A nearly 6,000-acre Lowcountry plantation previously owned by heirs of two American business empires is now owned by a pair of brothers who bought it for $30 million.
Bryan McClure and Blaine McClure bought Chelsea Plantation in Jasper County from Marshall Field V, an heir of the former Marshall Field department store chain, and from the heirs of publishing magnate Nelson Doubleday Jr., whose death last year prompted the sale.
Bryan McClure works as a real estate agent for ROI Real Estate of Bluffton, while Blaine McClure is in stormwater management for a firm called Restoration & Recovery in North Carolina.
The pair bought the plantation through Chelsea Plantation LLC and partnered with Legacy Land Holdings, a Missouri firm that centers its efforts on conservation of natural resources, according to Bryan McClure. The sale closed in April but was not announced until this week.
"We intend to maintain the operation as a family compound and world-class hunting preserve," Bryan McClure said.
Both brothers currently reside on the property.
"The location and setting are spectacular," Bryan McClure said. "We feel pretty privileged to own it."
Development of the site is not on the radar, he added.
"We think it's important to evaluate development options from time to time, but we have no plans to develop the property," he said. "We are committed to preserving as much of the history and tradition as possible. My daughters would disown me if I sold it."
Listed for $32.8 million, the property is about 90 minutes south of Charleston and includes 7.5 miles of river- and marshfront and is said to be a place where one can watch dolphins play while picnicking on a quail hunt.
The 7,700-square-foot main house, set at the end of a long oak-lined drive, was built in 1937 by Marshall Field III. He purchased the property from Chelsea Hunting Club after the original house burned in 1936.
The grand, two-story home includes six bedrooms with hardwood floors and high ceilings.
In 1994, Nelson Doubleday Jr., who was president of publisher and bookseller Doubleday and Co. and later co-owned the New York Mets, took an interest in the idyllic property and bought a 43.75 percent share. In 2004, he built a 3,300-square-foot guest house with three bedrooms.
The property also includes another guest house, six-car garage, gardener's house, manager's house, stables, kennels, equipment sheds, farm office and other structures.
Plantation Services of Charleston and Albany, Ga., represented the sellers.