Thursday, February 21, 2019

Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens

On a road trip with John Naughton to South Carolina, we were all looking for something to do on a Sunday. We decided to visit Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens (1235 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464). The historic "Avenue of Oaks" leads up to to the house with southern live oaks on either side, originally planted in 1743. In front of the plantation was a butterfly garden. One butterfly rested on Pam's back for like an hour. While everyone else toured the inside of the plantation, I sketched outside. It was a gorgeous day and I sat on a bench under the shade of a large live oak.

In the early 18th century, cotton plantations were enormously profitable, and this stunningly beautiful estate was a giant of Charleston's low country cotton farming. Boone Hall is one of the oldest plantations. Instead of cotton, they now produce peaches, strawberries, tomatoes and pumpkins. During certain seasons guests are allowed to pick their own food. Boone Hall has been featured in several movies. 

The plantation includes a large Colonial Revival plantation house (completed in 1936) that replaced the lost original house on the site, a number of slave cabins running parallel with the oak alley which date back to 1790-1810. It was common for owners to display their slave cabins in the front of the property as a sign of wealth. Built of brick, the one-story structures are 12 feet by 30 feet with gabled roofs, have either plank or dirt floors and a simple fireplace with a brick hearth and no mantle at the rear of each house. The cabins were in use well into the 20th century, as they were occupied by sharecroppers through the 1940s. Today they display information on slave life. They looked very uncomfortable to live in with dirt floors.

There was an outdoor presentation on the Gullah culture. The Gullah are African Americans who live in the Low Country region of the U.S. states of Georgia and South Carolina, in both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands. They developed a creole language, the Gullah language, and a culture rich in African influences that makes them distinctive among African Americans.We learned about the culture through stories and song.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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