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Middleton Place

The Middleton Place Blog

Learn about History, Special Events and Middleton Place News

27 February 2015

March Brings Special Interpretive Programs to Middleton Place

Posted in News

Indigo dyeing and cashmere demonstrations to be held

March Brings Special Interpretive Programs to Middleton Place

The Middleton Place Plantation Stableyards is a living outdoor museum where guests experience the sights, sounds and living history of a Low Country rice plantation daily. Interpreters demonstrate the skills once performed by enslaved Africans, while heritage breed animals live and work as they would have in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors to the Plantation Stableyards this March may experience two special presentations in addition to daily programming: Indigo Dyeing on March 14 and Cashmere Demonstration on March 20.

 

13 February 2015

2015 CAMELLIA WALKS UNDER WAY WITH KICKOFF WEEKEND

Posted in News

Middleton Place's Sidney Frazier, Shares Tips for Caring for Camellias

2015 CAMELLIA WALKS UNDER WAY WITH KICKOFF WEEKEND

Last Saturday, February 7, the Camellia Walks Kickoff culminated when Sidney Frazier, Middleton Place’s Vice President for Horticulture, brought his camellia class to the most sacred spot in the Gardens: the place where French botanist Andre Michaux planted America's oldest camellia, the Reine des Fleurs, in 1786.

Frazier brought his class there to demonstrate the “air laying” method that allows him to grow an exact replica of the mother plant, which can then be removed and potted separately, allowing the legacy of the Reine des Fleurs to continue through the new plant. Those gathered watched as Frazier separated the branches of the mother plant, allowing him to bring out the new one.

This walk out to the Reine des Fleurs capped off a day of camellia care and maintenance tips from Frazier, who has been tending and overseeing Middleton Place’s renowned 4,000 camellia trees for now three decades. Some of those tips shared by Frazier with attendees included:

For Camellia planting:

·        Dig a hole at least two feet wider than the root ball.  Leave soil in the center of the hole undisturbed to prevent settling. Place ball on a column of soil—the  top of ball should be slightly above soil level.  Fill the hole around the root ball with a mixture of topsoil and organic matter.

04 February 2015

New Tomb Marker Placed in the Gardens

Posted in News

New Tomb Marker Placed in the Gardens

On January 29, a granite marker was added to the Bosquet within the Gardens that holds the Middleton Family Tomb. The marker outlines members of the Middleton family that influenced the history of Middleton Place.

04 February 2015

Black History Month Celebrated at Middleton Place

Posted in News

Black History Month Celebrated at Middleton Place

In recognition of Black History Month, Middleton Place will host a special presentation of Spiritual Songs with Dr. Naima Johnston-Bush at Eliza’s House, an 1870 freedman’s cabin, at 12 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 15. Dr. Johnston-Bush’s presentation will focus on the Negro Spiritual as a historical American art form and explore its impact on different musical genres from the 1600s to the present. As spirituals are sung, the stories and little known facts behind them bring each song to life.

Additionally, guests are invited to participate in daily interactive programming in the Living History Stableyards throughout the entire month of February. Daily programming includes “Beyond the Fields” Walking Tours and the exhibit Beyond the Fields: Slavery at Middleton Place that focuses on the daily lives of slaves and their work.

14 January 2015

Special Educational Opportunity at Middleton Place

Independent Scholars Day — Friday, January 30

Special Educational Opportunity at Middleton Place

On Friday, January 30, Middleton Place will dedicate programming to students who receive their education outside of traditional schools.  Students and chaperones will have special “Beyond the Fields” tours to investigate the lives & culture of enslaved people and “Meet the Breeds” tours to interact with heritage breed animals that are documented to have been at Middleton Place.  Special “hands-on” learning activities in the Plantation Stableyards and demonstration rice field will include rice processing, candle making and colonial games.

