The Foundation depends heavily on the skilled stewardship of staff and volunteers in preserving and interpreting the collections at Middleton Place and the Edmondston-Alston House. For many visitors, the most endeared part of our collection is the historic breeds at Middleton Place. The animals are essential to interpreting the site’s over 300 years of shared history. The Stableyards staff takes pride in ensuring all the animals receive a high standard of continual care. Each year the Stableyards staff puts on a fantastic fundraising event for special projects. The annual “Art in the Barn” event is an evening under the stars with a BBQ, live music, drinks, a silent auction, and an art sale. This year the funds raised will be used to complete the upgrade of the paddocks for the animals.
To shed more insight on some of the herculean efforts of passionate care for the animals, Stableyards Managers Hannah Carter and Matt Jackson shares their experience caring for Peggy, a Gulf Coast Sheep who suffered from a broken leg. Because of Hannah’s efforts, Peggy is still alive and roaming Middleton Place today. Hannah initially described her reaction to Peggy’s cry for help as “a situation when fight or flight kicked in, and we first needed to calm Peggy.” Unfortunately, Peggy had gotten stuck in the fencing surrounding the Stableyards and began to jerk herself out, causing her to break her leg. Luckily, as it was, the break was clean, and there was an opportunity to save Peggy’s life. With the help of the Stableyards staff, Peggy was transported adequately to a long-time veterinarian on Isle of Palms. Hannah eloquently humored that “Peggy was probably the first sheep from Middleton Place to see the ocean.” The veterinarian was then able to put a cast on Peggy; however, he told Hannah, “the care that you’ll need to have is going to be in high demand, she’ll need to be heavily monitored, and any sudden, jerking movement could result in further damage.”
In the same vein of pride within the Foundation’s mission for historic preservation, guest services, or the culinary standard of the Food and Beverage Team, Hannah and Matt did not give up on Peggy. It was a long three months of healing, and as Hannah described it, “each day was a significant day of progress, and each day, Peggy was moving better.” By the end of the second month, Peggy was in a routine of increased physical therapy, and by the end of her retraining, Peggy was back to her usual self, grazing the greensward of Middleton Place. As Hannah and Matt neared the end of sharing this story, Hannah stated, “we care an awful lot about the animals here, they have become a part of the Foundation family, and even the thought of losing any of them makes us emotional.”
The Foundation’s mission is the continued stewardship of natural and cultural resources that tell the story of Middleton Place and the Edmondston-Alston House. This effort is not completed alone; instead, it is a community-wide push to strive for excellence in all we do. People like Hannah Carter and Matt Jackson’s team make Middleton Place function day in and day out. Without the animals of Middleton Place, the rich and complex story of this national historic site would be only partially experienced by our guests.
by Brandon Stone, Engagement Manager, Middleton Place Foundation