15 August 2010

A peak at McLeod Plantation

McLeod Plantation, James Island, S.C.

I am itchy and twitchy, ready to go out for a brisk walk and it is pouring rain. I've swept the porch, replaced a light bulb ...blah, blah, blah. Weekends aren't really for housework are they? It's too wet to take a camera out at the moment but here are a few shots I took yesterday on my way home from my first zumba class (scary thought with my rhythm!).

I've driven past McLeod Plantation hundreds of times admiring the beautiful piece of property but never taken a pictures of it and yesterday I realized why. They have slapped "No Trespassing - This Means You, Joan" signs all over any easy access. I pulled around the corner and walked back but there is no sidewalk and I had to take my life in my hands walking on the edge of heavy traffic.

What a lovely spot. The line of old slave cabins leads up the avenue of the oaks to the plantation house. According to the 1860 census 74 slaves lived in 26 cabins. More here but this is a bit of the story:

William Ellis McLeod passed away at the age of 105 in the same room he was born in. In his will, he left his interest in the plantation to the Historic Charleston Foundation, with the stipulation that it be preserved as a "single family residence, to preserve the Oak Avenues, and to provide that as much of the property as possible be restricted to single family residence or residences having the lowest possible density".

It's an expensive property to maintain and if they have their way, the Friends of McLeod Vision for the Future includes:

Among activities suggested:
  • Church services and concerts under the oaks on a Sunday afternoon.

  • Confederate and Massachusetts 54th and 55th re-enactors setting up camp and cooking with open fires for breakfast or lunch.

  • Saturday Farmer's Market selling authentic local produce.

  • A James Island Founder's Day - a homecoming once a year for James Islanders.

  • Cooking demonstrations, tours, story telling.

  • Tours especially designed for school children.

  • Restoration of the grape arbor and plantings around it for use as a small special events rental area.

  • Religious, business and corporate retreats.

If anyone has any pictures of the inside of the house please steer me to them. Meanwhile, it looks like one more project for me to fix up when I win the lottery. The list keeps growing.