Yesterday on my first trip to the Botany Bay Heritage Preserve, I volunteered with SCDNR on an archaeology dig. (I've searched dredged river material for fossils before, but this experience was quite different.) For years, I'd have longed to volunteer for events like this, but I doubt I'd actually have gone. I'm sure I would have thought: - I don't have enough PTO leave hours at work to take a random Monday off.
- I wouldn't know anyone there.
- Snakes and gators and bugs are certain to be all over an island like that.
- What if I can't make it 3 miles to and from the site?
I was great at talking myself out of adventures. But now I list reasons to choose adventures:
- Visit this quickly eroding island I've heard so much about.
- Help catalog a 4,000-year-old site before it washes away.
- Perhaps experience the satisfied feeling of discovering something really old, something really special.
- Meet new people.
- See different places.
- Walk unknown paths.
It’s much less energy and way more fun. What adventures lie ahead for you?
Haint Blue paint is a Southern tradition that is welcome on every porch. Not limited to the South, this color appears on the porch ceilings of many homes, old and new. Legend has it that the watery blue color would keep the Spirits or Haints away because the Spirits would not cross water. The blue color represented water, thus keeping the Spirits away.
My best seller - glass beads with Angel wing - and of course all of my pieces feature an “evil eye” to protect wearer.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit the Hutchinson House with the Edisto Island Open Land Trust. The house was built circa 1885 by African American freedman, farmer, and businessman Henry Hutchinson as a wedding gift for his bride, Rosa Swinton. Henry was the son of James Hutchinson, who was born enslaved on the Peters Point plantation in 1830. Family history is that Jim was the son of an enslaved woman named Maria and the plantation owner Isaac Jenkins Mikell. During the Federal occupation of Edisto, Jim Hutchinson assisted Federal forces by identifying nine Confederate spies on the island, including Townsend Mikell, who may have been his white half brother. In December 1863 Jim enlisted in the Union Navy, survived, and was discharged in April 1865 at the end of the war. On his return to Edisto, Jim Hutchinson became involved in Reconstruction efforts. He was active in Republican politics and chaired a meeting of Edisto freedmen in 1870 that resulted in a letter to Governor Robert Scott requesting that plantation lands be transferred to freedmen. Raising funds to support this initiative, Jim Hutchinson purchased 750 acres that was once part of the Clark plantation and distributed land to other freedmen according to each person‘s contribution to the purchase. He was nicknamed the ‘King of Edisto’ for his efforts. On July 4, 1885, during a family barbecue, Jim Hutchinson was shot and killed in broad daylight by 24-year-old white man named Frederick Barth. The shooting occurred in front of many witnesses at his son Lewis‘s house on Point of Pines Road (just a few hundred yards from this spot). Barth was convicted of manslaughter and served a year in jail, but was later acquitted by an all-white jury in Charleston and walked free. That this house survives more or less in its original state is remarkable. It represents that brief window in time between the Civil War and the crush of Jim Crow when some newly freed slaves were able to prosper on their own land. The EIOLT is working hard to restore the Hutchinson House, and it has a bright future despite looking rather forlorn here. #historiccharlestonfoundation#edistoisland#edistoislandopenlandtrust
In 1860 a man named Joseph Evans Jenkins stood at a secession meeting and announced, “Gentlemen, if South Carolina does not secede from the Union, Edisto Island will!” His home is pictured here: Brick House, the oldest on the island. The original house was constructed by Paul Hamilton around 1720 and purchased by Joseph’s father “because he was tired of pirates worrying him” on the more exposed end of Edisto Island.
Though the house burned in 1929, it is well documented in drawings and photographs, and much of the walls still stand. The corners of the building and window jambs are trimmed by stucco quoins to look like stone, and stucco bibs and flat-keyed arches touch the stucco belt that circles the building and the second story level. While much of this decoration remains, it takes some imagination to picture the high “bell-cast” hipped roof, the flanking buildings, and the richly carved and painted woodwork of the interior. Stabilization of the structure — led by architect and family descendent Simons Young @simonsyoung_associates — was completed recently with eventual restoration and archaeology in the works. Happy to report that nobody took a brick to the head on this trip. (See sign!) #brickhouseruins#edistoisland