ACE Basin Plantation Tour with Rudy Mancke & Dr. Richard Porcher
Saturday, March 27, 10:00am – 2:30pm
Ticket Sales Start March 1, Members Only
$75 per ticket for CHS Hort Members
Includes a boxed lunch provided by Thurston Catering as well as a tour of both properties.
**Masks will be required while touring the properties.**

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to visit two private former rice plantations in the ACE Basin in the company of two of our state’s leading naturalists and historians.  Conservationist Dr. Richard Porcher will lead a tour highlighting the history of rice cultivation in the ACE Basin and show us the original rice cultivation tools on display at Cockfield Plantation.  Naturalist and television host Rudy Mancke will lead us on a fascinating tour of the flora and fauna of Rose Hill.


To maintain social distancing, this tour will include 2 tour groups of 25 people.   Tour groups will visit both plantations – if you wish to tour with friends, please coordinate sign ups to ensure you are together – we cannot hold spots.   Before the tour, you will receive an email with directions to the plantation you will be touring first.   Please see below for detailed schedule:

10am:              Arrival
Due to COVID restrictions, attendees must provide their own transportation.  Properties located approximately 1 hour from Charleston.  The two plantations are located within a five minute drive from one another. 
10:15-11:45:   Tour 1st plantation
11:45-Noon:    Drive to 2nd plantation
Noon-1pm:      Boxed lunch at 2nd plantation
1pm-2:30pm:  Tour 2nd plantation



Cockfield Plantation with Dr. Richard Porcher
(owned by Suzannah O’Brien)

This gorgeous renovated rice barn houses a veritable museum of rice plantation equipment and is located on Cuckolds Creek,a branch of the Combahee River. Thomas Coram made this plantation famous in the late 1700s when he painted a set of six miniature paintings of the property. The current owner has restored it to the wonderful condition it is in today where the fields are once again being planted to encourage the return of the bobwhite quail in addition to other game birds and waterfowl. Cockfield is protected by a conservation easement.


Rose Hill with Rudy Mancke
Owned by Henry & Mollie Fair

Famous as the setting for the definitive oil painting of an early South Carolina Lowcountry rice plantation, Rose Hill was one of the Heyward plantations on the Combahee and the home of Charles Heyward. Charles helped his father with the plantation and kept detailed diaries on the practice of growing rice. Now owned by a descendant of Charles Heyward, it is a tenant farm house honored by the Ricefields Association.



Rudy Mancke
Naturalist Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV’s NatureScene which began it’s long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy’s knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Before coming to television, Rudy served as the natural history curator at the South Carolina State Museum for 10 years, and was a high school biology and geology teacher. He earned a degree at Wofford College, attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina, and received honorary doctorate degrees from the College of Charleston, Winthrop College, and Wofford College.

Rudy Mancke currently hosts NatureNotes on both SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio.


Dr. Richard Porcher
Dr. Porcher is a scholar, educator, and conservationist. His distinguished teaching career at The Citadel integrated field biology into the curriculum (1970 – 2003). Dr. Porcher is the author of definitive books on South Carolina botanical and cultural resources. He has dedicated the proceeds from his books to student scholarships. Dr. Porcher is a renowned conservationist that uses his knowledge to influence regional environmental policies. He was the recipient of 2007 SC Environmentalist of the Year Award, and has mentored many prominent southeastern naturalists.