Plantation Charleston SC
Guys, I kind of feel like I won an all expense paid trip to Disney World over here. And what I mean by “feel like” is that I’m travelling for work this week so yes, technically my expenses are paid. And its like Disney because Charleston is basically the Disney World of pretty old houses and I LOVE me some historic architecture. I’ve basically spent the last few days gawking out the window of my car, trying not to wreck. I’ve walked a bunch, took a personal bike tour with my cousin, eaten a lot, and so forth. Oh, and some work too.
So, with my first block of free time, I opted to indulge my love of historic homes. I LOVE historic homes. I love all of ’em, all the centuries and decades equally up until about 1940. There was a 2-for-1 deal running on couple of plantations on the outskirts of Charleston with my free time this afternoon. First up was my favorite, Drayton Hall.
This home was built in 1742. As in, before the Revolutionary War! Also this was the only home in the area not leveled during the Civil War. It stayed in the Drayton family for 7 generations up until the 1970s. And miraculously, all seven of those generations opted to basically keep things “as is”, no modernizing, no updating, no re-painting. So, there’s an original plaster ceiling. Original layout, doors, staircases, flooring, fireplaces. No indoor plumbing, no kitchen, no AC, no electricity, no phone line, no telegraph. Most of the interior of the house was painted, for the second time ever, just after the Civil War, to cover some griffiti from squatters when the house was unoccupied. So, that’s some really really old paint.
That’s the oldest plaster ceiling in the home, as well as the Civil War paint, and even bricked up door was actually original. Its only purpose was to provide symmetry since there was another door on that wall. Each wall had either two windows or two doors. The door itself disappeared during the Civil War.
In the 1970’s the house was sold directly to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who is now taking care to make sure things stay “as is” and open to the public. One of their next major undertakings is to rehab the 2nd story porch so it can hold up foot traffic again.
And that will be just lovely, won’t it? I definitely enjoyed this tour and would highly recommend it if historical authenticity is your thing.