Visit the Plantation Stableyards for a look at 18th and 19th century working plantation life. In the Stableyards African American slaves cared for the animals and performed agriculture-related chores. The skilled slaves were also responsible for making tools, pottery, clothing, and other products to support a fully functioning plantation.
Many of the same breeds of water buffalo, sheep, goats, Guinea hogs and poultry, documented to have been at Middleton Place over the past two centuries, can still be seen today in the Plantation Stableyards. A weaver, cooper, carpenter, potter and blacksmith are at work demonstrating the skills practiced by artisan slaves. Craft demonstrators and interpretive guides discuss slavery and plantation life from the earliest periods through Emancipation, Reconstruction and the first half of the 20th century.
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Plantation Stableyards which have been rejuvenated with the installation of period-correct fencing. Black locust posts and rails, define enclosures for large animals of historic breeds that are used today much as they would have been by the Middletons hundreds of years ago. Within the Stableyards, a weaver, cooper, carpenter, potter and blacksmith are at work demonstrating the skills practiced by artisan slaves at Middleton Place.
"Meet the Breeds" Guided Tour (30 minutes)
A guide will lead the tour through the Stableyards paddocks to meet different animal breeds and learn about their historical significance to Middleton Place, the local area, and the state of South Carolina. The animals located in the Stableyards are what are referred to as "Heritage Breeds" – that is, they represent the types of animals that would have been found on a plantation like this at one time or another. The types of animals found in the Stableyards were assembled by using the Middleton Place Agricultural Censuses of 1850 / 1860 and from various letters, inventories, and receipts found in the Middleton Place archives. For those interested in the animal husbandry practices of an 18th and 19th century Low Country Plantation, this tour is a must. Offered daily at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.
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