Archive for the 'Plantation Thing' Category

Published by admin on 07 Apr 2017

Real Estate Stress Relief

I’ve discovered a new thing about myself. I didn’t think there would be much room for the formation of a new hobby what with two very* needy children, a husband and a demanding job, but as it turns out all of those things plus some stuff** have me hitting up Zillow like a heroin*** addict looking to score.

My particular interest in real estate can be traced to not one thing in particular. As a kid I was obsessed with two things in my home town. The cliff dwellings and Fort Verde. I LOVED walking through the doctor’s house. (They shit in a pot and a maid had to carry it down the maid’s stairs! I am obsessed with back stairs! They bathed once a month and all used the same water! The children rarely survived childhood!) And look at this place! This is a dump compared to the historic plantations in the South, but it was MY dump.


I was furious that we couldn’t walk through Montezuma’s Castle especially when I heard that in the 70s you could. I was born too late! (My desire to walk through a cliff dwelling was partially quelled when we got to go through Mesa Verde, but still, Montezuma’s castle was RIGHT. THERE.) (Lookit my nieces! They’re so little!)

I have never been to the deep south. Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, DC and the surrounding areas (Virginia, Maryland) are as far into the south as I’ve been.  I was fascinated by the South’s history as a kid, however. Some of that being shaped by the racist tropes a kid in a public school is force fed – slave ships, slavery was bad, some slave holders were good, underground railroad, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, carpet baggers, the end! I was an American Studies major in college and took a Civil War class taught by a southerner who participated in reenactments and seemed pretty pro “the south” for my taste and felt like I got a good economic insight into what the South was set to lose if slavery were abolished, and I felt like that was a pretty good trade off in exchange for ending our national horror of slavery, he didn’t say as much, but I’m pretty sure he disagreed. We watched Gone With the Wind and dreamed we were rich white girls who could slap someone as handsome as Clark Gable. And I still think about her tumbling down that staircase. GOD. THAT STAIRCASE. Basically, that staircase is the reason for my obsession with staircases. How fucking grand was that shit?  Sure, she lost her baby, but those stairs!
Tara Stairs

twelve oaks stairs

So now when I’m feeling super stressed and need to escape, I open up google and type in a variety of searches. Or I go to Zillow and put the date built restriction at 1872. It soothes me.

I came across this place called Oak Manor in Alabama. There are only historic photos and I had to do a little digging to find the exact location, but I found it. It appears to be abandoned and the neighbors may or may not be a junk yard and a single family trailer house, but I want to see inside now.


Ok wait, back up, how do you abandon a house like this?! I know, it costs money to take care of these old beasts, but damn, DAMN.

Oak Manor stairs 006776pr

Built in 1860 for Isaac James Lee (of the Virginia Lees, whoever they are). That mother fucker had to sell it because he lost all his cotton “in the War between the States.” You guys, what even? Dear The South, It’s called The Civil War. It eventually went to Samuel Hale a nephew of the Revolutionary War (aka The Skirmish between the Colonies and England) hero Nathan “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” Hale****. I bet the fact that a Yankee got his precious cotton plantation really burned that Lee of the Virginia Lees, and how.

Oak Manor006755pr

Anyway, now it’s probably about to fall down and I’ll never get to see that staircase in person, but this little discovery mission ate up a HUGE chunk of my anxiety so, I thank it for that.

*Very? That’s probably an exaggeration. They seem very needy to me. And that is because I am not good at this whole thing where someone is constantly shouting demands at me while also saying “Mommy” and could at any moment dissolve into rage because someone took someone’s most special something that they had forgotten about until this very moment that they saw it in the other someone’s hand. (KILL ME NOW. You can even do it slowly, it will at least be a break from the children.)

**Hey, vague blogging! Working lady stuff. I’m sure it’s not very interesting anyway.

***It’s probably not socially acceptable to joke about heroin now that there’s a full on opioid crisis in America, but I don’t know the lingo anymore.  And see above.

****Nathan Hale was kind of hot, too.

Published by admin on 11 Feb 2017

We know who’s really doing the planting*

I’ve been looking at plantations for sale all day. I don’t know, either. Maybe I watched Gone With the Wind too many times as a kid. Maybe there’s something about big old haunted houses. Maybe it’s that you can buy hundreds of acres and a historic home that is big enough to house you, your friends and your friends families. Whatever the case, it soothes me.

I thought I’d share my favorites from today. I do recommend this article first, though. These homes were built on the backs of slaves. Slaves were murdered, tortured, raped and then after the war had no place to go – so while some think they stayed because they just loved their masters so much – uh, no. Nope.

So while, yes, I can enjoy looking at these properties now, I do not forget what happened there.

First up, Seabrook Plantation in South Carolina. From the listing: Seabrook Plantation is located on a branch of the North Edisto River, Steamboat Creek, just south of Charleston, South Carolina on Edisto Island. The house was built by William Seabrook in 1810 on 350 acres with majestic views, surrounded by deep water (approximately forty feet). Kiawah and Seabrook Island are only a short boat ride away. The house is a Federal-style plantation with a grand, double staircase designed by James Hoban, the architect of the White House. The main house has five bedrooms, four full baths, and two half baths. In addition to the main house, there are two guest houses, two docks, a caretaker’s house, a tea house and dock, and greenhouses. The property has been managed for hunting and recreational activities.

