen with commercial grade appliances, two half bathrooms, a walk-in cooler, large smoker, and two wood burning fireplaces.
- “The Cottage” is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house with 1,240± square feet and a gas fireplace located in a beautiful setting at the secondary gate.
- “The Gate House” is a 1,648± square foot brick house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms just south of the main gate currently used as a staff residence.
- Additional amenities include a standalone sauna, a skeet range with high/low houses and a trap house, and a 595± square foot recreation building/game room that serves as great hangout for kids.
Additional outbuildings include a historic horse barn with five stalls currently serving as a carpentry workshop, equipment barns and workshop, and a nicely finished storage building with HVAC.
Based upon recent years, the annual taxes are estimated at $7,500.
The importance of place is sometimes overstated. However, Dover’s specific waypoint on South Island Road and Georgetown’s Winyah Bay cannot be emphasized enough. Dover’s gate is an easy drive to and from Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Georgetown, Pawley’s Island, and Litchfield. The dock, sitting on Winyah Bay’s bank of the Intracoastal Waterway, is well situated between the river and ocean. Yet, inside the gate, Dover is a quiet world apart from any car or boat activity. Perhaps the phrasing could be modified to “the peace of place,” or, the “productivity of place,” as there are few recreational estates on the East Coast so simultaneously convenient, prolific, and serene.
Relative to the South Carolina coastal plain, the adventurous possibilities on Dover’s 957± acres are boundless, and even though it’s set up for exceptional ducks, deer, turkeys, dove, and clays, it’s hard to overlook water proximity as the outstanding feature. Waterfront meals in Georgetown, miles of wild brackish rivers, and unscathed barrier island beaches are all very easy boat rides from the property. With a dock deep enough to moor a large sportfishing boat, and a front yard that’s eight miles from a navigable ocean inlet, it’s easy to imagine stepping on a big diesel or outboard and running through the Winyah Bay jetties in minutes.
In Scotland, the ultimate sporting achievement is to harvest in one day a stag, a salmon, and a brace of grouse. The Macnab, as it’s known, could be converted to any number of Lowcountry combo “slams” at Dover. In late April, an early turkey hunt could lead into a midday run to a jetty sheepshead and lunch on a driftwood beach. A late May gulf stream morning of mahis, tunas, and wahoo could lead into an afternoon family boat ride up the timeless Black and PeeDee Rivers to see other historic properties. On the right midsummer day, Georgetown's tarpon fishery could compete with any on the east coast. Think grouper, green-winged teal, and whitetails in November. Doves, blue crabs, and fall spot-tails in September. How about oysters, wood ducks, speckled trout, and quail in January? It keeps going!
As outdoorsmen, we are often bouncing between the wild and the managed elements. Dover offers some unique choices of both. For example, while its controlled, planted duck impoundments provide walk-in access for woodies and teal, a quick run from the dock in a boat-blind rig on the right winter day might lead to an epic bay hunt. Just the same, if the redfish don’t fully cooperate at the jetties, the property’s brackish pond might lead to a day-saving moment. Hungry redfish + brackish ponds = happy kids!
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