Less Traveled

Page Ivey



See history come alive at Magnolia Plantation

Posted 7/2/2013 1:33:00 PM

You can hear the story of a typical South Carolina slave woman or watch a master brick maker at work as history comes alive on one of the state’s oldest plantations Saturday.

The History Fair at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston will feature a presentation by storyteller Kitty Wilson-Evans, a retired kindergarten teacher who portrays an 18th century slave named Kessie at Revolutionary War re-enactments.

Craftsman Rick Owens will demonstrate how early American bricks were made.

Historian Charles Williams will portray French botanist André Michaux, who came to the young U.S. in the late 18th century to find new tree species for French forests that needed replenishing after providing the material for building warships.

Michaux worked out of Charleston and spent much time with the Drayton family that owned Magnolia Plantation. His journals are part of the plantation’s collection.

Magnolia was founded in 1676 and the plantation opened its gardens to the public seven years after the Civil War. Some say they are Charleston’s very first tourist attraction.

“Magnolia has seen this nation through its birth, wars, the Civil Rights movement up until today,” said Tom Johnson, Magnolia's executive director.

The history fair, which features 41 historic organizations, is free. Visitors interested in strolling the beautiful gardens pay a $15 admission to Magnolia garden. Admission will be free for firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, physicians, nurses, active duty military and their immediate family. Valid ID is required for free admission.

The history fair will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 6 and Owen and Wilson-Evans will perform throughout the event. Williams will perform at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.