Plantation Ruins In The American South

2183 words - 9 pages

Plantations represent a very particular, traditional time in the south. Ironically they design a sense of both pride and shame for the prestigious southern families that owned and ran them. This is a focus on ruins of plantations that have been lost through time but just enough remains to give us a sense of wonder. Such plantations as the Rosewell, Millwood, Forks of Cypress, Bulow, Windsor.. Most of what remains are just columns and walls but it’s the story of what those columns used to hold up and what those walls held in that will be in the spotlight. The Bulow Plantation in Florida was a sugar plantation built in the early 1800s and burnt down in 1836. All that remains are the limestone foundation and the coquina ruins of the mill. The Millwood Plantation is situated on the Savannah River on the border of South Carolina and Georgia. The plantation was used from 1834 to the mid 1920’s and its main cash crop was cotton. The Windsor may be the most fascinating of the three plantations. Its original appearance was unknown until a drawing of the plantation in its “heyday” was found. It was built between 1859 and 1861. It is said to be the largest home built at the time sitting on 2,600 acres. It was so remarkable that Mark Twain sat on the observatory roof to think and even mentioned the home in Life on The Mississippi. Unfortunately it burnt down in 1890. The Old Sheldon Church was Prince William’s Parish church. It may have been the first conscious effort in America to emulate a Greek temple. It was built between 1745 and 1753. Only a few walls along with four of the original seven portico columns remain. It too burnt down.

The Rosewell Plantation in Gloucester County, Virginia was once the largest and most exceptional mansion in the state. The smaller original home on the plantation was destroyed by fire in 1721. While planning the replacement home, owner Mann Page, was determined to build a mansion better than the Governors Palace in Williamsburg. He died be fore the house was complete and his son, Mann Page II, took over construction many years later. It is said to have had one of the most elaborate staircases in America. John Page, son of Mann Page II, took over the plantation once his father could no longer do so. While he renovated the mansion he was also a member of the House of Burgesses. After he and his wife passed, Thomas B. Booth purchased the house and nearly destroyed it with his remodeling decisions. The house continued to be passed around and ultimately met its demise in 1916, once again, via a fire. The outer structure was all that survived. The Rosewood Foundation has managed the site since 1979. They are responsible for the establishment of the visitors center and the onsite museum.

Anthony Hampton and his family settled in South Carolina where they established a farm. This infuriated the local Native Americans. Five of Mr. and Mrs. Hamptons sons had taken some time away from the farm and when they returned they found a...

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