Like most home stagers I love touring houses, old, new, vacant, or furnished. So one of the sights that I was determined to see on my first trip to South Carolina was a plantation. I was very excited to hear that there was an unrestored one on the Ashley River near Charlstown. Loved Charlstown, especially the historic homes,( not surprising for a home stager married to an architect,) and the food. But that's for another post.
We had visited Mt Vernon on other trips, but were intrigued by the idea of an unrestored plantation.
Drayton Hall, built by John Drayton in 1738, is the oldest surviving example of Georgian Palladian architecture in the country. It was home to seven generations of Draytons. The house never has had heat, electricity or even indoor plumbing!
In 1974 Charles and Frank Drayton sold the land and buildings to their National Trust, thus insuring that the property and it's history would be spared from developers, and saved as a treasure of history for generations to come.
The plantation has survived use as a staging ground by both Colonial and British troops during the Revolutionary War ( no relationship to today's home staging,) the Civil War, hurricanes and an earthquake. The National Trust works to preserve the structure and grounds, but does not restore the interior. In this way the house represents layers of history. Many finishes are original.
To read much more about this amazing piece of our history go to:
Original paint and woodwork.
The Grand Ballroom on the second floor had to have the floors replaced and reinforced when it was in use due to the stress on the structure because of the dancing.
The red spots are the original primer used before the paint was applied.
Missing trim is not replaced in order to preserve the historic integrity.
Outside leading to the basement.
Fireplace in the basement used for cooking. Held three hearths.
The master bath, actually the family privy.
It's not really named Spanish Moss.
Drayton Hall is a must see when visiting South Carolina as is the historic downtown of Charlestown, and don't forget the food.