|Two weddings and three Adeles...........|
|the house isn't crooked---just my picture-taking is! ha ha LOL|
My new Southern Lady magazine has an article about a big house we walk past several times a week.
|here's the picture in the magazine|
|here is the house in real life, built 1808|
Nathaniel Russell came to Charleston from Rhode Island around 1760. He was a very wealthy shipping merchant and he built this home to display his prominence for his wife Sarah and his two daughters, Alecia and Sarah. Charleston's busy seaport was the perfect location for his business of exporting Carolina Gold rice, cotton and tobacco. He kept the house until 1857, when he sold it to Robert Allston, the Governor of South Carolina. There were about 18 enslaved African Americans that lived here.
The inside of the home is known for the two front parlors and a beautiful free flying spiral staircase.
Mr. Russell's daughter Alecia married Arthur Middleton in the house.
This is his daughter Alecia--she was born in 1788:
and here she is in later years:
Wow, check out her crisply starched bonnet with bows, and her springy curls!
Nathaniel's other daughter Sarah, born 1792.
|stone ball finials|
A long long time ago, a Miss
"Adele Allston of Chicora Wood Plantation was married in the Nathaniel Russell House at 51 Meeting Street. (this house is open to the public) The wedding ceremony was held in the ballroom, an elegant room with a high ceiling, and the four ceiling-to-floor windows on the south opened onto a balcony. White panes of glass on the other windows in the room were fitted with mirrors to give the illusion of a crowded room. The rosewood furniture was upholstered in blue velvet with pink rosebuds, and the carpet was like velvet, with bouquets of pink roses for decoration. The white mantel was carved with dancing women holding aloft garlands of flowers."
...Plantation Tales, Nancy Rhyne
Sometime around 1863 young Adele became engaged to a Confederate Army Captain named Arnoldus Vanderhorst. His Mother was the wealthy Ann Vanderhorst from New York and his father was a rich planter. Adele's fiance and his family owned alot of property including a Charleston wharf, several large plantations and alot of Kiawah Island.
I thought the picture below was Adele--but it's not...it's her Mother. (below)
Young Adele was described as a " beautiful and ravishing belle". She was also very intelligent and well read. Young ladies of this era were typically taught Latin, French, German, piano instruction, drawing lessons, Italian, geography, history, Arithmetic, Chemistry, Logic, and Astronomy.Adele's family was deeply religious and active in their Episcopal church.
It was an evening wedding in June of 1863, I believe. It was a pretty large and fancy affair, even with war time conditions prevailing, and even Federal troops just South of Charleston! Both families had plenty of money, so they were able to pay the high prices blockade-runners charged to get anything they needed to hold a big fancy wedding, including the white silk needed for Adele's wedding dress, huge amounts of delicacies to eat, and large amounts of French champagne.
they probably held the event in the evening to try to catch some cooler breezes and have a respite from the hot and muggy summer temperatures. By June it is already terribly hot in the Carolina lowcountry. On the morning of the wedding, they might've hosted a very nice wedding breakfast before the heat of the day set in. The evening's reception likely included a lively dinner dance with plenty of music and waltzing.
I read about a quaint and charming custom that was observed for weddings held at home during this time--good luck trinkets such as wishbones, horeshoes and bells would be hung all over the house!
|Adele's Mother---born 1810|
|Adele's Dad-Robert Allston Born 1801|
|The London and Paris Ladies Magazine of Fashion 1866|
Back then, there weren't often "wedding portraits" or paintings made and I couldn't find any pictures of Miss Adele in her wedding dress. In the style of the day, her gown was made of silk and maybe tulle, had lots of stiffly starched petticoats and a hoop underneath, and was trimmed in Brussels lace. Long trains and long veils were starting to become fashionable, and Adele was from a wealthy family and most likely had a gown that was very elegant, and a status symbol. Brides of this era usually wore flowers in their hair and also small nose-gays pinned onto both bodice and waist, in addition to carrying a bridal bouquet. Orange blossoms signified purity.
Adele might've worn a dainty veil made from sheer cotton or guaze, and had it attached to a coronet of beautiful fresh flowers on her head, but I read that they actually ended up using her Mother's best shawl to make her a veil. She most likely completed her ensemble with white kid gloves and a prettily embroidered hanky.
I read that the "traditional" white wedding dress didn't come into fashion until 1840, when Queen Victoria wed in a plain white satin dress and a crown of orange blossoms on her head.
With the gold strikes occuring in California, the price of gold was coming down and many young couples were purchasing and wearing gold wedding bands. It was also a custom for the bride to give her bridesmaids a band of gold "friendship ring" as a memento of the day.
Adele and her new husband had a short honeymoon and then moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. He was under the command of Major General William H.C.Whiting. Adele was very happy with her new home and loved the big shade trees, living high up on a hill, and lots of nice breezes.
I found a picture of Adele's sister:
Adele's Mother was widowed years later, and she operated a girl's school in the home until 1869, when she moved back to Chicora Wood, Adele's girlhood home. (home pictured above)
She hired several servants, a French teacher, and an English teacher. Her first year, she had about ten boarders and twenty "day students". Boarding students paid tuition of $375.00. Senior fees were $90.00 and Junior fees were $75.00. Quite a few of Charleston's wealthy families sent their daughters to the school, and I think one of Adele's sisters helped their Mother with the school and served as teacher.
Adele had her first baby not long after the War ended, and named her "Adele", after her Mother. There were now three Adeles!
Adele and her husband Arnoldus went on to have seven children.
They named them Adele, Anna, Elias, Elizabeth, Frances, Arnoldus, and Robert.
I think this is Adele in later years:
|Adele Petigru Allston Born 1840|
When Adele's father in law died, the couple inherited at least two plantations. Arnoldus was killed in an accident in 1881.
Adele's Mother passed away in 1896, at her home in Chicora.
|Adele, named after her Grandmother Born 1899|
Adele passed away in 1915. She was 74.
|the pretty garden|
So many stories this garden could tell..........