Category Archives: South Carolina

Grove House: Rear

Like many plantation homes in the south the front of Grove House faces the water where all traffic would have originated when the house was built in 1828. This is a view of the back of the plantation house, taken from the Live Oak lined drive.

Grove House
Grove House – rear

The pond where I photographed the water lilies in yesterday’s post sits in the circular turn of this drive, just in front of the ground floor entry arches.

Grove House Rear Entry
Grove House Rear Entry

Below are the Live Oaks lining the driveway leading away from the back of the house.

Live Oaks Leading Away from Grove House
Live Oaks Leading Away from Grove House

Today Grove House is home to the offices of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

Aiken-Rhett House: The Outside

Elizabeth Street is the main entrance of the Aiken-Rhett House , making it appear more modest than it is. Many Charleston streets have the houses arranged this way, with the narrow part of the house facing the street. This was done to maximize space, not reduce taxes as the myth is often told.

This house is a little unusual as it sits at an intersection so there is no house immediately to the right and that it encompasses a “townhouse complex” that includes several outbuildings which indicate the original owner’s wealth. The orange color is also not the norm.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House

Wide piazzas on the first two main levels of the house run the length of the building. Below is the first level, with one of the enormous windows open, which serves as a door from the drawing room onto the piazza. Manipulating the breeze was essential to comfort during Charleston’s humid summers.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House first floor piazza

Large windows with shutters were used throughout the buildings, including this one that housed the kitchen, laundry, and slave quarters.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House Property, domestic services building with slave quarters

The property, encompassing just over one half acre per Charleston County records, runs all the way from Judith Street on the piazza side of the house to Ann Street.

A  privy stood in each back corner of the property. The photo below was taken from inside one of these little buildings.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House property from rear privy

At one time the entrance from Ann Street was lined with a row of Live Oaks, making a stately entrance through a gate for the horse drawn carriages. Horses were stabled along with their carriages in the building on the right below. Additional slave quarters were overhead.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House, domestic building on left, rear of the main house, stable and carriages on the right

Click on any photo for larger view.

Aiken-Rhett House: Looking Up

The Aiken-Rhett House is a historic museum in downtown Charleston, SC. Last renovated in the 1850s the house is full of well crafted details, many you have to crane your neck to see. The back stairwell is crowned by a ceiling medallion three flours up.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House

Most of the rooms are big, with high ceilings. This drawing room sported one of many large chandeliers in the house.  The gigantic mirror and its gilding would help reflect the light into the room.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House

This metal chandelier had a simpler ceiling medallion. but the room was well decorated with crown molding and carved woodwork.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House

Ringed by these serious faces, this light fixture was never upgraded from gas fuel, even though the house was occupied by Aiken descendants into the 1970s.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House

Light was enhanced in the home’s art gallery with a skylight that had its own ceiling decorations.

Aiken-Rhett House
Aiken-Rhett House

The four sides of the skylight have windows to capture light indirectly, protecting the art work. This image taken out a window on the second floor shows the skylight from the outside.

Aiken-Rhett House Skylight
Aiken-Rhett House Skylight

Click on any photo for larger view. 

Shem Creek Pelicans

Brown Pelicans are attracted to Shem Creek by the commercial fishing activity and are often seen cleaning up behind the boats as they clean their catch. Other times they drop into the creek and fish on their own.

Pelicans in Shem Creek
Pelicans in Shem Creek

Shem Creek also hosts a Kayak/Stand Up Paddleboard rental shop and a public boat ramp for those with their own equipment. This pair of paddlers wasn’t paying much attention to the Pelicans gliding by. I’m not sure how that would be possible.

Pelican and Kyakers
Pelican and Kyakers

Pelicans will land on anything and everything. Their sheer size (between 4 and 11 pounds) always makes them stand out. I liked this shot with the colorful hulls in the background.

Pelican Resting on Docked Boat
Pelican Resting on Docked Boat

Shem Creek – click image for larger viewTaken with my new 20mm lens, 3/24/2018.

Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 20mm F2.8

Shem Creek Board Walk

The shrimp boats and a few sail boats were docked for the day along Shem Creek, a long time fishing center turned tourist attraction when the board walk was added. The smaller inlet off the creek winds around the marsh and frequently hosts egrets, herons and other water birds.

Shem Creek

Shem Creek – click image for larger viewTaken with my new 20mm lens, 3/24/2018.

Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 20mm F2.8

Framed Light

Every day the shifting water and wind add and remove sand and debris at the end of Folly Island. These dead trees provide some interest and natural framing to the view of Morris Island Light, left stranded on a sand bar a number of years ago.

Morris Island Light
Morris Island Light

Taken at the beginning of September before storm Irma came to town I would not be surprised on my next visit to find these particular tree limbs gone.

Morris Island Light
Morris Island Light

Folly Beach, SC, 9/3/2017

Wood Ducks

A few Wood Ducks were hanging out on an alligator ramp in the old rice field pond. Everyone was happy until a hawk flew over and one by one they slid into the water and paddled to the far shore and relative safety of the reeds.

Wood Ducks
Wood Ducks – click image for larger view

This one lone duck didn’t seem to get the message and stood her ground on a lump of debris.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck – click image for larger view

These photos were taken two weeks before Hurricane Irma swept through South Carolina last week. I passed this spot yesterday and the duck weed blew into the pond corners and many of the reed islands are re-arranged.

McLeod Plantation

McLeod Plantation dates to 1851 when enslaved men and women constructed a house and started cultivating sea island cotton. The 37 acres that remain of the original property is owned and preserved by Charleston County, telling stories of some of the people that lived there over a nearly 150 year span.

McLeod Plantation Family Home
McLeod Plantation – Family Home – click on photo for larger view

The photo below is the original front of the house, with a wide veranda and room for rocking chairs. The fancy columns and tree lined entrance seen above were added in 1926 so that the house would present an opulent face to Country Club Drive, where the “in” Charlestonians were heading to play golf.

McLeod Plantation Family Home
McLeod Plantation Family Home – click on photo for larger view