Saturday, June 06, 2009

Charleston - Spoleto and Drayton Hall

Donna and I made an overnight trip to Charleston May 28-29; our primary reason for the trip was to see The Punch Brothers perform at the College of Charleston's Cistern Yard as part of the Spoleto Festival. We left Columbia around 5:00, and with a stop at a Cracker Barrel along the way for some dinner, we got to the area a little after 8:00 and were seated around 8:30 - perfect timing. We sat next to a nice couple from Charleston who were both pharmacists, and we had a nice time visiting with them until the show started. As always, the group put on a spectacular show, and the backdrop was beautiful. The weather cooperated nicely; we were spared from rain and enjoyed a gentle breeze throughout the evening. This was one of my favorite concerts of theirs that I've attended.

On Friday we visited Drayton Hall, just a few miles from downtown. Its construction was completed in 1742, and it was passed down through 7 generations before being sold to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Both the Colonial and British forces used it as a staging ground during the Revolutionary War. It is preserved, not restored, meaning that it is in very nearly the same condition as when it was acquired, with a good deal of it dating back through the years to its creation. It is bare, with no furniture, since it is not restored, and that helps to showcase the house for what it is without furnishings to get in the way. It's a most impressive home, and it is in incredible shape.

Hand-formed plaster ceilings

Intricately carved mahogany

Look how thick the walls are! An important part of why it has survived so well for 270 years, including surviving the 1886 Charleston earthquake and several hurricanes.

Beautiful grounds to accompany a beautiful house


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