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.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hard Hat Tour

We had a great time last weekend at Laurelwood! We are so grateful that we were invited to attend a "hard hat" tour and to have the opportunity to gather with some family & friends and make new friends.
Mike Bedenbaugh Director of the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation
 It was an absolutely gorgeous day as people from all over gathered at the steps to the "Big House" as Mike Bedenbaugh, the director of the Palmetto Trust, welcomed us and invited us in to see restoration and renovations "in process".
The Seays have arrived!
 The descendants of the builder of the house, the Seay family traveled quite a distance to participate in the event.  It is always a delight to see them.  I love the fact that our families have been united by this great home!
Jeremy, Jenny, Mike and Myra
 I am so grateful to the new owners who have allowed the Seays and the Campbells to come together and celebrate the renovation and preservation of this spectacular property. I'm forever grateful!!!

Hand hewn beams
 The heart pine wooden beams are exposed & you can see the incredible workmanship that has stood the test of time!
 Tons of plaster has been removed. Lots of work going on here!!!
 I love telling my kids about the memories I have of this place. Lots of great memories here!
Headed to the cabin
We walked down the road to see the renovations on the former slave cabin that is on the property. I could hardly believe the restoration.  It looks fantastic!
My husband checking out the cabin
When I was a little girl, my Daddy would take me and my brother down to this cabin and we would set up tin cans outside and practice shooting the rifle.
 I was so glad to see my cousin Nancy at Laurelwood.  She actually lived in this cabin from the time she was a baby until she was six or seven years old.  She has wonderful memories of living with her family in this cabin as a child.
Nancy Louise & Me (Myra Grace)
 We enjoyed visiting and reminiscing about great family memories.

2 of our kids inside the cabin
The children really enjoyed the chance to be able to walk around inside the cabin.
I loved the color of the wood here.  I was so proud of all that had been accomplished.  The preservation of SC history is so important.
Hope you enjoyed a little peek of what's been happening at Laurelwood!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Preservation & Restoration is a Must

While driving this morning, I was listening to a radio program out of Rock Hill. I'm not sure what station it was on but what caught my attention was that the program was about preservation & restoration of endangered properties in SC.  The gentleman speaking was Lois Roman of the organization Citizens for Historic Preservation.  He spoke about encouraging the public to get involved in saving endangered properties and the historical importance of preserving history.  I thought about just how close Laurelwood came to being lost forever.  We believe that it was within 6 months of collapsing when the new owners were able to get the foundation secure.  I am forever grateful to the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation for stepping in when they did in an effort to save Laurelwood. I am exceedingly grateful to the new owners who had a vision and a dream to restore Laurelwood.  With much sacrifice and blood, sweat and tears on their part we are seeing this dream realized! Thank you just doesn't seem to be enough to say to them.

Anyway, back to the radio program....Lois Roman was talking about the importance of knowing the history of a property. Learning about the people who lived there and stories tied to the property give the property a personality! I thought this was so great and this idea was one of the reasons that I wanted to start this blog.  I wanted to preserve the stories of Laurelwood and the memory of the people that lived there.

The Seay's
The Campbells
Many people have lived under the roof of the Big House or on the property of what is called Laurelwood Plantation.  Finding out about these people and the lives they lived there will continue to shape the personality of the house.  Also the new owners will add their own personality to the property, continuing to give life to Laurelwood.  
I am excited to have the opportunity to be at Laurelwood once again this coming weekend.  The Seays and the Campbells will meet up again along with other friends and family at the second "Laurelwood Gathering".  
Preservation and Restoration is a must if we are to continue teaching children about history and if we are to continue learning from the past.  Please make an effort to be involved in some way with the preservation and restoration of  historical properties.