"So much of preservation is about what you don't see..."
The quote above embodies the very essence of Drayton Hall and its mission to protect and preserve, not only Drayton Hall itself, but the incredibly important region that surrounds it. From historic roads to scenic rivers, the stewards of Drayton Hall have always understood that the key to interpreting and saving the main house lay not only in Drayton Hall proper, but in the marshes, swamps and forests that surround it.
To that end, Drayton Hall created a position in the 1990's called the "Ashley River Region Coordinator." This person, working alongside the director of Drayton Hall, was responsible for creating strategic partnerships within the Ashley River Region and beyond, promoting and preserving the area and the precious resources within it. Below are some of the highlights of two decades worth of advocacy and hard work.
2007-2008:Drayton Hall accepts over 300 acres of land along the banks of the Ashley River from the Historic Ricefields Association.
2007:after 3 years of partnerships and hard work, Drayton Hall with other stakeholders, spearheaded the passing of the Dorchester County Ashley River Historic District Overlay ordinance, which limits density and provides for buffers in the historic region.
2004:Drayton Hall, along with other partners, blocks the mega-development of Watson Hill and thwarts its annexation by North Charleston.
2002:A comprehensive Corridor management plan is developed for the Ashley River Road by the Ashley River Regional Coordinator Allison Bello.
2000:The Ashley River Road is designated a National Scenic Byway.
1998:The Ashley River Road is designated a State Scenic Byway by SC DOT.
1998:The Ashley River is designated a State Scenic River by SC DNR, and an Ashley Scenic River Advisory Council (ASRAC) is organized, composed of stakeholders, including riparian landowners, conservation organizations, and concerned citizens, with Drayton Hall as a key member.
1996:Drayton Hall provided $5,000 of funding towards the master bike plan for the Ashley River Road Multi-Use Plan. This trail is now an indispensible transportation route and recreational amenity for the region.
1994-1997:Drayton Hall acquired three parcels of land totaling 105 acres across the river from the plantation house, successfully preventing condo developments from being built there and ensuring that the Drayton Hall veiwshed would be saved in perpetuity.
1990's:SC PRT acquired two large parcels adjacent to Drayton Hall, which are now considered part of the Drayton Hall "tract" of land, and will be preserved.
1984:the road is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today:Drayton Hall is the steward of 579.46 acres of land, with 110.5 acres pending from donors.