Jus' Moseyin' - WEEK 2

Tues-Thurs, January 15-17: Charleston

Hampton Plantation On the way to Charleston, we stopped in the seaport of Georgetown, founded in 1729, to visit the Rice Museum and see the historic homes. By 1840, almost half the rice in the U.S. was grown in this area, and Georgetown exported more rice, known as Carolina Gold, than any city in the world. Rice and another local product, indigo, created the wealthy plantation society of the old South. None of this was possible without slaves, and throughout the 1800s, 85% of the area population was slaves.  South of Georgetown we  visited the Hampton Plantation, a rice plantation during the 18th & 19th centuries with a c. 1750 Georgian-style mansion overlooking the remains of century-old rice fields on Hampton Island.

SeeWee Seafood HouseOne of the RV books had recommended the SeeWee Seafood House right on US 17, so we  stopped there for a dinner of  she-crab soup, stone crab claws and fried catfish & oysters.  We had to drive over a few cars to get out of their little parking lot, but it was worth it.
Horse & Buggy
     Sweetgrass BasketweaverFor 3 days, we camped on James Island about 5 miles south of Charleston.  We took the  campground  shuttle into Charleston, bought an all-day trolley pass, and rode  it to  the SC  Aquarium then to the City  Market where we watched women weaving sweet-grass baskets.  Next, we took a leisurely horse & buggy tour around historic Charleston where David, our guide, told us delightful stories about the historic homes, Rainbow Row,  The Battery and other points of interest.  Before taking the shuttle back to the campground, we got a  dozen huge raw oysters at A. W. Shucks by the Market.  By  4:30, we  were  back at our camp site, fixing dinner and making a camp fire to settle in for a relaxing night.


Manigault House The next day we drove back into Charleston again and spent a couple of hours in the Charleston Museum, America's first and oldest museum.  Rainbow RowIt houses everything  from prehistoric dinosaur skeletons and  Egyptian mummies to early Carolina artifacts and stuffed native birds and animals in natural settings.  We also toured the furnished Joseph Manigault House (left), which  was built in 1803 in the neoclassical Federal style.  EBay_Street.jpg (64532 bytes)And of course, we couldn't resist taking a picture of this street marker embedded into one of the intersections we crossed! After  a walk around the town to check out  the shops, we had a  wonderful Charleston dish called Shrimp & Grits at the Charleston Crab House on James Island.  

Fri-Sat, January 18-19: Savannah & Jekyll Island, GA

Midway MuseumGoing down US 17 to Savannah, GA, we detoured and unhitched our dingy to go into Beaufort, SC (pronounced Beefort by the local folkal), where Midway Church we stopped in Plums Waterfront Cafe for some seafood soup and a stuffed portabella sandwich and walked around this historic waterfront town.  Then, after a side trip to Hilton Head Island, we finally arrived in Savannah.  Our first night in Georgia we square  danced with the  Geechee  Goofers.  We continued down US 17 the next day, stopping at the Midway Museum in Liberty County.  The only Colonial museum in Georgia, it was a raised cottage-style house typical of those built on the coast in the 18th century.  In front of the museum, there was a Confederate flag, fitting since it was January 19, Robert E. Lee's birthday.  Next door was the Midway Church, built in 1792.  They gave us a 2-pound brass key to unlock the church and look around inside.

     A few miles down the road we saw this sign and just had to stop.  It was  probably true, because  the  church appeared to be about 7 feet wide by 15 feet long at the most (the shed in our backyard is bigger!).  Jim is standing there to help show the scale, and he's only 5'5" tall himself :-)  The nondenominational church was erected in 1950 and deeded to Jesus Christ in 1967.

Smallest Church Smallest Church

Live Oak TreeHowfyl-Broadfield PlantationA few miles further, we toured the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, owned by the same  family for 5 generations.  Originally a very profitable rice  plantation until the Civil War, it later became a dairy farm and was eventually given to The Nature Conservancy by the last owner,  Ophelia Dent.  The  Live Oak tree in the backyard,  pictured on the left, is over 500 years old and has Spanish Moss, common in  this area, hanging from it.   Most interesting was the servants' house which was typical of the quarters  for both house and field slaves of the time.  There were 2 families in each house as the quarters were actually duplexes.  Pictured below are the 3 rooms inside each end of the house: living room, kitchen and bedroom.

Hofwyl-Broadfield Hofwyl-Broadfield Hofwyl-Broadfield

     We camped in the Jekyll Island State Park campground.  Interestingly, they charge you a $3 parking fee to enter the Island even if you are camping there because the whole Island is a State Park, and if you leave the Georgia Pig Island, as we did to go to dinner, they charge you  $3 again to get back on it the same day.  But the island is beautiful and well worth it.  It was purchased in 1886 by some of America's wealthiest families like Rockefeller, Roosevelt, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, Macy, and Goodyear, who built summer homes called "Club Cottages."   As we suspected, the  GeorgiaPig_Pig.jpg (111010 bytes)"cottages" were more like castles and mansions and amazing to see.  We ate dinner at  the world-famous Georgia Pig in Brunswick just outside Jekyll Island, where their sign says "real pit Barbecue."  The place is charmingly rustic inside and out, and the barbeque is great.  Celebrities, such as Britney Spears and many others, have eaten there.  We went back there again for an early lunch the next morning only to find out that someone had stolen all six of their Pig Signs (like this one on the left) last night!  The Georgia State Police, who thought it rather funny, wrote "theft of painted livestock" on their report.

Sun & Mon, January 20 & 21: Jacksonville & St. Augustine, FL

St. Johns Ferry     Our next stop was Jacksonville, FL, only 50 miles away, just 20 miles or so across the State line.  After taking another short Ferry ride across the St. John's River, we camped in Hanna Park in a pull-thru site right next to their lake.  Later, we went to Singleton's Seafood Shack right next to the Ferry we came over on where we got smoked fish dip, deviled crabs, and poached sheephead (a fish we had seen earlier at the SC Aquarium).

Oldest Wooden School     Monday we spent the day in St. Augustine, FL, home of America's first permanent European settlement in 1565 (20 years before the first Jamestown settlement known as the "Lost Colony").  Florida was first claimed by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 for Spain, then taken by France, then  England, Spain again, England again, then lastly Spain again who finally sold it to the United States in 1821 for 5 million dollars.   Hopping on one of the sightseeing train tours, we visited America's oldest house, drugstore, churches and Flagler College the oldest wooden schoolhouse which was built in the early 1700's with wooden pegs and handmade nails.  The Flagler College (originally the Hotel Ponce de Leon) was  built by Henry Flagler (one of Rockefeller's Standard Oil partners), and was an amazing example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.  We also toured the Castillo de San Marcus, an old fort which was first built in 1672 and took 23 years to complete.  Harry's Seafood  Bar & Grille on the Matanzas Riverfront (formerly Bay of the  Dolphins) was our choice for dinner with crawfish soup and Cajun shrimp Po Boys.

Castilla De San Marcos     Yellow RockersWe got back to our campsite with just enough time to get ready for  a square dance in Jacksonville with the Yellow Rockers that night--great people, great caller and great fun!