There’s the library enrobed in warm cherry, the shimmering oak floors, and the cedar shakes that bring a little of the coastal Northeast to the Lowcountry. There’s the vaulted bead board ceiling in the sunroom, the breeze off Leadenwah Creek, and the pool and gazebo straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. But before you notice any of that, you see the grand oak trees — arms spread wide and laden with Spanish moss, welcoming you to Selkirk Plantation.
Turn off the main road and they’re unmistakable, their giant, gnarled boughs dipping nearly all the way to the ground. You’re just a half-hour from downtown Charleston, only 15 minutes from restaurants on Johns Island. But in this unspoiled corner of Wadmalaw Island, which is part of a conservation easement, everything feels far away. And amid the oaks and palmettos and sago palms and spartina grass, there’s a country estate worthy of the surroundings.
Drive past the oak trees, through a gate and over a wood-plank bridge to a 16-acre island, and only then does 5920 Selkirk Plantation Road begin to reveal itself. Constructed in 1999 in the style of architect Robert Stern, whose cedar-shake homes are fixtures on Long Island and in coastal New England, the 4,500-square-foot residence looks out over a majestic vista that includes an elegant swimming pool and the timeless waters of Leadenwah Creek beyond.
“The house has multiple windows across that back side that overlook the pool and the creek,” says Judy Tarleton, broker in charge of Carriage Properties, who is listing the estate along with partner Olin Chamberlain. “So it’s a very peaceful, beautiful scene.”
Splendor and value
Beyond its pastoral location, the home and its surrounding acreage are loaded with value difficult to find for a price of $2.6 million. There are buried power lines, backup generators, 1,000-gallon water tanks, Reverse Osmosis systems, roll-down hurricane shutters, a complete guest suite or possible caretaker’s suite above the four-car garage, and access to two docks—one with a boat lift behind the house, and another maintained by the homeowners’ association a short golf cart ride away.
The small island on which the home sits is part of a 21-acre lot, adjacent to an undeveloped 12-acre lot that’s also part of the property. And just across the bridge from the main house, there’s a bonus: a well-appointed “party barn” offering a huge space for oyster roasts, debutante balls or any other sort of occasion, complete with a built-in outdoor grill, broad brick fireplace, soaring cupola and large doors that open to let the outside in.
For guests, the barn also features an upstairs bedroom, two full baths, and a full kitchen including countertops made from items like old Charleston bottles and civil war bullets. For the homeowner, the barn includes a dog kennel, a workshop, its own generator and Reverse Osmosis system, a garage large enough for a car collection or an array of outdoor recreation equipment, and a massive attic with ready-made shelves offering plenty of storage.
“It’s really a multi-use building,” Tarleton says.
And it whets the appetite for the house itself, its triple-gabled frontage framed by palms and palmettos. Inside, brilliantly polished oak floors lead in one direction to a master suite complete with spacious closets featuring cabinets and shelving, an opulent bath, and sweeping views of the property. In the other direction, there’s a wet bar with a wine rack, an octagonal dining room with a painted ceiling, and a kitchen featuring appliances like a Wolf gas range and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
So close, so far away
Each room reveals something new and different, from the vaulted, bead board ceiling in the sunroom, to the commanding partner’s desk in the sumptuous cherry-paneled library. Through the breezeway is a 1,400-square-foot guest suite, complete with full kitchen and bath and spacious living area, over a four-car garage. The house also has two bedrooms and full baths upstairs, along with expansive walk-in storage areas.
Windows are large and numerous, letting in light and affording dazzling views of the water. Individual touches abound, from the oiled bronze chandelier in the foyer, to the pickled cabinets in the kitchen, to the grill and refrigerator built into the gazebo overlooking the pool. And everywhere is that Wadmalaw lifestyle — the marsh, the creek and the quiet, the regal oak trees and the easy access to the Edisto River, the proximity to Charleston that’s both so close and so far away.
“I can see this being for somebody from town who wants to get away for the weekend, because it’s a quick trip out here, and you can have all kinds of activities,” says Tarleton, one of six partners at Carriage Properties, which was founded in 2002 and specializes in multimillion-dollar listings. “You don’t have to travel five hours to get there — it’s just a half an hour away.”
For over two decades, Carriage Properties has been a leader in luxury real estate in the Charleston area. Its six partners and 20 agents cover the Lowcountry, from downtown to the beaches and islands and beyond. For more information on 5920 Selkirk Plantation Road or for a private showing, contact Olin Chamberlain at (843) 345-6680.