Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charleston, SC-Boone Hall Plantation {Delightful Adventures}

Cost: $19.50 for Adults, $9.50 for Kids 6-12, Children 5 and under are free-This includes a 30 minute guided tour of the house and admittance into all areas and buildings.

Hours: Check Website - Changes With Seasons
Time Needed to Explore: 1 and a half hours to 2 hours (House tour lasts 30 minutes)

Nestled among tall oak trees lies one of America's oldest plantations, Boone Hall. Decorated to reflect plantation life of the 1800s, visitors catch a glimpse of what life was like in the historic South. It is one of Charleston, SC's most popular attractions and Jeff and I visited there last December during our one-year Anniversary trip.


I wanted to visit Boone Hall over the other plantations because I grew up watching The North and the South, which was partially filmed at the house. If you lived in the 80s, you may remember this super over-dramatic mini series about the Civil War starring Patrick Swayze and many other stars of the 80s. I was a weird six year-old and loved it...probably not the demographic they were going for, but whatevs. I believe this mini series was shipped to us on VHS tape from the US to the UK, where we lived. That's how fabulous it was.

The house is MUCH smaller than it appears on TV! But, I am a history and historical house nerd, so I enjoyed my visit there-with one exception* (see my random rant at the bottom if curious)

We took a 30-Minute guided tour of the inside of the house and were able to explore the grounds on our own.  Some highlights of Boone Hall Plantation:

The Famous Driveway of Oak Trees

Old Barn 

 Serpentine Wall

Slave Quarters, which includes an interesting presentation of slave life in the 1800s and Gullah culture

This tree is registered as an historic tree-it's over 200 years old.

A swampy lake lies behind the house...alligators? I didn't get close enough to find out.

We were not allowed to take photos of the inside, but it is worth a visit, especially if you enjoy historical houses!

Delightfully Exploring the Historical South,



*My Little Rant:
Apparently, slight racism is accepted in SC. No offense, South Carolinians! I have many lovely friends from SC who are not racist and I am well aware there are many racist people in NC-and all over the US for the matter-yes even the North so please don't preach to me about this "being the South." I've lived both places and there are people in the North who are far worse with racism!

However, I was a little shocked that Boone Hall sells Pickaninny figurines-you know, the false and offensive (because they are belittling) caricatures of little black children eating watermelons. Yep. Apparently some white people think they're cute-which is also offensive and belittling.


I also thought it was weird that the tour guide talked about the plantation's rich history and successes-even mentioned that all the bricks were made by slaves-but kind of ignored the whole slavery issue. I realize this is a tourist attraction and they want to avoid offending people, but it's a part of US history and the history of the house-they could at least acknowledge there was a sad history mixed in with all the good stuff instead of pretending it wasn't a big deal. Just my personal opinion. I am glad they had a presentation about Slave Life in the Slave Quarters section, acknowledging the important role they played in our history and culture.

2 comments:

  1. Uhm, I would also be offended by the sale of this figurines. And of course we always hate to make sweeping generalizations of a particular area, but this just so happens to be an incident you saw happen in the South, so I don't think anyone would accuse you of saying all Southerners are racist.

    Anyway, the grounds look beautiful--if I find myself in those parts, I'll definitely pay it a visit!

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  2. Yeah, I am careful NOT to say that because I live in NC and I get irritated when people not from the south think southerns are all racist. But, it is a big problem in South Carolina, so I shouldn't be shocked. Some white people think these figurines are "cute" and don't realize how belittling they are to black people-it's really just sad ignorance in this case.

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