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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I like to think of the people who have ties to Laurelwood as my Laurelwood Family.  Beginning with the Seay's, then the Campbell's, and now as we are welcoming new owners into the Laurelwood Family there is a connection of history, memories and new beginnings that entwine our lives together.  If you are reading this and you are part of the Laurelwood Family let me invite you to a family gathering.  This will be a time to join together to remember, reflect and to anticipate the revival of a historic home.  This will also be a chance to meet the newest addition of the Laurelwood Family, the new owners!!!  I am thrilled about this couple who are very passionate about learning the family history and restoring the home, gardens and property to it's former glory as they make Laurelwood their home.  This is a time to celebrate the re-birth of a family home!!!

Laurelwood Family Gathering
Friday, April 15th, 2011 
at 2 O'clock in the afternoon
at
Laurelwood Plantation

Please provide a light refreshment to share and bring any photos, documents, etc that you would like to display. You can contact me by email at sodizzymomof5@yahoo.com if you need more info, etc.

Let the Avenue lead you home once again.....
The Avenue

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The slave cabin

Laurelwood at one time was a working plantation that had slaves.  There may have been up to 17 slave cabins that were located behind the house. Here is what remains of one of those structures.

 From some of my research I am glad to say that my family ancestors who were slave owners were good and kind and loving to those who shared a life with them on the plantation.  Even after slavery ended the workers stayed on and were treated as part of the family.  Well into the 1960's there were descendants of the earlier slaves who lived on the property of Laurelwood and helped as groundskeeper and helped my aunts out with other work around the house.  I have been trying to locate some of those descendants.  If you are reading this and would have any information that would help me, please feel free to leave me a comment.

A few old photos.

I am fascinated with the old photos of family that have been sent to me by family members that I have become newly acquainted with.  I am sure that there is a lot more out there that have information about the history of Laurelwood and the Campbell and Seay families. Here is my great grandmother Nancy Jane who was married to Thomas Belton Campbell.  Their son was Jasper Hampton Campbell (my Grandfather) who purchased Laurelwood in 1908.  Laurelwood was actually the Campbell's Summer home .  The main plantation was the Leesburg Plantation. The summers were spent at Laurelwood because it was cooler closer to the river. When the Leesburg plantation burned to the ground the family moved over to Laurelwood permanently. I am not sure what year that took place.  The Leesburg Plantation was located somewhere in the vicinity where Leesburg road ends at highway 601.
Nancy Jane McCaskill Campbell
Photo courtesy of Becky Allen
Here is a great old photo of my great grandmother Nancy Jane Campbell and my great Aunt Lillie Campbell.  The dresses are beautiful!
Lillie and Nancy Jane Campbell
Photo courtesy of Becky Allen