All activities will take place from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm.  Special Admission for the Independent Scholars Day is $11.00 per student and $12.00 per chaperone.  For reservations or questions, please contact Greg Smith, Director of Education at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click HERE to download the Independent Scholars Day flyer >>

07 January 2015

Warm Up to Good Beer

Posted in Food and Drink

Middleton Place Restaurant presents 5th annual Braise & Brew dinner

Warm Up to Good Beer

The Middleton Place Restaurant will celebrate the beers of winter on January 24 with the 5th annual Braise & Brew beer dinner at Middleton Place. Braise & Brew is a feast of braised food prepared by the Middleton Place Restaurant paired with beers crafted by Holy City Brewing. Executive Chef Brandon Buck and his team visited the brewery in December, sitting down with head brewer Chris Brown to sample beers, discuss flavor profiles and plan a spectacular beer dinner. After due consideration, Buck released a menu designed to maximize the harmony of specific dishes with complementary beers. 

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. as guests are welcomed to the Middleton Place Pavilion, where a warm fire will be crackling in the fireplace. A welcome course of Tequila-Aged Old Man Helles (5.0% alcohol by volume, or ABV), a helles-style blonde lager and assorted cheeses will be served.

06 January 2015

Experience Winter’s Beauty

Posted in News

Camellia Walks return to Middleton Place with special programming to kick off the season!

Experience Winter’s Beauty

Camellias, a southern landscape favorite, show off a blaze of color throughout the winter months. Middleton family history holds that in the year 1786 French botanist Andrè Michaux gave the Middletons some of the first camellias to be planted in an American garden. Today, Middleton Place has over 4,000 camellias, many over 220 years old, including one of the four original Michaux plants, which is known at Middleton Place as the “Reine des Fleurs” or “Queen of Flowers.”

Blooming during the depths of winter, the fragile beauty of camellias enhance the Middleton Place Gardens with thousands of blossoms, ranging in color from pristine white to all shades of red and pink. Guests may learn about this magnificent plant on a Camellia Walk, held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday beginning February 10 and continuing through March 21. The camellia-focused guided Garden tours will begin at 11 a.m. at the Garden Market & Nursery and last approximately an hour and a half.

The 2015 Camellia season kicks off with a weekend of events highlighting the camellia. Beauty & History: Celebrating Camellias at Middleton Place begins on Saturday, February 7. 

26 December 2014

Tri-County Area Appreciation Special at Middleton Place

Posted in News

Adult admission reduced by 50% through the month of January for Low Country residents

Tri-County Area Appreciation Special at Middleton Place

Residents of the local Charleston Tri-County area (Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley) receive 50% off ADULT General Admission in January.

Offer is only valid on adult admission purchased in person at the Middleton Place Visitor Center upon arrival. Guests must present a valid South Carolina ID showing an address located within the Tri-County area. This offer is not available through online ticketing. Details below.

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, as a way to say “thank you” Middleton Place National Historic Landmark, invites you to visit during the month of January and enjoy half-price Adult admission.  For residents of the Tri-county area, the special rate provides a nice opportunity to bring guests and enjoy a leisurely day surrounded by the quiet beauty of America’s Oldest Landscaped gardens. 

Admission includes access to the Gardens and Stableyards, with complimentary half-hour Garden tours given on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The colorful Camellia japonicas and sasanquas should be at their most beautiful in just weeks.

Also included in General Admission are the “Beyond the Fields” tour, exploring the life of enslaved people and their importance to the rice culture offered daily at 11:00am and 1:00pm and the “Meet the Breeds” tour where guests will discover the numerous heritage breed animals who live in the Plantation Stableyards.

Complete your visit with lunch in the Garden Market and shopping in the Museum Shop.  Museum House tours and Carriage tours are available daily for an additional cost. In order to receive the discount, Low Country residents must identify themselves at the Visitor Center and present a valid S.C. photo ID.

03 December 2014

An Historic Holiday Brought to Life

Posted in News

Middleton Place presents Grand Illumination: Christmas 1782

An Historic Holiday Brought to Life

Grand Illumination marks the 232nd anniversary of the end of the Revolution in Charleston and the return of Arthur Middleton after his time as a prisoner-of-war. The Gardens and House Museum are illuminated by starlight, torchlight and candlelight. Guests join actors in period costume on a walking tour as they give theatrical accounts of events of the season. The evening concludes with a traditional holiday buffet. The event will be held three nights: Thursday, Dec. 18, Friday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20.

