Drayton Hall Plantation
"The mission of Drayton Hall, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is to preserve and interpret Drayton Hall and its environs in order to educate the public and inspire people to embrace historic preservations." After seven generations, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house remains in nearly original condition.
Construction of Drayton Hall plantation house began in 1738. European craftsmen and African American slave craftsmen and laborers took four years to finish the construction. The Georgian-Palladian architecture represents the oldest surviving example of its kind in the American South. It is possibly the finest example of this architecture in the United States. The house is still as it was when it was built, without running water, electric lighting, or central heat and air. The family growth chart for all the Drayton children is still on the door frames. This is a magnificent house that is being preserved in its original form. This is one distinction you will find here in that most of the area's historic buildings are being restored to look like they originally did instead of preserved as they are.
While visiting Drayton Hall, you can visit "A Sacred Place", the African American Cemetery. At the wishes of Richmond Bowens, a descendant of slaves at Drayton Hall who passed away in 1998 at the age of 90, the cemetery has been "left natural", not restored or planted with grass or decorative shrubs. As he said, "Leave 'em rest". Most of the graves you see here are descendants, relatives, and in-laws of Mr. Bowens.
Drayton Hall was really cool. The house there had three levels. The bottom level was where the slaves would store their things. They also worked there. The stairs there were really squeaky. You also couldn't enter two rooms because the floor below there had a really weak ceiling. I liked the house a lot.
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