ORTON PLANTATION IS NOT CURRENTLY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
If you have never visited Orton Plantation Gardens you are in for a real treat. It is truly a wonderful and picturesque place to spend some time with family or friends as you will see below in the slide show of beautiful photographs by Bj Davidson. The Plantation Gardens, an historic landscape designed around the 1735 mansion and colonial rice fields overlooking the Cape Fear River. You could easily spend half a day touring the 20 acres of secluded walking trails surrounded by hundreds of acres of rice fields, you will find Orton Plantation Gardens a wonderful place to visit with family and friends.
The Orton Plantation house is an example of Classical Revival and Greek Revival architecture. Originally a one and a half story white brick building, a second floor was added to the house in 1840 along with four fluted Doric columns. Two wings were added to the house in 1904, thus making the home a prime example of antebellum architecture. A corbelled brick chimney is located on each side of the original section of the home.
With the 100th anniversary of Orton's gardens approaching in 2010, extensive renovations have been made in the gardens to open up the views to the Cape Fear River and preserve the colonial rice fields.
Spend some time exploring the tranquil setting of this plantation and you will find the chapel. Similar to the house, Luola's Chapel is a white brick structure with four Doric columns. The chapel is surrounded by gardens and features a small steeple. A pavilion is located near the chapel. Orton Plantation Gardens contains 20 acres of lawns and formal gardens, as well as 60 acres of fountains, statues, forests, lagoons, old rice fields, and a family cemetery. The garden features tree-lined brick paths and rows of camellias, dogwoods, magnolias, crape-myrtles, annuals, and perennials. The front gates of the property are topped with cement eagles which lead to a dirt path driveway lined with large oak trees draped in Spanish moss that were planted in the 1700s.
Orton Plantation driveway 1983, American movie producer Frank Capra, Jr. searched for a location to film a scene for his movie Firestarter and chose Orton Plantation. Afterwards, Capra Jr. convinced movie producer Dino De Laurentiis to open a studio in nearby Wilmington. Laurentiis founded the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group which brought additional opportunities for movie and television filming at the Orton Plantation.
Since 1983, Orton Plantation has been featured in 23 films and 34 television movies and series. Some of the movies that feature scenes from Orton Plantation include Lolita, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Hounddog, and A Walk to Remember. Television series that have filmed scenes at Orton Plantation include One Tree Hill, Dawson's Creek, and Matlock
Due to a recent change in ownership, Orton Plantation Gardens closed to the public June 1, 2010 to begin renovations of the plantation home, gardens, and the necessary repair and restoration of the colonial rice fields. If you were planning to visit Orton we apologize for the inconvenience. be sure to visit the, Orton Gardens website.
Southport Times Piece