Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 1/15/2011

The entrance sign for Magnolia Plantation. In this shot, I have pulled off the main road into the entrance road, and took the photo out the window of the car, looking back. Who says you should never look back?

 

The entrance gate. If you will left-click on the photo, then left-click again, you can read the plaque. I'd transcribe it for you, but I've got about 100 photos to upload. Art takes time. Heh.

 

Okay, here I actually stepped out of the car and took a photo of the approach road into the plantation. A lane bordered by trees or bushes is called an allee (ah-lay - it's French - think of our modern-day alley).

 

More of the same. Better sky in this photo, the first beautiful blue sky in a bit.

 

On the approach road to the main house and gardens, I saw this shed off to the left. I stopped to photograph it, Sugar wondered why photograph it, I said I liked the tree and the fence and the rustic look, and then! Look what the shed is all about.

 

A donkey! But not Donkey Ho-tie! They're everywhere!

 

Showing the donkey love to Sugar.

 

The donkey's friends, Ponylicious, Pony Island, PonyUp, and MyLittlePony (not really - I made those names up).

 

MyLittlePony has blue eyes.

 

Now I want a pony.

 

Sorry about that. I got distracted by the ponies. So we drove further and saw... Birds! There's birds. RIGHT HERE! What the heck are they?

 

Holy cow. Are we ever going to get to the gardens?

 We finally made our way to the parking area, then to the ticket window, and we started our self-guided tour.

Here's the schoolhouse for the plantation children. The next two photos will explain what the schoolhouse is all about.

 

This photo was made the first of an experiment of two photos. The next photo was made with a close-up, or macro, setting to see if the photo will be more legible. Sometimes there's not enough light available for the camera to focus on a macro setting.

 

Left-click once to enlarge, then left-click again to enlarge once more. You can do this on any photo.

 

The right side of the schoolhouse. This building looks to be about the right size for a cottage for me.

 

The swamp by the schoolhouse

 

We're on the bridge crossing the swamp.

 

We're on the swamp bridge looking over the railing. There are floral planter-type boxes attached to the sides of the bridge, and there's the same floaty stuff on the water, just like last July 4 when we went into the swamp by boat at the Webb Wildlife Center in Garnett.

 

More swamp from the first of many bridges. The figure on the right bank of the swamp is some sort of statuary.

 

By following the brick-lined pathways, we suddenly arrive at the river.

 

Here's the riverboat "Miss Julianna", a big shout-out to niece Julianna. This shot was taken from the stern. You can see that the steering mechanism is partially missing. The boat rests under this protective canopy.

 

A centrally located fireplace

 

Bales of cotton

 

This little footbridge crosses over a sluice where the swamp on the left flows into the.... (go to the next picture)

 

river on the right. I'm standing on the bridge here looking over the railing.

 

This placard is too difficult to read,, what with all the shade and shadows, so I've transcribed it below.

 

MAGNOLIA PLANTATION WAS ALREADY TWO CENTURIES OLD WHEN ITS OWNER, REV. JOHN DRAYTON, IMPOVERISHED BY THE CIVIL WAR, WAS FORCED TO OPEN IT TO THE PUBLIC TO DEFRAY UPKEEP COSTS IN THE 1870’S.  THUS, IN ADDITION TO BEING AMERICA’S OLDEST GARDEN, IT IS ALSO CREDITED AS BEING AMERICA’S OLDEST MAN-MADE ATTRACTION IN CONTINUOUS OPERATION.

