Thursday, October 11, 2012
Middleton Place invites visitors to annual hands-on history experience
Middleton Place invites visitors to see what life on a Lowcountry plantation was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. On Oct. 13 and 14, the National Historic Landmark will invite visitors to immerse themselves in those experiences. Plantation Days is an annual event designed to reflect the goings-on at a Charleston plantation during the harvest season. Each day, the Middleton Place Stableyards will be abuzz with demonstrations on cooking, textiles, blacksmithing and coopering, and hands-on activities such as pottery making, cotton and rice processing, and candle making.
Harvest season was a hectic and exciting time as cash crops were sent to market and the plantation was preparing for winter. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this work was done by enslaved Africans and African Americans. Plantation Days at Middleton Place will reflect these activities, and provide extensive educational opportunities for visitors. Presentations on barrel making, colonial games, and brick making are on the schedule. In addition, specialized African American history programs will be a major part of the days’ events.
Joining Middleton Place’s corps of educators and interpreters for the weekend will be Sharon Cooper-Murray, a professional Gullah storyteller and historian. Murray’s storytelling performances, relating traditional Gullah folktales and Gullah culture, add a whole new dimension to Plantation Days.
“Middleton Place is all about history and there’s no better time and place to see ‘Living History’ than Plantation Days,” says Tracey Todd, Vice President Museums. “Fall was not just the end of one planting season, but also the beginning of the next. Whether you were reaping the rewards of a lucrative rice crop, preserving extra food from the garden or selling your spring pigs, this was an exciting time of the year.”
Plantation Days and its family-friendly programs will run all day on Oct. 13 and 14. Most activities are free with admission to Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Road. For more information, go to www.middletonplace.org, or call 843-556-6020.
Visitors can complete their history immersion experience with a stay on the Middleton Place property at the Inn at Middleton Place. Located on the bluffs overlooking the Ashley River, the Inn at Middleton Place offers relaxing accommodations in an atmosphere of unsurpassed natural beauty. Guests of the Inn receive complimentary passes to the Middleton Place National Historic Landmark. For information and reservations, call 843-556-0500, or go to www.theinnatmiddletonplace.com.
PLANTATION DAYS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14
BARREL MAKING (10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 12:45 p.m.)
Learn the art of coopering by putting a barrel together.
BEYOND THE FIELDS TOUR (11 a.m., 1 p.m.)
Take a guided tour that focuses on the African and African American slaves who worked and lived at Middleton Place.
COLONIAL GAMES (11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m.)
Come try your hand at rolling hoops, walking on stilts, and playing such traditional games as Blindman’s Bluff and Skin the Snake.
GULLAH PRESENTATION (11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.)
Hear about the Low Country’s African American history and culture from Gullah Storyteller Sharon Cooper-Murray.
BRICK MAKING (12:00, 2 p.m.)
Listen and watch Dr. Denis Bronson of Clemson University as he demonstrates the art of brick making.
ANIMAL & AGRICULTURAL TOUR (12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.)
Take a guided tour of the Stableyards Animal Paddocks and Crop Gardens
TUG OF WAR (3 p.m.)
Learn about the Plantation’s Draft Horses and see how strong they are in a tug of war contest.
ALL DAY DEMONSTRATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS WILL INCLUDE: