Magnolia Gardens, which consists of 390 of the original 1,872 acres, has a long heritage that dates back as far as 1672 when Morris Mathews, one of the first settlers to arrive in the province, received a warrant for 750 acres of land which eventually became part of the Drayton estate and Magnolia Gardens.
The gardens were created by the Reverend John G. Drayton during the mid-nineteenth century and is the only private wild fowl sanctuary in the Charleston County area. The property includes seven wooden slave cabins, the Drayton vault, the plantation house, in addition to the gardens and nursery.
Five of the slave cabins have been restored and represent African American life on the property from the 1850s through the 1960s.
Magnolia Gardens was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.