Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Francis Beidler Forest, Harleyville, S.C.

On our way home from our Charleston trip we visited the Francis Beidler Forest, an Audubon Center in Harleyville, S.C. It is an hour from both Columbia and Charleston.

The 1,800-acre forest sits within the 45,000-acre Four Holes Swamp.

We walked along the park’s boardwalk and some of its dirt trails, though most were flooded due to the day’s rain.

We didn’t see much wildlife, but we could hear it, especially pileated woodpeckers.

Our walk along the boardwalk was serene, peaceful. It was a great rest stop along the way home.

Here’s some pics from our visit:

This is a shot looking up a tree trunk of a tree that you can climb into.


Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

On our way to visit Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, we stopped at the Charles Pinckney National Historic site, which is also located in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

This house sits on the former site of Pinckney’s home, according to info on the website.

Here you’ll find a home and foundations of former slave cabins of Charles Pinckney, a signer of the U.S. Constitution. This plantation was called Snee Farm.

Only 28 acres of the original 715-acre farm still exists. A 1/2 mile walking trail guides visitors around the house and former foundations. Interpretive signs and brochures tell about each site, giving the culture and history of the farm.

This overlooks where the farm used to be. The house is behind the photographer.

There is an easy, 1/2-mile trail around the property that includes interpretive signs pointing out foundations and other interesting sites.

This makes for a very short trip, but is a good place to get out and stretch your legs.


Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

On of our stops during our Charleston, S.C., trip was Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens in Mount Pleasant, S.C. It still produces vegetables and fruit, which can be picked out various Pick Your Own fields or bought at the plantation’s market on Long Point Road.

We ate lunch at the market after our visit. It’s well worth the trip!

Shot of Boone Hall.

Long driveway to the plantation.

The tour only takes you through two rooms in the home. That was a disappointment, but our guide was entertaining and knowledgeable.

I don’t remember what she’s talking about here, but our tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining.

Afterward, we headed to the slave cabins located to the right of the home. There were artifacts and educational videos located in each cabins. The videos and artifacts focused on certain aspects of plantation and slave life: church, family, work, basket weaving, etc.

There were nine cabins with artifacts and displays.

My favorite was the presentation of Gullah culture.

The docent (I guess that’s what you call these types of guides) provided information about Gullah culture, language and songs.

I also enjoyed speaking with the woman making and selling the famous Charleston baskets.

Gorgeous Charleston baskets were sale at one of the cabins.

The flowers in the formal garden located in front of the plantation was meticulously kept and it was fun walking around the beautiful flowers.

Someone picked these flowers and displayed them on the plantation’s front porch.

Some more beautiful flowers.


Fort Moultrie, S.C.

Fort Moultrie is part of the National Park Service and is an amazing relic of our history.

I loved walking around the fort, imagining what it must have been like to work as a soldier there during the years.

The current fort was built in the 1800s. Two other forts sat on the same site prior to the current structure. Interpretive signs point to the former fort locations and tell when they were built, how they were made and how they served us during that part of our history.

The site’s history spans from a log fort built in 1776 to WWII.

I’m not big on military-related historic sites, but this is definitely a must see.

Here’s some photos from our visit:

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Exchange and Provost, Charleston, S.C.

Our last stop on Charleston’s Museum Mile was the Exchange and Provost Dungeon.

To the right is our tour guide. An animontronic figurine is to the left.

The tour provides a lot of historic info about the city, pirates, George Washington’s visit and the city’s part in the American Revolution.

Down in the dungeon, you’ll find animontronic figurines that’ll tell stories about the prison and building. On the way to Charleston, we met a couple who used to volunteer as pirates and other characters at the Exchange. Now that the museum uses mechanical storytellers, there’s no need for real people, except for the lone tour guide.

This is a well with water and fake rats located in the dungeon.
It’s supposed to show the horrid conditions prisoners had to stay in.

I think that is unfortunate because it would be neat to talk with various people about the building and its history. I’m sure providing more than one volunteer would offer a greater depth of knowledge about the building than one tour guide and prerecorded machines could provide (though our guide was very knowledgeable).

Still, this is a good stop along the Museum Mile.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston, S.C.

The Nathaniel Russell House was the second stop on our tour down Charleston’s Museum Mile.

This is another merchant’s town home and is built in the Federalist style. We visited this home with combined admission to the Aiken-Rhett Home (see prior post).

Of course, like the Aiken-Rhett House, we were not allowed to take any photos inside. Though it was raining, we did get a couple photos of the gorgeous gardens behind the home.

It would not stop raining!

Another good stop along the Museum Mile.


Aiken-Rhett House, Charleston, S.C.

On our tour of the Charleston Museum Mile, we visited the Aiken-Rhett House.

This home was built in the 1820s and is an excellent example of town homes during this period.

This home was built by merchant John Robinson and later sold to William Aiken Sr., another merchant. Aiken’s son, William Aiken Jr., later became a U.S. representative and S.C. governor.

The Rhett name comes from Aiken Jr.’s daughter, Henrietta, and her husband, Major A.B. Rhett, who raised their family in the home. (History from the Historic Charleston Foundation’s website.)

Like many historic homes, we were not allowed to take photos inside. We did, however take photos of the courtyard, stable and other structures behind the house:

This is the back of the home.

One of two outhouses. Very elaborate for a toilet!

Courtyard behind the home.
Slave quarters is to the right, which includes a kitchen and rooms for the inside servants. 

Stable and carriage house across the courtyard from the slaves’ quarters.
I believe more slave quarters were above the stables, as well.

You should definitely make this one of the places to visit in Charleston. You can combine admission with the Nathaniel Russell House, which will be my next post.