John Drayton constructed his 350-acre plantation, gardens and residence in the 1750s — just one of nearly 100 plantations he had owned during his lifetime. Drayton Hall was seized from the family in 1779, when the British Army made the home a headquarters during the American Revolution. The home survived and remained the Drayton family residence leading up to the Civil War. The Union Army took hold of Drayton Hall, but returned it to the family in 1865.
In the 1930s, the home became part of the National Historic Trust, eventually being sold to the Trust in 1974. Today, the preserved plantation house is the oldest in America and is open to the public daily except on holidays. Tours are offered every half hour, and guests can enjoy the grounds’ hiking trails and special exhibits.