Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Boone Plantation - If it's good enough for Ryan & Blake...

So last summer when I was in Charleston SC on a work trip I took some time as I often do to see a site or two in the area.  At the time I shared some great shopping “opportunities”  (check them out here and here) but what I hadn't yet shared was my all too brief visit to Boone Hall Plantation.

It was a great stop but I found myself struggling a bit on what to share with you and how not to sound like a “Mt Pleasant Tour Guide”…so here I am a year later not having shared any of my experience in this beautiful place but with some kind of ok pics and my memories of a wonderful afternoon spent in Mt Pleasant SC.

I had really totally put my thoughts about Boone Hall Plantation away until yesterday when I happened to see somewhere in the “serious” news of our day that Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively  had secretly gotten married and had done it at Boone Hall Plantation.  I immediately went back to the photos in my file and thought it's way past time to share my lovely visit.

"The Avenue of Oaks"
Driving up to the house the driveway is lined with 300+
year old oaks – so beautifully southern plantation-esque.
I found Boone Hall Plantation from a brochure in the hotel lobby – you know those displays of Six Flags &  Zoo/Aquarium brochures that are ubiquitous to every hotel lobby.  I generally find most of the attractions in these displays to be too “family” friendly or too touristy for my liking but Boone Hall Plantation was just a couple of miles from my hotel and I didn’t have a ton of time to explore so it seemed like it really had potential to be a nice break from my work day.  
Can't believe I captured the rain clouds that were hovering.  It just poured
for a short time then cleared to a beautiful day.
What I was struck mostly with was how modern Boone Hall Plantation is.  Considering the property was developed in the 1700’s and it’s been a working plantation for hundreds of years one would expect to find Scarlett O'Hara on the front portico of Tara.  But actually the current home was not built until 1936 – there are brick cabins on the property which were originally slave housing but the home itself is not a historic structure.   It's certainly beautiful, just not historic.
There are 9 original slave cabins on the property.  They call
this "Slave Street"
Each cabin tells a different part of the story of the lives
of the slaves who lived at Boone Plantation
Unfortunately like many of these tours there was no photography allowed inside the house and my usual web scan left me empty handed so I only have external shots of Boone Hall Plantation.  The Slave cabins are authentically sparse and small with a lot of historic artifacts & documentation on slave life in the 1700’s at Boone Hall Plantation.  They are perhaps one of the most well preserved visually impactful group I have seen.

Boone Hall Plantation is still a working plantation and has survived like any good business by changing to adapt to their world around them.  Our tour guide shared that they have survived all these years by producing bricks, harvesting pecans as well as working an agricultural farm.

Well worth a short visit if you find yourself in Mount Pleasant with a few hours to kill!

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