I was able to do something today that I have wanted to do for a long time. I was able to walk my children through "the Big House". My oldest child who turns 20 this month remembered visits there when she was small when we would visit my Daddy. However, my other 4 children had never been inside.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
My brother, Doug Campbell, Grandson of Jasper Hampton Campbell and son to Douglas Quentin Campbell has this to share about his memories of stories told by the family. Jasper Hampton's father, was Thomas Belton Campbell, he fought in the Civil war. After being taken prisoner then released, he walked barefoot to SC from Virginia after the surrender at Appomattox. He (Thomas Belton) may have been an aide to General Wade Hampton. Thomas's son Jasper Hampton Campbell (I wonder where the Hampton may have come from?) moved his family to Laurelwood in 1908 after their family home called the Leesburg Plantation burned to the ground. Also, I remember that Daddy had told me that the reason that Sherman's troops possibly didn't burn the house during the Civil war was that there may have been a lot of trees(on either side of the avenue) and they could not see it, or because a pastor used to reside there. He had told me that at one time there was a well just to the right of the right entrance to the property coming from the avenue and then take a slight right and then left coming in where Civil war soldiers would get water. The 4 corners of the house are on the North, South, East and West points of the compass. As best I can remember, Jasper Hampton had a sister Lilly, and a brother Andrew who I think at one time was the county commissioner of Richland County. Daddy had told me that his father used to run a shingle mill and a saw mill and had also been quite a successful planter and merchant before the depression and that he could have gotten out of the business and been wealthy enough at one point to not have to worry about anything, but he felt a responsibility to the community to keep the business going. After the depression nearly everything was lost except for the family home and surrounding property. Daddy had told me that they grew food and sold it to a prison that was close by(I don't remember which one). He said that our grandmother (Minnie) had come up with the idea to grow iceberg lettuce one winter and that they were able to survive a particularly hard year from the proceeds of the sale of the iceberg lettuce. He had also told me that the children had to ride in the back of a pickup truck to Columbia and he remembered wearing clothes with patches on them and taking baskets of produce into the buildings to sell to the people who worked in various offices in Columbia. I think that he felt humiliated by this experience. The children were Jasper Hampton Jr(JH),Nancy, Annie, Grace, Margaret, Calvin, Quentin(daddy) and Ben. When we stayed over for the night, if we heard a noise that could not be explained we were told that it was "Mr. Lead-in-ham in the attic"(the resident ghost). Ghost stories were told though I don't remember many of them except for one where someone would see a lady on the road at night and pick her up and then when they would reach their destination she would be gone.
Here is where our journey begins at Laurelwood Lane otherwise known as "The Avenue" by family members. When I was a little girl this was mostly cleared and blackberry bushes lined either side of the avenue. I remember picking blackberries with my brothers and sisters and riding a horse for the first time down the avenue. I have asked my siblings to share with me any of their thougths and stories about Laurelwood and I have a very informative story that my brother Doug Campbell shared.( I will be posting it soon.) I learned a lot of family history that I didn't know about. With me being the youngest of the 5 children that my parents had, I recall a lot of the stories but not all of the details. I hope that with writing these stories out and people commenting, that we can sharpen the details and fill in some missing pieces. I'm so glad you are on this journey with me.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
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.