Mount Pleasant Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
Leaving Charleston, we drove over the Cooper River on the new Ravenal Bridge and followed US 17 to Mt. Pleasant.
We wanted to see at least one of the Lowcountry plantations in the Charleston region on this trip. In 1988, when my wife and I were last here, we visited Drayton Hall. (Still remember the delightful tour guide at Drayton Hall. A real Southern lady who had been a guest at the house when she was a teen.) Boone Hall is located at Mt. Pleasant, once considered to be a distance from Charleston, but now a residential suburb. Boone Hall traces back to Colonial era and continues to be working farm today, despite housing developments encroaching upon the perimiter.
The approach to Boone Hall is through the Avenue of Oaks. This stand of trees was planted in the 18th century by Thomas Boone, the founder. The main house looks like a grand antebellum plantation house. But that impression is deceiving. The present house was built in the 1930s by a Canadian diplomat who had purchased the property. It is nevertheless attractively furnished and is open to the public. (The orignal house was a modest frame farmhouse.)
A row of brick slave cabins has been preserved. They were occupied by sharecroppers well into the 20th century and serve as a reminder of conditions on the original plantation. Interpretive displays are underway for the cabins. The cotton gin house (now housing a cafe and gift shop) and the smokehouse are other original structures.
A few "Basket Ladies" were at work making traditional baskets from coastal sweetgrass. These were once practical everday items, but now are a popular collectable.