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Ava Elisabeth: Charleston Day 3- Middleton Place

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Charleston Day 3- Middleton Place


Our last morning in Charleston we woke up and decided to grab a quick, but nutritious, breakfast. So naturally we went to Krispy Kreme. haha! Now if you know me at all, you know we don’t do chain restaurants when we travel, but we weren’t super hungry and didn’t feel like sitting down to eat a big breakfast, plus we were wanting to hurry to our next adventure incase it was going to rain that afternoon.


We had wanted to visit one of the plantations, specifically one along the Ashley River, but we couldn't decide which. And of course, they aren't cheap to visit, so we finally decided on Middleton Place. I would be lying if I wasn’t secretly hoping Princess Kate would give birth to her baby while we were there, marking our trip symbolic…haha.


Each of the plantations are unique in their own way, some are have the houses, some have the gardens, most have the rich history, but we eventually decided to visit Middleton Place since most of what we had been told was that was the best one to visit if you haven't seen any at all.


The we did the self-guided tour, with us, we found that to be the best option most of the time as we could speed through certain areas and stop and enjoy others. Middleton Place is best know for it’s gardens.
First settled in the late 17th century with its main family residence constructed in 1705, Middleton Place was acquired through marriage by Henry Middleton in 1741 and for a century and a quarter was the family seat of four generations of Middletons who played important roles in American history. Today a National Historic Landmark, it has miraculously remained under the same family stewardship for some 320 years. Henry Middleton was the second president of the First Continental Congress and his son Arthur, a passionate revolutionary, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.


The South Flanker, today's House Museum, was originally built in 1755 as gentlemen's guest quarters and together with the North Flanker - a library and conservatory - completed Henry Middleton's overall grand design. It is the only surviving portion of the three-building residential complex that once stood overlooking the Ashley River. The flankers, along with the main house, were burned by Union troops in February, 1865, just two months before the end of the Civil War. The South Flanker was the least damaged of the three buildings and was restored to provide family living quarters. Repairs began in 1869 and included a new roof, Dutch gable ends and an entry hall leading from the Greensward. Thus strengthened, the South Flanker survived Charleston's Great Earthquake in 1886, that felled the gutted walls of the other buildings. By 1870 the Middletons returned to live again at Middleton Place and the South Flanker continued to serve subsequent generations until becoming a House Museum in 1975.


Sadly this is all that remains of the main house, but you are able to still see the outline of the building, and you can only imagine what a nice place it was. Especially with views like this….


This is the walkway to and through the formal lawn and what you can’t see from this angle is it drops down and is divided by two ‘lakes’ known as the Butterfly Lakes.

Middleton Place


Ava was part photographer for us Smile


This is a close up picture of the turnbuckles that are in a lot of houses in and around Charleston. These were put in houses so they could be tightened after an earthquake, but apparently they have been tightened so much that if another major earthquake was to hit, they would implode on themselves since there is absolutley no give.


Rice Mill Pond Bridge


We had the opportunity to see  the old Rice Mill  and  the Spring house/Plantation Chapel. there were also quite a few alligators sunning on the banks of the pond.  These gardens we walked through would have been fabulous to see in the spring when all of the plants bloom.



After walking through the some of the walks, we visited the stableyards. Which is probably where we spent a majority of our time.



Horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks were all out and we could pet all of the animals.




Over near the stableyards was the workshops and carriage house. We were able to see some early farm tools and even meet and talk with the carpenter that was building the wooden barrels.


There was also workshops they handled tanning (of deerhides, NOT humans Smile ) and corn grinding, as well as candlemaking and spinning and weaving.They had volunteers that did demonstrations for each category, so neat for Ava to see.


There were several peacocks walking around and we even saw some bunnies.


This peacock was strutting his stuff around the females for sure!


After leaving the stableyard area we walked across the greensward back towards the house. This is the south flanker, all that remains of the house.


Its also a museum but after spending $90 to tour the grounds, we didn’t pay the extra $15 (per person) to tour the house… We did feel completely comfortable getting pictures made in front of it though Smile


On the other side of the south flanker is a restaurant that you are welcome to enjoy lunch in, but dinner requires a reservation.


Me and my girl in between the butterfly lakes.



Sun Dial and Rose Garden


We enjoyed our visit and we were all tired after walking all over the property for about 4 hours. Ava loved walking through the secret gardens and seeing the animals. Its definitely a place that would be beautiful to visit in the spring.


On our way home I decided to try and find somewhere interesting to eat, well, I definitely nailed it on the interesting front. We almost didn’t stop- it might have crossed that line of too interesting, but after turning around and driving 5 minutes we talked ourselves into going back. We are adventurous…


Because this is the place we ate at. Its called Old School Diner. Its south of Savannah in Townsend, GA and basically you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, because, well, you are!


The chef comes around and greets each table and you are also given, complimentary, hushpuppies. Which in my book, means you are off to a great start Smile. It’s mostly seafood, which means you can count me and Ava out, but we always go along for the experience, so we left the food tasting to Adam Smile We got cheese sticks- haha! Adam ordered the fried shrimp and said it was really, really good.

Each guest that eats here has their picture taken and stapled to the wall, so you can go back and find your picture, if you are able to take the time looking through the thousands of pictures that cover the walls.


Our waitress was the sweetest girl and she took us around the restaurant for a ‘tour’ where she explained that the Chef and his wife started the restaurant out of their kitchen and just kept adding on to their house as the space was needed and money was there. They now live across the street and their old house is all restaurant.

One interesting fact… Ben Affleck has eaten here a few times…

After eating we headed home and talked about what a perfect trip is was for our little family. We are already dreaming of the next adventure!

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Ava Elisabeth: Charleston Day 3- Middleton Place

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Charleston Day 3- Middleton Place

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