Boone Hall Plantation ~ Mt Pleasant ~ S.C. ~ 7

We drive down a long entry way lined with the southern signature, DSC_0043 Live Oaks  and Spanish moss (I will never tire of these trees). We park and make our way to a little building to purchase tickets and schedule various tours of the plantation. A woman working in a nearby garden is pleased when a farm hand offers her a freshly harvested bunch of collard greens. They both comment on their freshness and how popular they will be at dinnertime.

DSC_0047We first tour the plantation grounds in a farm type wagon equipped with comfortable seats. We learn Boone Hall Plantation is one of the DSC_0048oldest working plantations in America. Since it was founded in 1681 by Major John Boone, it has produced a variety crops and goods. First known for cotton and pecans, but now produces a variety of squash, tomatoes,strawberries, peaches, grapes and other fruits and vegetables all sold at a nearby produce stand.

DSC_0052 Hank, the very humorous and knowledgeable tour guide, empties the wagon at the Gullah Theater. My first glimpse at the Gullah culture was while reading “The Christmas Pearl” by Dorothea Benton Frank (a total chick flick, feel good Christmas Tale) and I was very intrigued. I chose the Boone Hall Plantation tour over other area Plantations, one, because it was still a working farm but, primarily, due to the Gullah presentation. The Gullah culture and language grew in the low country (coastal lands & islands off the shore of IMG_7667South Carolina and Georgia) as African slaves were brought to the area for rice cultivation. The presenter is an elderly woman of Gullah decent. Her presentation was a very moving and entertaining mixture of history, song and storytelling that included audience participation…a wonderful forty-minute performance!

DSC_0054Next we walk through the self-guided tour of the slave cabins. Each of the eight cabins is themed with different aspects of black history and slavery. An honest and horrifying look at slavery and the slave trade along with history of emancipation & IMG_7663freedom of slaves, the civil rights movement as well as the contributions of key leaders and heroes such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It is a chilling and somber walk.

Last of all we tour the plantation house. While waiting for the tour to begin Neal takes a seat in the shade while I take a few minutes to walk through the beautiful flower gardens flanking each side of the house. Butterflies and bees, with an abundance of DSC_0067choices, flutter and buzz from one blossom to another. In my own garden I’m oblivious to the names of many of the flowers, here, I’m ignorant as well but it is beautifully landscaped with stone pathways, fountains and pretty garden décor.

I join Neal in line to begin the house tour. We step into the main hallway and both comment on the lack of extravagance. We’ve toured the Biltmore Estate (Asheville, North Carolina) and a couple Newport (Rhode Island) Mansions. I suppose I am eDSC_0060xpecting similarities. The guide explains the house has been rebuilt and upgraded through the years but in all practicality it is a simple farmhouse. A previous owner, Canadian ambassador Thomas Stone, had the original house demolished and rebuilt in 1936 saving various pieces to be incorporated into the new house. Some of the furnishings show off an air of grandeur but for the most part it is has a comfortable and functional quality. A self-standing staircase in the main hallway leads to the second floor in which the present owners reside in during various times of the year. We head toward the back of the house to the game room that includes historical documents and photographs relating to the plantation. We peak down the wrought iron circular stairway that leads down to the wine cellar then make our way outside to the patio where the tour ends.

As we drive out beneath those majestic Live Oaks, I’m thinking Boone Hall Plantation may be one of my favorite stops.

http://www.boonehallplantation.com

Ticket – $20.00

 

2 thoughts on “Boone Hall Plantation ~ Mt Pleasant ~ S.C. ~ 7”

  1. Wow, BK! Although you were/ are a great teacher, your writings & pictures could of led you on a trail of becoming an author…..guess it’s in the family genes! I enjoy reading about your adventures… Can’t wait to see where you are next!
    Love & miss you! Aim

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    1. Hey Aim…thanks for the nice comments. My only problem is I’m about 6 weeks behind. Yikes! All the fun we are having is getting in the way of my creativity (and killing brain cells). We have a few days coming up that we will stay put before we head to my brothers. Hopefully I can do some catch up. Hope all is well at home. Tell everyone hello and Merry Christmas ( I have cards I haven’t sent yet either) love & miss ya!

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