Christmas 1782 would have been a special holiday season for the Middletons at Middleton Place because of two historic events. In late November, Arthur Middleton had returned to Middleton Place after a two-year absence from his home, his wife Mary and their six young children. Also, the much anticipated evacuation of Charleston by the British army finally took place on December 14 of that momentous year. The Middleton family was together again and the War for Independence, at least in the South, was over.  And so, Middleton Place is remembering that remarkable Christmas season with a special evening event: Grand Illumination: Christmas 1782.

“Illumination” can be defined as lighting up, brightening or decorating with light. It also means to illustrate, explain or interpret. Grand Illumination at Middleton Place is an event embodying all meanings of the word. Guests can stroll along torch-lit Garden paths, interact with costumed interpreters, visit the House Museum by glowing candlelight, learn more about that exceptional Christmas tide, and enjoy seasonal music and refreshments. The Grand Illumination, with its theatrical approach to the Middleton story, provides the perfect beginning to this holiday season by recalling an extraordinary Christmas of 232 years ago.

03 December 2014

Family Yuletide Returns to Middleton Place

Posted in News

Wreath and holiday decor making and candlelit craft shops in the Stableyards

Family Yuletide Returns to Middleton Place

The annual Family Yuletide returns to the Plantation Stableyards on Saturday, Dec. 13. Wreath and ornament-making, along with warm fires, candlelit craft shops, a live nativity and refreshments await visitors at the annual family-friendly event. 

As with all activities at Middleton Place, Family Yuletide is grounded in the Christmas traditions of the Old South.  Working by candlelight, Stableyards artisans will be practicing the crafts of the skilled workers that kept Low Country plantations supplied with the manufactured goods needed for everyday life and work.  The blacksmith, potter, cooper and seamstress will be available to visitors interested in learning more about the roles their positions played at Middleton Place in the 18th century.  Returning to the event is a live nativity scene that will include several animals from the Stableyards at 7 p.m. 

Grape vines, holly berries, evergreen clippings and other natural materials will be provided for wreath making. Children and adults may create peanut butter pine cone bird feeders, along with “twiss up” dolls, rag quilt and felt ornaments and popcorn and cranberry garland. Volunteers will be on hand at each craft station to instruct and assist visitors on how to create a holiday masterpiece.

For the second year, Family Yuletide offers participants a way to spread holiday cheer through donations to two worthy, local charities.  Bring a non-perishable food item and/or cat food and receive a ticket to the Yuletide raffle for prizes.  Middleton Place Foundation memberships, Middleton Place fleece blankets, and much more will be raffled off following the live nativity.  Food donations will go to the Lowcountry Food Bank, a Charleston-based organization that helps to feed over 200,000 families, children and seniors each year, while the Feline Freedom Coalition in Ravenel will receive the cat food donations to assist the hundreds of homeless cats in the area.

03 December 2014

Experience Christmas in Charleston, 1860

Posted in News

Historic holiday brought to life at the Edmondston-Alston House

Experience Christmas in Charleston, 1860

Christmas in 1860 Charleston was an exciting time for the people of the city. While men hailed the wisdom of secession from the United States, women and children were eagerly anticipating a splendid Christmas Day. Christmas 1860 — an annual production of the Middleton Place Foundation — brings the Antebellum holiday to life, combining the splendor of the seasonally-decorated Edmondston-Alston House with the drama of the historic events of the day. Visitors will be guided through the candle-lit house and meet members of the extended Alston family in each room. Actors in period costume will give dramatic re-enactments of the conversations of a family filled with Christmas spirit, while on the brink war. Continuous tours are given from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 and 12 at the Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East Battery, downtown.

Visitors will meet Charles Alston and his nephew, Williams Middleton, a signer of the Ordinance of Secession, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of leaving the Union, Alston’s daughter, Susan, busy decorating the home in fine Victorian fashion and preparing for the annual holiday balls, and an enslaved family servant who is excited about the holiday but weary of secession. The tour concludes with hot cider and cookies in the courtyard.

