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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I love this glimpse into SC history and it makes it even more special to know that this article was written by family.  Below is an excerpt from a book written by Thomas D. Bailey who was the son of Mary Julia Campbell and Rev. Samuel Bailey.  Thomas would have been the nephew of my grandfather Jasper Hampton Campbell who he mentions in the article below.  I love the description of what life was like on a southern plantation in the lower richland area. 
From the book "An Odyssey in Education" by Thomas David Bailey information provided by Florence Keels

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Historian scheduled to spend the night in slave cabin!

"Ol' Mac's"  Cabin
Great news! Historian and National Trust officer Joe McGill is planning to spend the night at Laurelwood Plantation in one of the existing slave quarters.  Mr. McGill has traveled around SC and spent the night in other slave cabins on old plantations and properties to raise awareness about preservation.  He is planning to stay in the structure that we called Ol'Mac's cabin.
    According to my aunts, Ol Mac was a descendent of slaves or laborers that worked on the plantation.  As best as I can remember, he was given this cabin to live in while he served as a caretaker/groundskeeper of the property.  I think he may have still been around in the '60's.  I remember my Daddy taking us down to Ol'Mac's cabin where we would set up old tin cans and practice shooting the rifle.
  I will have more information SOON about Mr. McGill's sleepover but I was just so excited about it that I couldn't wait to share.  In conjunction with this event will be a gathering at Laurelwood of family members from the the Seay and Campbell families.  Keep checking back as I will post details as soon as I have them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I get so excited when someone shares photos with me of family members, especially these older photos.  Aren't they incredible!!!  Below is a photo of Mary Julia Campbell who was a sister to Jasper Hampton Campbell.  She lived at Laurelwood from 1932 until she died in 1954.  
Photo courtesy of Florence Keels
Mary Julia married Rev. Samuel D. Bailey, pictured below.
Photo courtesy of Florence Keels
I was provided this information along with the photos from Mrs. Florence Keels who married the grandson of Mary Julia Campbell, the late Thomas Bailey Keels.  You may recognize Mary Julia's grandson as "Bunky" Keels who was famous as an entertainer/musician who played with The Blue Boys and Jim Reeves.  In the photo below he is playing the saxophone.
Photo credit Jim Reeves Fan Club
He also is on Chubby Checker's recording of the Twist!!!!!
I am so thankful for the opportunity to connect with Florence Keels and look forward to one day meeting her face to face.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I found some old photos recently of the Big House and some of the times that I spent there that I wanted to share from way back when.......

 Would you look at my outfit!!!!!! That's me in the front with the long hair and my brother Doug and my cousin (on my mother's side) in between.  We were standing in front of the house. I was 13! Yes! Way back when.......
 Here I am as a baby with my mother holding me. We were on the front steps of the Big House (Laurelwood). This was taken in 1963.
 In 1989 me and Aunt Margaret were at the kitchen table.  We had been discussing silverware patterns.  She had pulled out some of the family silverware and we were going over the many different styles that there were, formal, informal, casual etc.  I attribute many of my southern graces from my aunts.
 Another photo of me and Aunt Margaret in the formal living room.  I used to love the painting that is behind us. I want to say that it was painted by a family member but I don't know for sure. I just remember that I used to like to look at it. I wonder what happened to it.
Here is a rare photo of me and my Daddy also taken in the formal living room. I am the youngest of five so there weren't a lot of photos of me. In fact this might just be the only photo I have of me and my Daddy.  I would love to see some more family photos, so if you are reading this blog and you have any photos of the Big House (Laurelwood) and family I would love to share them.  Also, if you have any stories or memories please contact me.