This blog is a tribute to this grand home and all those who who have ties to Laurelwood. As the grandaughter of Jasper Hampton Campbell who purchased Laurelwood in 1908, I have many wonderful memories as a young child visiting Laurelwood. We fondly called it "The Big House". There were Easter egg hunts on the front lawn, Christmas celebrations, Sunday dinners, and a lot of time rocking in the rocking chairs on the front porch as my aunts shared stories about life on the Laurelwood plantation. They talked to us about their experiences and shared stories that their parents told them of life and happenings in the lower richland area. Many of these stories have been forgotten. I hope to bring these great stories back to life and preserve them just as Laurelwood is being brought back to life and preserved. There are hidden treasures to be revealed. A legacy to be handed down and passed on.
Let me help you look past the physical imperfections that you notice on first glance to see the hidden beauty that's just waiting to be revealed once again. The stories and information shared here will link the past to the present. There is much to be learned and many memories to share so that all can see the true beauty of ....Laurelwood.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Laurelwood Plantation

I would like to introduce you to a grand lady, Laurelwood.  She's very old, very worn but still very beautiful! This photo was provided by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation who recently partnered with the Richland County Conservation Commision to purchase the property in efforts to save this beautiful treasure of South Carolina history.


Here is the description of Laurelwood taken from the SC State Historic Preservation Office. "Laurelwood is significant architecturally as one of the few remaining antebellum plantation houses in lower Richland County. Built in the Greek Revival mode with a two-story, pedimented portico featuring paneled piers, this house is said to have been constructed ca. 1830 by James H. Seay, cotton, corn and rice planter. In 1850, Seay owned 2,500 acres with 600 improved acres; however, by 1860 he had apparently divested himself of all but about 425 improved acres. A small portion of Seay’s acreage went to the Congaree Baptist Church, which constructed a church known as Good Hope, on the property near Laurelwood. The two-story frame building has a typical central-hall, double-pile plan, with interior chimneys. The façade features a two-tier, pedimented porch spanning the three central bays. The porch has paneled piers and a simple balustrade. The rear elevation originally had a two-story porch similar to the façade porch. This was removed in the twentieth century, and a one-story, frame addition built in its place. Most of the original woodwork is intact in the house. Two historic outbuildings are located on the property. A frame smokehouse is to the southeast of the house and a frame barn is to the northeast. Listed in the National Register March 27, 1986." Copied from the state preservation office web page.

I am the grandaughter of Jasper Hampton Campbell who purchased Laurelwood in 1908. This southern plantation was home to my family for almost a century! Here is a photo of my grandparents, Jasper Hampton Campbell and Minnie Ammons Campbell.


Laurelwood has left us an invaluable legacy of not only historical proportions but we have been handed down a looking glass to expose our roots so that we know and understand our heritage. What a gift! My purpose for this blog is to share with you the legacy that Laurelwood has passed on to us through pictures, stories, people, events and anything else I can dig up about this amazing property. So get you a glass of sweet southern tea & your rocking chair and enjoy the legacy of Laurelwood.  
The name Laurelwood Plantation was more than likely given to the property at the time that it was purchased by my grandparents.  It was named after the wild mountain laurel that grows in abundance in the nearby woods.  There is some speculation and information coming out that Laurelwood may solve an old mystery about the whereabouts of the Sandhills Plantation.  Michael Bedenbaugh the Executive Director of the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation has a some very interesting information about this.
I have many wonderful memories as a young child visiting Laurelwood.  We fondly called it "The Big House". There were Easter egg hunts on the front lawn, Christmas celebrations, Sunday dinners, and a lot of time rocking in the rocking chairs on the front porch as my aunts shared stories about life on the Laurelwood plantation.  They talked to us about their experiences and shared stories that their parents told them of life and happenings in the lower richland area.  Many of these stories have been forgotten.  I hope to bring these great stories back to life and preserve them just as Laurelwood is being brought back to life and preserved.  There are hidden treasures to be revealed.  A legacy to be handed down and passed on.
Let me help you look past the physical imperfections that you notice on first glance to see the hidden beauty that's just waiting to be revealed once again.  This blog is a tribute to this grand home and all those who who have ties to Laurelwood.  The stories and information shared here will link the past to the present.  There is much to be learned and many memories to share so that all can see the true beauty of ....Laurelwood.


10 comments:

  1. Good for you, Myra! Great idea!
    Looking forward to reading more about Laurelwood.

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  2. I love the story and the home:) Thank you for posting the blogs on it.

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  3. Thanks for wonderful memories! Please consider attending our Ft. Jackson Prior Landowners Reunion Oct. 16th 2010. The Campbell family owned land on the place now called Ft. Jackson.

    fortjacksonfamilyreunion.synthasite.com

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  4. I would to be the owner of such a History!
    Najee

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  5. Jasper Campbell purchased this home after his plantation named Leesburg burned. Is their any information on the Leesburg Plantation as to who built it and the location?

    jjhowell41@aol.com

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  6. I'm a great-granddaughter of Jasper Hampton and Minnie Campbell. I have a couple of scanned pictures you may be interested in, one is of your dad in front of the Big House that my mom took in approximately 1989. Let me know how I could e-mail them to you!
    Thank you,
    Esther Hoffman

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  7. Hi Esther! Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I would LOVE to see the pictures that you have. You can email me at sodizzymomof5@yahoo.com I can't wait to hear from you! Blessings! Myra

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  8. My family and I visited Kensington Mansion and Wavering Place Plantation today. We had hoped to also see Laurelwood, but it was blocked off because of the reconstruction. We could only get a peek down Laurelwood Lane. I'm thrilled that someone is restoring this beautiful piece of history. If you have any idea of how long the recontruction is scheduled to take, could you e-mail it to me at kristin.batchelor27@yahoo.com? This is a great blog!

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  9. Kristen, I am sure you enjoyed your outing today looking at some beautiful SC landmarks and historical homes. I am sorry that you werent able to get a closer look at Laurelwood. Vandalism has been an issue. Thank you for the nice comment about the blog. Keep dropping by for updates!

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  10. Hey Myra,
    It was great meeting you and the many Campbells and my Seay cousins that I didn't even know I had! Am so happy that there is all this info available on Laurelwood (Sand Hill in the Seay family history). I'm James H. Seay's great-great grandson, Marion Seay's great grandson, and Evelyn Seay (youngest daughter of Marion)
    was my grandmother. We used to ride by the house on Sunday afternoons back in the 60's to see where Nana lived as a girl, but I never went inside untl your father (I think) let me in back in the 90's sometime when I went to the door and identified myself and the connection to the house. He welcomed me and let me wander through the house for the first time. I amazed my dad that afternoon when I told him where I'd just come from!! I hadn't been back inside until the other day, so it was quite a treat for me. I live here in Columbia and would love to stay in touch!!
    Rob Lambert
    803-269-8638

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Please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!!!!