Originally, this area of land had been granted to the Marquis de Lafayette as a reward for his service to the US during the American Revolution. In 1837, North Carolina naturalist and plantation-owner Hardy Croom bought the land, but he and his wife were both drowned when the ship they were sailing to Florida sank in a storm. The land went to his brother Bryan, who built a cotton plantation and manor house here in the 1840’s. In 1885, the plantation was sold to a British surgeon named Arrowsmith, who died shortly after. His widow lived at the manor until 1911, when she sold it to a wealthy widow from New Jersey named Fanny Tiers. She remodeled much of the house. Tiers then sold it to a US Senator, whose descendants later established a trust in 1990 to take ownership of the estate and turn it into a museum. Today, the grounds and the house have been restored to their appearance during the 1920s, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house has been fitted out with 1910-1920 furnishings, and all of the plants in the garden grounds are heirloom varieties from the 1920’s.
Here are some photos from a visit.