This is Belfast Plantation. It is named after Belfast, Ireland. The plantation was built by Colonel John Simpson for his new wife. John must have missed his home something awful. So that he’d always have a piece of home, he used bricks made in Ireland. I don’t even want to try and imagine how a feat like that was accomplished in 1786 or how much it must have cost. The interior boast black walnut mantles. Those came all the way from England. As you might suspect, this place is pretty awesome. Plantations are pretty rare in the upstate. So for those of us from the area you’d expect to be able to tour this beautiful home. Nope. Belfast is a hunting ground. At some point years after John passed away, it was sold off to a paper company. That is how one of the oldest homes in Laurens started being used for shooting deer and turkey. Of course, the truth is that if this place hadn’t been turned into a hunting lodge years ago, I seriously doubt that it would be in such great condition. Still, it should be turned into a proper historic site some day. A place that you can tour and learn about the history. RIght now it is just a hunting spot.