Grand dames of the South

Monticello - photo by Rob McFarland

Monticello - photo by Rob McFarland

The Sun-Herald, Australia – May 1, 2011

America’s south – loosely defined as the eastern states below Pennsylvania – is often overlooked by visitors in favour of the sun-kissed beaches of California or the urban excitement of cities such as Las Vegas and New York.

But this is where many of the country’s most pivotal historical events took place.

One of the best ways to learn more about the region’s legacy is to visit some of the grand old houses that are scattered across the states of Georgia, Virginia and North and South Carolina. Not only are they impressive from an architectural standpoint, they also provide a fascinating insight into the area’s culture and attitudes.

Here are three of the best.

Boone Hall Plantation
Twenty kilometres from the charming South Carolina town of Charleston, Boone Hall is one of the US’s oldest working plantations. Established by Englishman John Boone in the early 1700s, it evolved into one of the south’s biggest cotton producers, employing 325 slaves to work 1200 hectares. In 1743, Boone’s son planted two evenly spaced rows of oak trees leading to the house. This avenue of oaks, draped in Spanish moss, has become one of the most photographed driveways in the country.

Read the rest of this story here.

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