Towards the end of last summer, we walked past this big historic house and I had to photograph it. So many neat things to notice....I love the old iron gate. I think it photographed well against the pretty blue sky.
The Manigualts were descendants of French Huguenots (French Protestants) who fled religious persecution in Europe. Desperate to escape religious persecution in France, they began to come to Charleston in the late 1600s.
If you look closely you can see in the middle window up there a pretty blue/white piece. I collect the blue/white chinese porcelain and I LOVE IT. Difference is....mine are pretty reproductions....and that vase up there is probably the real thing! LOL That's okay, I love mine just as well.
(above) Backyards back then were messy places, places of work, not for leisure or to look pretty. They had the stables, horses, coaches, slave quarters, and the kitchen house and water well where alot of the food was prepared and cooked. Laundry was washed here, and hung to dry. Fires not only cooked food but were used to make soap and heat hot water to wash clothes and dirty pots and pans. Chickens were raised here.....and met their end here if dinner was chicken. The "outhouse" was also located here.
I think the slave quarters and the old kitchen house burned down long long ago, they are not there now.
Check out that top window in the tower, way up there. Wow, looks like a princess tower doesn't it?
Whose bedroom do you think that was?
So..........who were these people? Were they a big family? Must've been....such a big house. My first thought, other than "wow, it's big!".........is that "wow, it looks STURDY". All that brick. And they sure put up a big impressive gate with big stakes and spikes. The man had to have been very successful to build a home of this size....what did he do for a living?
The plaque states that the home was built by Charleston's most famous architect, for his brother.
From what I found to read, the brother Gabriel, built this beautiful antebellum house for his brother Joseph and it was built and ready to move into sometime in 1803. (Gabriel studied architecture in London and also built Charleston's City Hall) From what I read, both boys were orphans and their grandparents raised them, along with two sisters.
Looks like the grandparents were very wealthy rice planters and they gave Joseph thousands of acres of plantation land, and hundreds of slaves around 1788. So Joseph was indeed a rich man and very well set for marriage.
Were they nice people? did they have lots of children? Was this house built for a new bride to come start her life in? Were they in love? And did the love last?
Looks like he married a woman named Maria Middleton. Her Dad was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Very impressive. After she died, he re-married a lady named Charlotte....and she delivered 8 babies.
Did that house get hot in the summer? How did they cool down?
Remember, this was the early 1800s....ladies still wore those big poofy long elegant swishy hoop skirts and layers of lacey petticoats and the like. And gloves and bonnets and pretty hats. All very pretty....but must've been hot to wear in the summer, especially in Charleston.
I wonder if those eight babies took their first breath in those rooms? Eight children is pretty many, I am thinking they probably filled this big old house with lots of love and laughter and shrieks and hi-jinks and fun.
I wonder what it looked like at Christmas? Did they have big family reunions? On summer nights, did the sound of music drift out those windows to the streets below? Piano, harp, flute? I know in that time era, most ladies played at least one instrument, and often, more. After all, there were no radios. No tv's. No computers and no internet. When this house was built, not even telephones.
People met face to face to visit. And they wrote letters. Now those parts I can appreciate. Too bad we don't see much of that anymore.
When we get a chance, we will go back and tour the inside and then maybe I can come back and tell y'all some of the answers to all these questions.
|The back yard|
I read that the house is filled with beautiful fireplace mantels, a huge lovely staircase, lots of pretty original woodwork and that it's full of the original English and French furniture.
Beautiful big old sturdy house!