03 November 2014

Spanish Goats join the Heritage Breeds at Middleton Place

Posted in News

Two Spanish Goats enhance educational programming

Spanish Goats join the Heritage Breeds at Middleton Place

Two heritage breed Spanish goats, also called Brush or Scrub goats, were delivered to the Plantation Stableyards at Middleton Place on Thursday, October 30. They join the important livestock collection that includes Gulf Coast Native sheep, Cashmere goats, Dominique chickens, Guinea hogs, Jersey cows and Water Buffalo.  The collection represents the specific breeds that research and documentation indicates were, or likely were, kept at Middleton Place and other Middleton family plantations for at least 150 years. The livestock helps tell the story of generations of enslaved people who lived and worked at Middleton Place 

Spanish goats were brought from Europe by early explorers and they made their way into the American South by the 17th century. Reports from Charles Towne in 1670 stated that “sheep and goats thrive here very well”. Researchers believe this is a reference to Spanish goats and Gulf Coast Native sheep. The goats adapted to the hot and humid conditions in the south and they became valued as a ready source of milk and meat. In addition, their hides were tanned for leather. Spanish goats became an integral part of early subsistence farming― leaving cattle for draft power and export markets.

29 October 2014

Fall Harvest time and “Her-story” presented at Middleton Place

Posted in News

The Plantation Stableyards bustle during Annual Plantation Days Celebration

Fall Harvest time and “Her-story” presented at Middleton Place

The Middleton Place Plantation Stableyards is a living outdoor museum interpreting 18th and 19th century plantation life every day.  On Nov. 15 and 16, 2014, the Plantation Stableyards activities will be greatly expanded when the National Historic Landmark presents Plantation Days – a harvest-time experience where more than 40 costumed interpreters and volunteers demonstrate the activities that helped sustain a South Carolina plantation.  Programming will include sugarcane processing, cooking, basket weaving, tool making and hide tanning, as well as a new presentation “Her-story: Women’s Work” — a ladies camp focusing on work done by women of the 18th and 19th centuries.

“This year we are trying to give a more detailed experience of plantation life, particularly that of women.” Neale says. The Colonial Ladies Society has partnered with Middleton Place to bring “Her-story” to life with various demonstrations, including carding/spinning wool and cotton, textile dyeing, soap making, natural medicines, laundry and food preservation. Additionally presentations on skills of men, such as cooper/carpenter, hide tanning, blacksmith, horn and tool making will be given, as well as, hands-on activities including pinch pots and candle making.

"The interpretive framework of the Gardens and House Museum is told primarily from the Middleton family’s point-of-view,” says Stableyards Interpretive Manager Jeff Neale. “The goal of Plantation Days is also to present a microcosm of daily plantation life in the Stableyards through the lens of the enslaved Africans and African Americans who were here, and illustrate the necessary means for sustaining a working and active plantation.”

03 October 2014

Environmentally Sensitive Practices at Middleton Place

Posted in News

500 million Beneficial Nematodes released

Environmentally Sensitive Practices at Middleton Place

Sidney Frazier, Vice President Horticulture at Middleton Place, anxiously awaited a special delivery package that will soon work magic in the gardens he manages at Middleton Place National Historic Landmark. The package – 500 million nematodes.

Beneficial Nematodes are live microscopic organisms that occur naturally in soil throughout the world.  They are parasitic to insect pests that typically have a developing stage of life in the soil. Though they are harmless to humans, animals, plants, and healthy earthworms, beneficial nematodes aggressively pursue insects. They target-soil dwelling insects such as grubs, Japanese beetles, ticks, queen ant, termites and more, yet have no detrimental effect on ladybugs, earthworms and other helpful beneficial insects.

Introducing the Beneficial Nematodes to the gardens at Middleton Place is part of the ongoing Integrative Pest Management system Frazier implemented to manage the gardens in a more environmentally responsible and historically appropriate manner.

25 September 2014

Special Educational Opportunity at Middleton Place

Posted in News

Independent Scholars Day — Tuesday, September 30

Special Educational Opportunity at Middleton Place

On Tuesday, September 30, Middleton Place will dedicate programming to students who receive their education outside of traditional schools. Students and chaperones will have special “Beyond the Fields” tours to investigate the lives & culture of enslaved people and “Meet the Breeds” tours to interact with heritage breed animals that are documented to have been at Middleton Place. Special “hands-on” learning activities in the Plantation Stableyards and demonstration rice field will include rice processing, candle making and colonial games.

All activities will take place from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Special Admission for the Home School Day is $11.00 per student and $12.00 per chaperone. For reservations or questions, please contact Greg Smith, Director of Education at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Download the flyer here >>

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