PICTURED HERE, LANDING AT THIS VERY SPOT A CENTURY AGO, IS ONE OF THE PADDLE WHEEL STEAMERS WHICH MADE DAILY TOURIST RUNS FROM CHARLESTON TO MAGNOLIA EACH SPRING.  BY THE EBB AND FLOW OF THE SWIFT TIDE, THE STEAMERS WERE ABLE TO MAKE THE PICTURESQUE 13 MILE RUN IN ABOUT AN HOUR, WHILE THE TRIP BY CARRIAGE OVER BADLY-MAINTAINED DIRT ROADS TOOK ALMOST THREE HOURS.  OTHER VISITORS REACHED MAGNOLIA VIA THE SOUTH CAROLINA RAILROAD, WHICH DELIVERED PASSENGERS ACROSS THE RIVER TO A POINT FROM WHICH THEY WERE FERRIED TO THE MAGNOLIA DOCK.

IT WAS ALSO FROM HERE, UTILIZING THE PLANTATION DOCKS, THAT GENERAL CORNWALLIS’ BRITISH TROOPS CROSSED THE ASHLEY RIVER BY NIGHT IN APRIL OF 1779 TO BESEIGE FROM THE NORTH AND CAPTURE THE PENINSULAR CITY OF CHARLESTON.

Sugar spotted a nuthatch on the trunk of this live oak. Left-click to enlarge the photo for better viewing.

 

Is it spring already? This flower says it is.

 

This sign tells of the British Attack.

 From this riverbank began the final assault on Charleston, as recorded below in the diary by Hessian, Capt. Johann Ewald, recently published at Yale University, beginning March 23, 1780.

“About eight o’clock I received orders to try to get to Drayton’s house.  Towards noon we reached the gardens of Drayton’s plantation (today’s Magnolia) – in the afternoon General Leslie arrived and took up quarters.”

“The 28th.  The entire army assembled at Drayton’s plantation.”

“The 29th.  Before daybreak, the army set out to Drayton’s landing place, where armed ships and flatboats were lying along the right bank to transport troops to the left – at daybreak the troops boarded (a large force of infantry and artillery under Lord Cornwallis).  At about 8 o’clock, the light infantry climbed the left bank at Ben Fuller’s plantation, opposite Drayton’s house.  Some distance away several groups of horsemen and a number of riflemen appeared, who honored us with a few rifle shots, without any damage.”

(Continued on other side)

The opposite side of the historical marker

 British intent to cross here had been obvious.  It was no surprise.  From the landing bluff, a few small cannons could have destroyed the flatboats, or rifle companies could have decimated the assailants on arrival, or even hours later, Charleston’s 7,000 fresh troops could have marched and dislodged the smaller force.  Yet nothing was done!

What happened is history.  The British drew a fatal siege from across Charleston’s Peninsula; their fleet entered the supposedly secure harbor undamaged, preventing water escape, and Charleston surrendered its thousands of troops so needed by Gen. Washington.

This default and defeat caused many patriots to despair; and local leaders toasted His Majesty.  Cornwallis was freed to move north to crush Washington’s weary troops between his and the main British force.  That this DID NOT occur was due only to a storybook reversal of Cornwallis’ Charleston experience:  He inadvertently allowed himself to be cornered on the Yorktown Peninsula and a French fleet arrived unexpectedly to complete the blockade, leaving him no alternative to surrender.

These flags point away from the river toward the house.

 

The house

 

Further along the path, we came to the sign for the boat landing. We didn't take the boat tour today, but we walked down to the landing because we saw all these water birds.

 

Somebody please tell us what these birds are.

 

Here's a huge willow oak. Sugar, a normal-sized guy, lends a hand (heh) to show a rough estimate of the size of this tree. Y'all are looking at your hand now, aren't you?

 

More of Sugar's behind, I mean, hand.

 

The path led to the river where there was a mausoleum. The above photo isn't clear, and I couldn't get a good transcription, but you know what this is about.

 

Each of the four sides of the mausoleum has carved inscriptions and artwork.

 

The view from the mausoleum site. And here's where I take a break from blogging. There's still over 40 pictures left to upload. Why do I do this? Why, for the fame and money, of course.

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One Response to “Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 1/15/2011”

  1. Leo Says:

    The large gray birds on land are Guinea Hens. I can’t see the ducks in the water well enough to determine.

    Like

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