Saturday, April 17, 2010

Boone Hall Plantation

I just so happened to read about this place on another FOTR's blog.  I'm so glad I did because this was one of the most interesting places we have visited so far!  Boone Hall is a working plantation and is the oldest continuous working plantation in the US. 
We took a tour of the lower level of the "big house".  The owners still use the upper levels of the house.  The house was built in 1936.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The tour guide was dressed in costume and was very friendly and interesting.  The TV series North and South with Patrick Swayze was filed here.  The movies Queen with Halle Berry and The Notebook were filmed here also.
  The next thing you can visit is the row of slave cabins.  They date back to 1790-1810 and are mostly in their original state.  These were only some of the slave houses and would have been the workers that held more important positions.  The houses were built with bricks that were made here and were evidence of the slaves' skills.  Some of the bricks still have the handprints from their makers.
As you move through the cabins, each one represents one aspect of the slaves' lives.  There are audio presentations to share the information.  
Some of the crafts were on display.  On top of that, a woman was there making some of the sweetgrass baskets.

The grounds are just gorgeous with gardens and trees everywhere.
We took an open air coach ride to see the fields that are still in operation.
Our favorite thing by far was learning about the Gullah culture.  We first heard the word "Gullah" when we listened to the audiobook "The Mermaid Chair" together.  We were honored to sit and listen to Carolyn "Jabulile" White, who grew up on the sea islands.

"Jabulile" has travelled to South Africa with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program Travel Study Seminar for PEace.  While there she was given the Zulu name "Jabulile" meaning Happiness and this is what she hopes to pass on thru her stories.

She learned the art of Gullah storytelling from her parents and grand parents.  "Jabulile" thought it is only natural that she should sheare these stories with the people in her community, especially the children.  She speaks fluent Gullah when telling her stories using Island-dialect just as she heard them on the Island as a child.  She tells her stories with the same humor of the old stories told on the Plantations.

If you are in the area, I highly recommend visiting this place.  Very interesting history here and it's done in a way that truly makes it come alive!

Living the life in sunny South Carolina!


Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

Wow! After reading your description and seeing all the awesome pictures I feel like I've already been here! Definitely adding this to my ever growing list of must see places! Blessings!:)