An Evening with Joseph McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project will be held Nov. 6 at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens to benefit McGill’s effort to assess and preserve extant slave dwellings that represent an important part of American history.
McGill, a historic preservationist and history consultant at Magnolia, launched the slave dwelling project on Mother’s Day weekend in 2010 when he spent the night in one of the four renovated cabins that was once the residence of an enslaved family at Magnolia.
Since then, McGill has completed overnight stays in more than 60 former slave cabins in 13 states. His next stays are scheduled on Oct. 4 in Camden, S.C., and Oct. 9-12 in Medford, Mass.
Money raised during the event will go toward a $25,000 matching grant the South Carolina Department of Archives and History recently awarded to the Slave Dwelling Project.
Tax-deductible tickets are $50. It includes a garden tour led by Magnolia’s executive director Tom Johnson and a cabin tour led by McGill. Two garden and two cabin tours are scheduled between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. prior to the reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres in the Carriage House. Tickets can be purchased at: www.slavedwellingproject.org
“The purpose of the grant is to conduct an assessment of extant slave dwellings in the state of South Carolina,” McGill said. “This $50,000 project will require the Slave Dwelling Project to hire a structural engineer to inspect extant slave dwellings throughout the state and create a report on their condition.” Structural engineer Craig Bennett of Charleston is a consultant on the project.
Johnson said, “Magnolia is proud to be associated with Joe and the Slave Dwelling Project. We are also proud that the project had its inception at Magnolia. It has grown to become one of the most successful projects in South Carolina to raise awareness of the need to protect this important aspect of the state’s history.”