Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Visit to Pleasant Hill

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a well-preserved Shaker community that was active from 1805 to 1910. The Shakers believed in simple, peaceful living characterized by hard work for their self-sustaining community. They originated from New England, but settled as far south as Kentucky by the early 1800s. The Pleasant Hill community was known for its excellent livestock and seed selection. The Shakers were opposed to slavery, and would buy slaves and then free them. The Shakers at Pleasant Hill were sympathetic to the Union, and their Southern location made them an easy target for rebel sympathizers. The war depleted the Shakers' resources. Shakers did not believe in marriage or any relations between man and woman, and would often adopt orphans and raise them in their community. Few children stayed in the strict, rural community once they reached adulthood. They community was dissolved by 1910.

Preservation efforts to save Pleasant Hill began after World War II. Trappist monk Thomas Merton was one of the first to research, write, and rediscover the Shaker community outside of Lexington. A non-profit organization was founded in the 1960s to preserve and restore the site, and Shaker Village was eventually named a National Historic Landmark.

Shaker Village is set against a bucolic landscape. Driving from Lexington, we crossed the Kentucky River and drove next to the rugged limestone palisades that the Bluegrass region is known for. The architecture at Shaker Village is simple, with stark right angles and hardly any embellishment against the rolling countryside. There's also a restaurant that serves fresh produce and meat grown at Pleasant Hill. It's a great day trip from Lexington to explore the beautiful landscape of the Bluegrass.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Celebrating Fall

Ruby having fun in the pumpkin patch at Evans Orchard in Georgetown, Ky.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hampton Plantation

Hampton Plantation is a Georgian style mansion from 1735. It is a short day trip from Charleston and is located in the Santee delta region. The house tour takes less than an hour and there are demonstration rice fields on the property. 

My favorite room inside Hampton is the large drawing room with a vibrant blue paint color and Federal style mantle.

The 19th century wallpaper remnant is on the second floor of the house. 

After driving several miles on a dirt road we came across St. James Santee Parish Church on the old King's highway to Charleston. The church was commonly called the Brick Church at Wambaw. The building dates from 1768.

Words to Live By

Sign in front of the Unitarian Church Graveyard in Charleston, SC.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Announcing History Talks: Charleston Walking Tours

Jesse and I both took our city tour guide license earlier this year and are now both official tour guides for the city of Charleston. We have talked about owning our own business for a couple of years and it has finally happened! So let us introduce to you History Talks: Charleston Walking Tours.

Our aim is to provide private, personalized walking tours of the historic district of Charleston. I of course like to focus on architectural history, while Jesse is very interested in pirates and Revolutionary War history.

If you are planning on coming to Charleston, or know someone else who is visiting the city, please let them know about our walking tour business! You can reserve a tour on our web site.

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Peach Season!!

Today we bought the first peaches of the season at Rosebank Farms on John's Island.