Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rosedown Plantation

On another day, a sunny day, we visited another plantation, called Rosedown. The gardens around there were lovely, and peaceful. Little Bit wanted to make sure Max didn't get too tired out walking, so made sure he got to sit on nearly every wrought iron bench, and in every summerhouse (or gazebo)! We even saw a deer in the gardens!

Rosedown Plantation was built of cypress and cedar in 1835 by Daniel and Martha Turnbull, over the span of six months, at the cost of $13,109. It was a cotton plantation, consisting of 3,500 acres and 250 slaves.

The Turnbulls had three children, two sons and a daughter. Their youngest son, James Daniel, died of yellow fever at age 7, and their older son, William, drowned in a boating accident at age 27, which left their daughter, Sarah, as the only remaining heir.

In the 1850s, Sarah married James Bowman from the neighboring Oakley Plantation, and together they raised ten children: eight girls, and two boys. Their four unmarried daughters inherited the property, occupying Rosedown until the last one, Nina Bowman, died in 1955.

After the Civil War, former slaves became sharecroppers at Rosedown. Sharecropping continued into the 1950s.

Some of my favorite things in the house: the lovely wallpaper in the formal entryway (hand painted on fine linen, from France, I believe); the tapestry/needlework screen in the formal sitting room which was made by Martha Washington; the original stairway that the slaves used, which shows how worn the stairs became. Then there was the doctor's house, with all the old medical supplies, including the Civil War Amputation Kit (that looked evil!). I also like all the fountains; the sound of the running water was so restful.

The Botanist Boy was especially intrigued with the fact that old glass bottles were used as dividers in the gardens! He also was impressed with the cold frame. I think he wants one at our house now!

You can read more about Rosedown here.

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