Monday, June 4, 2012

Drayton Hall plantation

Sunday, June 3 – After sadly packing up and leaving Charleston – such a great city – we headed up the Ashley River a bit to check out Drayton Hall plantation, another recommended stop by my friend Greg.  I feel like we had pretty much figured out the plantation drill on this trip, since we’ve been to quite a few, but this one was surprisingly different.  What makes it so, is that it has NEVER been “restored.”  It is still in original condition. That's right, original.  The current main house was built in 1738, and was kept in the Drayton family until 1975, when it became a property of the National Historic Trust for Historic Preservation.

We had a great tour guide Amanda, who was an historic preservation major, who told us how the family knew that they had a treasure in this property, and thus didn’t do any 20th century modernization to the house.  They never even installed electricity or running water, or installed modern kitchen appliances, even though it was still being used as a home.  There is very little modern paint in the house, and much of the carved plaster ceilings are amazingly still intact.  There is no furniture in the house, because there will be no attempt to renovate it to look like it did during any certain period.  Instead, they only conduct preservation efforts to maintain the house in it’s current condition, which they say is constantly ongoing.  They also continue to embark on archeology projects on the property to continue to research the history of the plantation as new tidbits of information are revealed.  Really amazing.  You get a very good sense for what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it is unbelievable to know that you're looking at the same untouched craftsmanship that was done hundreds of years ago. 

This is a “must do” for anyone visiting Charleston for anyone who has any interest in history and historic architecture.


  1. Uncle K, and Aunt S. Jake here. So sorry, but I have spent the last few days on a Crossfit retreat for babies getting ready to make the break. Essentially, they have been helping me pass things back and forth from one hand to the other and making facial expressions when people smile at me. Obviously, that was some serious working out. Was disappointed to hear about the lack of pics of "babes." But a lot has happened since we last spoke. I have been looking and storing contraband for when I am out on my own. So far, I have a spatula and a couple of brightly colored plastic rings, both of which play key parts in my plan. It looks like some of these plantations might have some good baby contraband when I go on the lam. As you know, my mother is totally out of it, so its fairly easy for me to store things without her knowing. Maybe you can sneak a couple of items for me to take along.

  2. Cool house! What an amazing spot!