Dedicated to Antebellum Mansions and Southern Plantations.

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Location: South Carolina, United States

I use the blog format to share digital photographs and scrapbook layouts with my family. My husband, Bob, and I have three sons (two are identical twins), three daughters-in-law, and twin granddaughters. We moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to South Carolina in December 2005 and it was the best thing we ever did.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This is an ongoing blog album. Scroll to the bottom of the page to begin. Check back often as I will be adding new layouts as we visit more antebellum mansions and plantation homes. Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 26, 2007

FEBRUARY 21, 2007

The next antebellum mansion that we were introduced to was surprisingly in Asheville, North Carolina. We had been staying at the Biltmore Estates in Asheville and decided to spend one night off the Biltmore grounds and in the town of Asheville. I selected a B&B that looked like an antebellum mansion on Edgemont Street.

Although the house looked antebellum on the outside, it was Victorian on the inside. From the looks of it, I expected a huge, sweeping foyer with an elegant curved staircase leading to the second floor. But that was not to be. Instead, the rooms were smallish with dark wood and dark furniture and accents. Our room wasn't quite as polished and crisp as I had hoped either. But we spent a quiet evening there and had a nice breakfast in the sunroom the next morning.
There's a more detailed description of our stay at the Albemarle Inn in my blog entitled, "Bed & Breakfasts, Inns and Small Hotels". Click on the words below my picture that say, "View my complete profile" for a list of my other blog albums.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Overlook House, Macon, Georgia

We didn't know the names or the history of most of the rest of the antebellum mansions we saw in Macon, Georgia neighborhoods on December 5, 2006, but they were each so incredible in their own way, I wanted to include them in this blog album.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Cannonball House, Macon, Georgia

We walked through the neighborhood and took pictures of other antebellum mansions. The one pictured above is the Cannonball House. This is a Greek Revival mansion built in 1853 and is the only house in Macon struck by a cannonball during Stoneman's Raid on Macon in 1864. The cannonball went through one of the portico columns, through the window next to the front door and landed in the foyer, making a huge hole in the wood floor. It didn't explode, but scared the mistress of the home to death. Afterwards, the family moved to their plantation home - although it was burned in the war, so this house would have been safer. Brochures and flyers suggest that if you pay to visit the home, you'll see the cannonball's damage, but they've repaired everything. The cannonball, however, is housed in a glass case in the foyer.

The Hay House, Macon, Georgia

Although The Hay House was not built in the antebellum style, it certainly was a mansion and Bob and I toured it. We weren't permitted to take interior pictures, but this home was unbelievable. It would be impossible to explain how ornate and over-the-top everything was, but suffice it to say, it was definitely something to see! The next picture shows me at the front doors - they were huge, as was everything in this home. It included a very ornate and beautiful ballroom, an elevator, and a secret room where the family's valuables were stored, it is said. The secret room was incredible - totally invisible and large - a very neat place!

"Welcome to The Hay House in Macon, Georgia."

1842 Inn, Macon, Georgia

DECEMBER 5, 2006

We left New Orleans and drove through Biloxi, Mississippi and parts of Alabama toward Macon, Georgia, to spend a night. We had read a little about Macon's history and decided to take a day to look around. We were impressed with what we found there. The historic district was a quaint, hilly area jam-packed with antebellum mansions. We bought tickets for the city bus tour, driven by Jimmy. We were his only passengers that day, so we got a private tour of the historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Of all the beautiful antebellum mansions we saw, we were especially impressed by the 1842 Inn, a bed and breakfast.


After the tour, we drove back to the Inn and looked around the grounds. We went inside to check out the interior and it was gorgeous - richly decorated in the southern style with colorful printed wallpapers; beautiful, cushy sofas and chairs; lovely antique accents, and ornately carved fireplaces. It was exactly the kind of place I had been wanting to stay in, so we collected some brochures and vowed to return for the Cherry Festival in March, 2007.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana

DECEMBER 2, 2006
We were staying in the French Quarter at the Maison Dupuy, a boutique hotel, from November 30-December 4, 2006. We had been baby sitting for Lauren and Justine while Connie and Troy vacationed in Hawaii for 11 days and decided to tack-on a vacation of our own before heading home. On Saturday, December 2 we drove out of New Orleans about 30 minutes to tour the "Oak Alley" plantation. When we first saw it, we were amazed. This was undoubtedly the most spectacular antebellum mansion on a plantation that we had seen to date. The canopy of 300-year-old oak trees was magnificant and the mansion was breathtakingly beautiful! The story of this gorgeous property follows below:
Located on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Oak Alley Plantation has been called the "Grande Dame of the Great River Road". The quarter-mile canopy of giant live oak trees, believed to be nearly 300 years old, forms an impressive avenue leading to the classic Greek-revival style antebellum home. The plantation was sold to Jacques Telesopore Roman and his wife Celina in 1836, when they began plans to build Oak Alley. It was completed in 1941. Mrs. Roman called it "bon sejour" or "Pleasant Sojourn", but travelers along the Mississippi, impressed by the avenue of mighty oaks, called it "Oak Alley", and so it remained.
The Roman family resided at Oak Alley throughout the Civil War. Jacques Telesphore had died in 1848, a victim of tuberculosis, and so was spared the tragic series of events that were to affect all concerned. His widow, typical of the upper class woman of her day, was totally inexperienced in business matters and, to her, the productive part of the plantation had no function other than as a source of revenue for her and her participation in the heights of Creole society. Her only surviving son, Henri, assumed manhood and responsibility for family affairs in 1859. His valiant efforts to preserve the position and holdings of his family failed against the overwhelming social and political turmoil resulting from the War and Reconstruction, and the Roman empire, already weakened by Celina's incessant spending, joined the evergrowing tide of once powerful and proud Creoles caught in a downhill slide toward oblivion.