Translated: This place is old, it’s on an island (!), from slave times, has slave quarters, and the best staircase I saw all day.

Seabrook Plantation
Seabrook Plantation
Seabrook Plantation
Seabrook Plantation
Definitely click through and look at all of the pictures, Seabrook Plantation is so well restored (at least to my untrained eye) and worth a look at those beautiful trees with Spanish moss. It’s only $8.5 million. It seems like a steal.

Next, Barton Hall.  From the listing: Barton Hall was selected as a National Historic Landmark in 1973 because it “possesses exceptional value and quality in illustrating the heritage of the United States.”  The main dwelling with its 12 and 13 foot high ceilings, heart pine floors, generously large windows throughout, and its breath-taking 40 foot high entrance hall has 7,600± sf of heated, naturally well-lit space. The “Big House” has been described by scholars and architectural historians as “one of the best representations of Greek-Revival Architecture in America.” The master craftsmen that labored close to a decade to interpret and construct the original owners’ dream home produced a true work of art with near perfect proportions and symmetry such that it belies the sheer scale of the structure.

Listing translated: These slave owners were awful, and took a decade of abusing actual humans to build this house.
Barton Hall
Barton Hall
Barton Hall

The listing photos are terrible, and it definitely isn’t as well maintained as Seabrook Plantation, but Alabama… and $1.95 million, so, there you go.

This next place doesn’t have a name, that I can see, so I’ll call it the Sumter Mansion, South Carolina. From the Listing: Traditionally, each owner of this home has shared and passed down stories of its history- From the trap door next to the stairway that is said to have been an escape through a tunnel back to King’s Highway, to the powder marks on the front door during the war. What a home full of stories and history!

Listing Translated: Uh, some shit went down here in the Civil War because the owners probably were terrible humans that thought they should be able to enslave actual people.  Also, whoever they sold it to did some TERRIBLE updates and I hope you Southern slave owner assfaces are rolling in your dumb graves. Also, there are no photos of the staircase. Like, HELLO? I need to see it. God.
Sumter Mansion
Sumter Mansion


This next one has a creepy old house on the property called “Findowrie” but that’s one of the smaller buildings on the property that is way haunted and I am pretty sure you couldn’t pay me less than 1000 American dollars to spend the night there. From the listing: House was completely renovated in the early 1990’s using only the finest materials & craftsmen. Surrounding 507+/- acres further compliments the house and allows the property complete privacy. The estate has many improvements including one of the oldest houses in the county “Findowrie”, 4 tenant/guest cottages, stable complex & cattle barn.Property has numerous rolling pastures that are fenced w/board & wire.

Listing translated: Yeah, there’s a lot of ghosts here. And you’re alone on 507 acres so no one is going to hear you scream. Except ghosts. They’ll probably hear you. If ghosts hear.

Also, there are some really shitty updates in this place too. For $11.75 million you can have them all.

Big House related to Findowrie
Big House related to Findowrie

Slade Hall is pretty and doesn’t give me a “we tortured a lot of humans” vibe, but, that might be the flashy video presentation. From the listing: Located on the most prominent street in Eatonton home to Alice Walker and Brer rabbit truly unique Historic setting nestled on 1.07 Acres.”Slade Hall” c.1853 is a rare brick greek revival built to impress all for Daniel Slade and Elizabeth Trippe.

Listing translated: Hey! Alice Walker and Brer Rabbit lived in this town. Brer Rabbit isn’t even a real thing, but this house isn’t full of slave ghosts. Maybe.

Slade Hall
Slade Hall
Slade Hall

And finally, Panola Hall.  Sorry if you follow me on twitter or Facebook because I’ve been obsessed with this one the most. It is haunted by a ghost named Sylvia, who may or may not have jumped to her death from a window onto the brick walk below to escape a bad marriage. Also, you have to be a very “fine sort of person” for her to appear to you.  WIDE EYES EMOJI. From the listing: Built by James M. Broadfield in 1854 for Henry Trippe, the home boast over 6,000 square feet including the lower of three levels, all of which have gracious wide center halls running front to back.
Dr. Hunt , a native New Yorker, acquired “Panola Hall” in 1891 after his marriage to Louisa Prudden, member of a prominent Eatonton Georgia family. A former New York banker, Benjamin Hunt became known for his contributions to the dairy industry and livestock improvement in Putnam County and middle Georgia.

Listing translated: This was built by a “true Southern gentleman” and a carpet bagger from New York came along and now it’s haunted by a ghost.

I think if I had an extra couple dollars lying around right now, I’d fly to Georgia immediately and go on a tour of this house and if Sylvia didn’t appear, well, I’m sure we all expected that. Also, it’s only $649,000. And no worries, there’s a creepy ass basement that’s identical to the first floor, some kind of tunnel and this picture of a weird blocked off door that I don’t understand but if I went there, I’d get to the bottom of.

“La-di-da, look at the gorgeous Georgian revival mansion…”

Panola Hall
Panola Hall
“Oh, here is the interior, that looks pretty.”
Panola Hall

“Huh, I wonder where this little door went to, it’s probably not all walled off to keep any ghosts out of the house…”

Panola Hall
“Oh, this staircase leads downstairs…”
Panola Hall


Panola Hall


I’m going to have nightmares about this house tonight.
Panola Hall