Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rose Hill Plantation

We took a field trip to Rose Hill Plantation and learned more about the history of our great state.  Rose Hill was the home to William Gist, aka The Secession Governor of SC.  Governor Gist's lineage dates back to pre-Revolutionary war times.   The Governor was from a well to do family and at the age of 12 inherited 2000 acres and 22 slaves, upon his father's death.  The park ranger told us that records and history of the site is not well known about the early years of the plantation and they are constantly finding out more.  

The house is a four on four Greek Revival style.  It is made of solid 1 foot thick brick walls on the interior and exterior of the home.  Stucco was placed over the brick and etched to look like large blocks when the porches were added to the home.  The interior of the home has very few pieces from the Gist family.  However, it is decorated with antiques from the time period the Gist family lived in the home.

 The secession document signed December 1860.

 Listening to the ranger tell about the Gist family.

 Period dining setting.

States Rights Gist - Nephew to Governor Gist.  

The rooms are large and each room has a fireplace.   We learned that there was no official governor's mansion like today in Columbia.  The house of the man elected governor became the governor's mansion.   We learned about how guest were entertained and the upstairs children's bedroom became a 'ballroom' during parties. 

The main house, front formal garden, and kitchen building in the rear were the only original structures left on the plantation.  We learned that Governor Gist ran the plantation with tenant farmers after the Civil War and Mrs. Gist continued to run the plantation after her husband's death.  The remaining children of the Gists' sold the house and land upon the death of their mother.  Years of neglect followed and finally the house and 40 acres were bought and restoration began.  It is hard to imagine that such a fine piece of South Carolina history came close to being lost forever. 

The grounds are very nice in addition to the house.  Large magnolia trees, pecan trees, and walnut trees provide tons of shade.  The area is now a forest and the plantation cotton fields are once a memory.  It is hard to imagine how it looked during the Grist's family ownership.  The nature trail and river trail now wooded would have been rows and rows of cotton.  Oh, how I wish we could travel back and see it then!

 A tenant house.

 View from the tenant house.

 Canopy of walnut trees.

Nature trail walk.

This was a great field trip to review some of the things we learned studying the Civil War.  I just love going places to bring history to life for the kiddos!