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, October 22, 2011

Mystery Photos

Here are a few mystery photos.  These photographs belonged to Lillie Campbell Dunn and are now in the possession of her granddaughters.  If you have any information about these photographs or possibly can identify the persons please leave a comment or send a personal email to me at

Mystery Photo #1
Mystery Photo #2

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Keeping the Legacy Alive

What an exciting day of sharing information about family history.  My Saturday started early with the Fort Jackson Landowners Descendants Reunion.  Reggie Seay, a great, great, great, great (not sure how many greats) grandson of James Seay who we believe was the builder of Laurelwood, did a wonderful presentation of the history of Laurelwood.  His presentation included some amazing video which showed the original hand hewn beams that Laurelwood was constructed with are still structurally sound and intact.  They don't build houses like this anymore.  Laurelwood was built to last!

Reggie Seay doing a presentation on Laurelwood
Reggie has also done some extensive research about his family.  I am looking forward to learning more about James Seay and possibly finding the sites of other plantation homes he may have built.  It has been a blessing to get to know the descendants of James & Sarah Seay. I think it's pretty amazing how an old southern plantation is still at work bringing families together, uniting the past with the present.

Photo by Cliff Tucker
 Also on display at the Ft. Jackson Landowners Reuinion was a series of paintings of brother and sister Jasper & Lillie Campbell painted by family member Florence Keels wife of the late Thomas "Buddy" Bailey Keels the grandson of Mary Julia (Campbell)Bailey who was also sister to Jasper Hampton Campbell.  Florence wrote to me after she saw my blog back in July of 2010.  We have been corresponding since then and she has shared with me so much great information about our relatives.  Florence feels about Laurelwood the way I do.  It's a special place that holds lots of memories of love and laughter.  It's hard to explain if you've never felt a certain way about a place but there is something different about this piece of property that when you step onto the grounds you just know you are on an extraordinary piece of the planet!
Paintings done from old photographs by Florence Keels photo by Cliff Tucker
I have to admit one of the highlights of the day was meeting Florence in person.  I already felt as if I knew her because we have been corresponding through email. But it was a delight to actually meet her in person.  She and her son drove down to SC especially for the Landowners Reunion.
To top off an already great day, we were invited out to the country home of my cousin Becky Dunn (Lillie Campbell Dunn's) granddaughter.  Becky and I also connected through Florence and my blog.  We didn't even know each other existed until last year.  Becky invited us out to her home for an evening meal.  When I stepped out of the car at her house I thought I had "died and gone to heaven"!  Gorgeous house, barn, horses, flowers, garden all out in the country.
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, Florence presented Becky and me with one of the portraits she had painted.  Becky received the one of her Grandmother Lillie Campbell and I received the one of my Grandfather Jasper Hampton Campbell.  Here we are in the photo below with Florence in the middle.  I was beyond thrilled to be the recipient of the painting of my Grandfather.

Florence in the middle presented her paintings to Becky and me.
We had a delightful evening together.  Becky's sister Bobbie and her husband Randy were there also.  Florence and her son Michael (who is an outstanding piano player) were there. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  We walked out to an old barn that's over a hundred years old and I just had to show you a picture because it is so beautiful.  Note, this property is not at laurelwood but just wanted to show it because it is incredible.
Florence and her son Michael in front of 100+ year old barn

Close-up of wooden barn with pine beams
Look at the construction of this barn!  Solid as a rock!!!  Does anybody else get as excited as I do with history and seeing these rare treasures?  I love it!  Would you just look at those pine beams and how they fit together to construct this barn.  I think it's quite fascinating.
All in all, it was a wonderful day of learning about our history and developing relationships and keeping the legacy of Laurelwood alive.