South Carolina is a nice state, and Charleston is an interesting area, but I’m not sure I’d want to live here. It’s nice as a vacation spot, I think. However, there are a lot of historic sites to visit and experience.
Today, for instance, I visited Boone Hall Plantation, where scenes for “The Notebook“, “The Patriot“, and the miniseries’ “North and South” and “Queen” were filmed. Below, is a photograph I took of the Main House on the plantation grounds. This is where the rich family that owned the plantation would live.
This next photo is of the cotton gin, which made the lives on the slaves on the plantation much easier, because it separated the cotton from the flower, for easier manufacturing and increased productivity and allowed for faster and more frequent deliveries.
When the plantation was still using slave labor, a majority of its 4000-5000 acres of land was filled with row upon row of cotton to be harvested. Nowadays, the plantation only keeps 8 rows of cotton for harvest, relying on larger crops for money-making, such as corn, watermelon, squash, peaches, pecans, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and so much more. While I did snap of a picture of these 8 cotton plant rows, they’re not in bloom, yet, and not ready to pick, yet. I mean, if you look hard enough, you can see the white flowers from which the cotton will grow.
Of the (about) 21 original brick (for the record, at one point, the plantation also had a working brickyard, where the slaves made bricks. ALL of the bricks on the plantation and a lot in Charleston’s downtown, were made at Boone Hall) slave homes, there are only 9 remaining. In each slave house, there is a different exhibit where you can “Learn the way slaves grew food and used herbal remedies in their everyday lives. Discuss the task vs. gang systems used by overseers of the plantations. Learn what Gullah meant and the language and culture behind it at the Gullah Theatre [and] Do hands on activities that will show a slaves life and the role of slavery in the success of a plantation.” —Boone Plantation Website
Below is the Gullah Theater house. A wonderful Gullah woman, Jackie, performed for us today. I learned about the Gullah Geechie dialect, how Geechie was once a derogitive term for black slaves who came from Angola, Africa. The word Gullah derives from Angola — they were originally called Angola (for the country they came from), then it was shortened to Gola, and eventually became Gullah. I even learned that you can buy bibles written in the Gullah dialect where the dialect is still thriving, such as in and around the Charleston area.
I also took the House Tour, where you tour “The mansion that exists on Boone Hall Plantation today, [which] was built in 1936 by Canadian ambassador Thomas Stone as part of the Second Wave of Reconstruction. Guided tours of the first floor allow guests to see how this Georgian-designed home blends recovered materials and antique furnishings to recreate an atmosphere that would have surrounded a Coastal Carolina planter’s family and his guests. This 30 minute tour begins on the front porch and is given by a well informed guide in historical dress. The tour will also introduce you to the history of Boone Hall Plantation and its evolution through several owners since 1681.” —Boone Plantation Website
After the House Tour, I went on the Plantation Coach Tour. It’s given in a really cool open-air motor coach, which starts in front of the Butterfly Café and goes around the entire 738 acres (for the record, I am aware that I wrote 4000-5000 acres earlier, but the plantation owners had to sell off land and there were a few divorces where they had to give land to their spouses as part of the separation. Now, the current owners (the sister and brother whose parents bought the plantation in 1955) own only 738 acres) and covers both ends of the plantation, both geographically and historically. Visitors are shown how the still-working plantation continues to grow crops (for over 3 centuries).
If you’re ever in the Charleston, South Carolina area, I highly recommend that you check this plantation out. It’s one of the three most famous plantations in South Carolina and it’s only $20 for admission and eerything on the grounds is free to participate in. That’s a pretty good deal, if you ask me.
Look for my words again soon!