In 1866, Henri was forced to sell the plantation and all but their most personal belongings at auction for a mere $32,800.00, thus ending 30 years of Roman joys and sorrows at Oak Alley.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lookaway Hall, North Augusta, South Carolina

Lookaway Hall, North Augusta, South Carolina

Sunday, May 21, 2006

MAY 20, 2006
Surprisingly, to us anyway, Lookaway Hall is located right across the street from Rosemary Hall. It just seemed odd that two such grand and magnificant antebellum mansions would be situated so close to one another, and in such a small town as North Augusta.
James U. Jackson and his brother Walter cut a deck of cards to determine who would build on this lot with a beautiful panoramic view. Walter won and built his home there in 1895. I don't have any other information on this mansion other than it too is now a Bed & Breakfast. Again, we didn't go in, but would like to check it out someday.

Rosemary Hall, North Augusta, South Carolina

Rosemary Hall, North Augusta, South Carolina

MAY 20, 2006
We didn't go into Rosemary Hall because it's now a Bed & Breakfast. We do hope to stay there one day, though. We read some negative reviews of the place, although it sounds as though it went under new management in 2006 and things have improved.
In 1902 James U. Jackson, founder of North Augusta, built this home. It is said to have outstanding features such as: hand picked pine used for paneling. Jackson searched 30 carloads of lumber to find just the right "curl" for the effects he wanted, it is said. The scroll work on the outside of this structure is unbelievably beautiful!

Redcliffe Plantation, Beech Island, South Carolina

Redcliffe Plantation Carriage, Beech Island, South Carolina

Redcliffe Plantation Grounds, Beech Island, South Carolina

Redcliffe Plantation, Beech Island, South Carolina

MAY 20, 2006
From its construction in 1859 until 1975, Redcliffe was owned and occupied by four generations of the Hammond family. Its residents included a South Carolina Governor and U.S. Senator, and an editor of Time and Life Magazines. The original Hammond, James Henry, was a colorful fellow who married into money, a systematically calculated plan. He was pro-south and in favor of the Civil War. He nearly particpated in a duel over the issue of nullification - the theory that a state had the right to void any act of the federal government which it considered unconstitutional.
Mr. Hammond bought Redcliffe in 1855 for "$3500 cash." He named it "Redcliffe" for the red bluff in front of it (although, when visiting, we never saw a red bluff). Mr. Hammond at one time owned 300 slaves, 21 of them at Redcliffe and 294 at his other estate, Silver Bluff, a plantation along the Savannah River. Remarkably the war never reached Redcliffe - it was spared as the fighting never traveled further than Aiken, SC, a few miles down the road.
There were 10 rooms on the two floors we toured, not counting the bathroom that was installed in the 1930's. The kitchen was in the "basement" and there was a full attic with rooms and an observatory that was later converted to a "widow's walk", which is still there. I imagine one could see the Savannah River from that site. Ceilings were 14' high. The staircases were steep and long. Eventually an elevator was installed. The property was offered to the state of South Carolina in 1973 by the last descendent who died in 1975 and is manged by the South Carolina Parks, Recreaton and Tourism Division of State Park.

I LOVE antebellum styled mansions and plantations and enjoy reading about the south in the 1800's. This interest began when I lived in New Orleans for four years from 1956-1960. Even though I was only 12-years-old when my family moved there from West Des Moines, Iowa, I was quite taken with the mansions off St. Charles Blvd. and the southern lifestyle. All my friends had French last names, lived in large, stately homes, and had a maid (and so did we). Or maybe this interest began the first time I saw Gone With the Wind at the movies with Bob in 1961 when we were 16-years-old. I was fascinated with that story and loved Tara, the plantation home.
Then in November 1990 on a trip to Savannah, Georgia with Bob and Trent, it all came rushing back - my love for the south. During that trip, Trent and I went on a historic home tour. It was great to visit the old mansions and hear the stories about the families who had lived in them. Trent and I laughed about how Bob and I could buy one old mansion we saw for sale. As we walked along the squares in Savannah, I kept thinking how great it would be if we REALLY could do that. We were selling our company back home and I had even figured out how much we would have to get to be able to retire early and renovate a Savannah mansion. But, of course, reality set in and it was never to be. We didn't retire and we moved to a suburb of Los Angeles, California instead.
However, now that we actually live in the south, I am determined to visit as many antebellum mansions and southern plantations as I can. We started yesterday, Saturday, May 20, 2006, with the Redcliffe Plantation in Beech Island, SC. Click on each image to enlarge it for better viewing.
This blog album is dedicated to: