Hopsewee Plantation

The lovely Robin and I set out yesterday morning with Aubrey, Kevin, Calleigh, and Ryder, for Hopsewee Plantation, south of Georgetown, South Carolina. It seemed like a reasonable activity on a day when Tropical Storm Arthur came rolling past the area.
Hopsewee, a National Historic Landmark on the shore of the North Santee River amid an elegant lawn of moss-hung trees, is an eighteenth-century indigo and (later) rice plantation that has been preserved rather than restored, and is a private residence--not a museum--to this day. It was once the home of Thomas Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
We arrived just in time for the 1 p.m. guided tour, and were so glad we did. We were not allowed to take photos inside the plantation house but some can be viewed at http://www.hopsewee.com. 
The guided tour took us through the entire house, top to bottom, from the cellar to the attic (the above photo was taken on the second-floor balcony, facing the river, which is the front of the house, as most visitors in the eighteenth century approached the house from the river). So fascinating. Only five families have owned the house, although it was built almost forty years before the Revolutionary War. Though not the sort of house most people associate with the antebellum South, it is a typical low country rice plantation dwelling of the early eighteenth century with four rooms opening into a wide center hall on each floor. Though it was looted during the Civil War, it was not burned as many other plantation houses were, and thus retains the original black cypress construction, hand carved "candlelight" molding in each room, and heart pine floors.
The above view is from the back of the house constructed on a brick foundation covered by scored tabby (a plaster formed from crushed shells, sand, and water). The house has been furnished by the current owner, who graciously fawned over our grandson Ryder outside the tea room adjacent to the house. 
Two of the original slave quarters remain on the grounds; they were inhabited by the descendants of slaves who stayed on and farmed the plantation into the 1950s.

It was such an enjoyable, memorable experience, and we were so lovingly led through the tour by our tour guide. I couldn't more highly recommend it.

Hopsewee Plantation is located at 494 Hopsewee Road, Georgetown, SC 29440. Extensive information is available on the website.  

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