Ted and I visited Drayton Hall, one of the historic plantations on the Ashley River for the first time today.
Due to a confluence of circumstances of our timing, a day where the heat index was going over 90 F (32 C) so they were limiting traffic in the house, and busloads of other visitors we did not go inside.
From the front, or at least the more opulent, entrance. I found it odd that there were no gardens or plantings immediately around the house.
We’ll go back after it cools off a bit here, and the tourist traffic slows.
Almost two years ago I posted photographs of these windows from the outside in Triplet Windows.
A couple weeks ago when passing by on my way to the nature trail the back door was open. I stepped in and got the answer to my question about their position: they are centered over the kitchen sink.
Those with kitchen duty had a lovely view into a pine forest.
The house, well on its way to ruin, was once the hub of a thriving cattle farm. The property is maintained by the SC Department of Natural Resources; periodically they trim back overgrowing vegetation, which may help it last a few more years.
South Carolina is dotted with ruins of churches and other historical buildings. Fire, at the hands of an enemy during war or by accident, was a common culprit. Sometimes they were ravaged to use building materials elsewhere.
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
The Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort County was originally built around 1750.
The owners of the property have recently added a fence to keep visitors out of the ruin for safety purposes and hopefully from taking souvenirs. Oddly, to me, this has become a popular spot for wedding and other portrait photographs.
The giant Live Oaks surrounding the property lend to the feeling of times gone by.
Saint Phillips is one of a group of barrier islands that sit at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean between Hilton Head Island and Edisto Island, protecting mainland South Carolina from the sea.
In 2017 the State of South Carolina purchased Saint Phillips Island from Ted Turner, who self describes as “founder of media empire, philanthropist, and environmentalist pioneer in sustainable resources.”
He owned the nearly 5000 acre (20 square KM) property for several decades, creating nature trails and building this modest home for seaside get-aways. The state parks department is exploring how to include this treasure as part of Hunting Island State Park (not to be confused with Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet).
Accessible only by boat, I was fortunate to be on one of the first public trips to the island. There was a lot to see and no where near enough time!
Our tour included a walk through the house. The screened front porch facing the ocean was fantastic!
When the house was first built there was an expansive sand beach leading down to the ocean. Barrier islands change continuously from the effects of storms and daily wave action and that beach is now gone. At some point this rip-rap was installed to help keep the water at bay.
The Cross Keys Plantation wasn’t on our list of potential stops on our recent mid-state driving tour. However, we made a quick u-turn to check out this unexpected sight.
The property is owned by the Union County Museum but wasn’t open so I only took images from the road. The white plaque at the gable peak has the build date of 1812 along with two crossed skeleton keys.
The other end of the house has just one chimney, partly hidden by a tree.
The intricate brick work is fascinating, especially in the chimney.
The bricks varied in colors and the top several rows on the front of the house appear to be of a different era.
The plantation home is the centerpiece of Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site in Union, SC. Four Magnolia trees thought to be over 200 years old screen the front of the building from the road. This is in contrast to many of the southern plantations that had tree-lined entrances designed to impress leading to the homes.
The ornamental front gate opens into a formal boxwood garden.
Once through the gate a visitor would be wowed by the porches and size of the home. The portico on the right side of the home was probably the more likely entry point for a visitor arriving by carriage.
At its peak in the 1860s the plantation covered over 5000 acres with corn and cotton as the primary crops and about 180 enslaved individuals.
There certainly is a lot of symmetry going on, if not a front to back mirror image. I regret not taking the inside tour.
From the SC State Park website:
Gist family members lived in the mansion from about 1811 to 1889. It remained untouched during the Civil War as there were no battles, retreating armies, military quarters or skirmishes in the area. From the 1890s to the 1930s, the mansion deteriorated significantly. In the 1940s, it was purchased and restored by Clyde Franks, who sold it to the state in 1960.
This State Historic Site interprets the family life and political legacy of William Henry Gist, often called South Carolina’s “Secession Governor,” serving from 1858-1860. With its mix of Georgian and Greek Revival architectural styles, the former family mansion stands as a fine example of an antebellum home.
The windows on the end of the abandoned Boynton House at South Carolina’s Donnelley Wildlife Management Area intrigued me. Why three and interesting that they are lined up with the roof peak not centered in the room that appears to run front to back of the house.
The reflections in the windows of a tree trunk and other vegetation was an interesting play on light.
The windows facing front in the same room were a double set and appeared to be the same size.