The 2023 annual Heyward family reunion took place on April 22, 2023 at White Hall Plantation on White Hall road, south of Walterboro, SC. White Hall Plantation is known to have been owned by Nathaniel Barnwell Heyward (1816 – 1891), who probably inherited it indirectly from his grandfather Nathaniel Heyward (1766 – 1851), the South’s greatest rice planter.
Presently White Hall is owned by Richard Chilton, a New Jersey hedge fund manager. who generously made his property accessible to the Heyward Family Association for its outdoor reunion. The beautiful property consists of a stately home at the end of an avenue of ancient oaks; a separate residence for a caretaker; multiple outbuildings; two large ponds; many acres of open fields and forests; and a “secret” walled-in garden containing statues and flowering plants.
The Heyward Family Association has announced the details of its annual reunion. It will take place on Saturday, April 22 at:
White Hall Plantation
3234 White Hall Rd
Yemassee, SC 29945
PROGRAM: Stories of celebrated Voodoo Doctor Ed McTeer - Sheriff of Beaufort County 1926-62 and direct descendant of Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Please come meet and mingle with your fun and fascinating Heyward cousins. We always have a great time. Starting at 10:30 am. Lunch at noon.
*Remember to bring the following.
- One dish to put on the community table (meat, salad, dessert, vegetable, your specialty, or whatever strikes your fancy).
- Appropriate clothing & weather gear, hat for shade.
- Money for dues - $30 per household.
- Libation of choice.
- Bug spray.
- Any Heyward item of interest or for sale.
- Humorous tales, history
- Another Heyward cousin!
* The HFA will provide chairs, tables, cups plates, napkins, cutlery, iced tea and ice.
Directions to White Hall Plantation, Colleton County - 3234 White Hall Road.
Take Hwy 17 S about 6 or so miles south of Jacksonboro, turn RIGHT onto White Hall Road. Then follow White Hall Rd about 6 or so miles to CSX RR tracks and White Hall Plantation will be on your LEFT, marked with a large "Heyward" sign.
From Savannah or Beaufort:
Take Hwy 17 N about 3 miles (before or after) from Combahee River, turn LEFT onto White Hall Road. Then simply follow White Hall Rd about 6 or so miles to CSX RR tracks and White Hall Plantation will be on your LEFT, marked with a large "Heyward" sign.
From Hwy 95 North or South:
1. Take Hwy 95 Exit 53 (Walterboro)
2. Go East (towards Walterboro) on HWY 63 for about a mile and turn right on Mable T Willis Boulevard (Just after a sign that says "South Carolina Department of Schools"). Go about a quarter mile down that road to a stop sign.
3. At the stop sign, turn right onto HWY Alt 17, also known as Hendersonville HWY.
4. Go South for about 8 miles on Alt 17 and turn left onto Ritter Rd (a sign on Alt 17 gives warning of the turn-off.)
5. Go about a mile East on Ritter Rd and turn right (South) at White Hall HWY (also known as SC-15-119).
6. Go South on White Hall HWY to the address 3234, which should be marked with a large "Heyward" sign..
Margaret von Werssowetz 843.224.6651
Robin Rawl 803.609.1200
Robbie Harrison 912.507.6891
About 85 family members attended the 2022 Heyward family reunion at Rose Hill Plantation, near Yemasee SC, on April 30, 2022. The weather was perfect, the setting was beautiful and the food, brought in by family members, was delicious.
The HFA is grateful to Henry and Mollie Fair for making their property available for the annual reunion. The HFA is also grateful to Henry Fair for explaining some of the complexities of owning such property in this area since the “war of northern aggression”. Also, the attendees are grateful to Henry Fair for making the adjacent plantation, “The Bluff”, available to us, such that we could visit the grave of Nathaniel Heyward (1766 – 1851), the country’s greatest rice planter.
From the Charleston area: Take Highway 17 west and exit to the right at White Hall Rd going north. Go about 4.5 miles on White Hall Rd and turn sharply left onto Combahee Rd. The destination (3855), which will be flagged, is about 5 miles further on the left.
From the Beaufort area: Go north on Highway 21 to Highway 17, going east. On Highway 17 turn left onto White Hall road, going north. Go about 4.5 miles on White Hall Rd and turn sharply left onto Combahee Rd. The destination (3855), which will be flagged, is about 5 miles further on the left.
From I-95 going south: Get off of I-95 at Exit 42, near Yemassee. Turn left at the stop sign, onto Hwy 21. After a few miles you will come to a stop sign at Hwy Alt 17, also known as Hendersonville Hwy. Turn left onto Hwy Alt-17. Go about 3.5 miles to Combahee Rd, on the right. (There is a small white building on the left, across from Combahee Rd). Travel down Combahee Rd for about 4.5 miles and the destination (3855) is on the right.
From I-95 going north: Get off of I-95 at Exit 42, near Yemassee. Merge into Hwy 21. After a few miles you will come to a stop sign at Hwy Alt 17, also known as Hendersonville Hwy. Turn left at the stop sign onto Hwy Alt-17. Go about 3.5 miles to Combahee Rd, on the right. (There is a small white building on the left, across the intersection from Combahee Rd). Travel down Combahee Rd for about 4.5 miles and the destination (3855) is on the right.
Members of the Heyward Family Association board of directors met January 8 at the home of Jane Brown in Charleston. Presiding over the meeting was HFA president Leslie Heyward (formerly known as Leslie Smodic).
A major topic of discussion was the annual HFA reunion, a tradition going back decades. The reunion is held annually on the second Saturday after Easter, somewhere in the South Carolina low country, sometimes at a site of family significance. This website has pictures and reports about past HFA reunions going back to 1988.
There has been no Heyward reunion for the past two years because of the Covid pandemic. This year a reunion is planned for April 30, 2022. A tentative site near Yemassee SC has been selected and will be announced later.
Updates to the reunion plan will be posted on this website under the heading Family Blog.
White Hall Plantation in Jasper County is well known to HFA members as a residence of Thomas Heyward (1746 – 1809), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It’s been the site of several reunions, most recently in 2017. Currently the property is managed as a hunting reserve.
Kin Heyward has recently made a short video of White Hall, including aerial views. It can be seen here. Continue reading →
The annual Heyward Family Reunion, traditionally observed on the second Saturday after Easter, will not be held this year.
The reason is the nation-wide prohibition of such gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic. When the prohibition went into effect, the HFA board had made tentative arrangements for a reunion site, assuming the reunion date would be April 25. After the prohibition, the board considered holding the reunion or a similar gathering in the fall of 2020. However, because of the uncertainties surrounding the prohibition, nothing is currently planned.
The tradition of the Heyward family newsletter, however, will continue this year and registered family members should expect them to arrive soon in their mailboxes.
The Heyward Family Association’s 2019 reunion took place May 4 at Cockfield Plantation, about 14 miles south of Walterboro, SC and less than a mile from last year’s reunion site at Combahee Plantation.