Rose Hill Mansion
This was the scene in the park near my house, just days before I left …
… headed for this! The picture says it all!
It is a yearly sojourn my family makes. My children and I, my parents, sister and brother and their respective families, all return to the house we have rented for years, that feels very much like home.
There is something magical about driving down an alley of live oaks, dripping with Spanish Moss, or seeing them across a yard.
This year included a trip to Rose Hill Mansion.
It has been described as the most beautiful plantation house in the Low Country. Built in 1858, it’s Gothic Revival style, uncommon in the south, is in itself a draw. Since it’s construction, this huge home, a deceiving 10,000 square feet, has seen times of great comfort and times of deep distress. In 1946 after years of neglect, it was restored by John and Betsy Gould Strugeon. It was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and suffered massive destruction from fire in 1987. Purchased by Robb and Robin White in 1996, they have painstakingly restored the house and live in it today. They offer daily tours unlike any other historic tour I have been on. Sitting on the furniture was encouraged by our guide Cynthia (a descendant of the original owners), we were served lovely treats for tea, and were welcomed by the owner Robin at the end of the tour.
Carolina rockers on the front porch welcome visitors.
The front entry hall features a floating stringer staircase, and yes wine was served during the tour!
And of course there were some sewing related items! A collection of archaeological items, found on the plantation included civil war era thimbles.
And a quilt that belonged to the Kirk family, previous owners of Rose Hill, as well as a lovely christening gown carefully framed to preserve it.
Rose Hill Mansion lies just miles away from Bluffton, the birthplace of the secessionist movement. As a result of this, the area suffered the scorched earth policy of the Union forces, which well explains why so few textile artifacts remain from the area. That Rose Hill itself was spared is miraculous. To this day, civil war period artifacts are still sifting to the surface on the plantation, pushed skyward by the roots of the live oaks, making history come alive again!
Have a great week