Hello! It’s May and it’s Preservation Month. The Slave Dwelling Project will commemorate the month in a big way. While spending nights in extant slave dwellings in many states across this nation continues to be fun, engaging and educational, the preservation of these dwellings is still the ultimate goal. The month of May will be highly concentrated with overnight stays.
The bureaucracy is finally broken. The first overnight stay at a National Park Service site will occur at Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Derry, Louisiana. This event will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Red River Campaign and will include an academic Civil War roundtable.
The Slave Dwelling Project will be the focus of a visit to McCollum Farm in Madison, NC. This stay will include a history fair at the local high school, on-site cooking, conversation around a campfire and a Slave Dwelling Project presentation at the local museum.
Virginia, heavily rooted in the institution of slavery, has two overnight stays to date, Bacons Castle in Surry and Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar. Preservation month will add three with Ben Lomond and Clover Hill both in Manassas and the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria.
Currently, twelve states comprise the list of overnight stays but there are still states that are blatantly missing. This preservation month, the state of Tennessee will become the thirteenth and come in strong with stays at Clover Bottom Plantation, Belle Meade Plantation and The Hermitage all in Nashville.
Three local repeat stays will occur this month; Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC; Hopsewee Plantation, Georgetown County, SC; and the Old Charleston Jail, Charleston, SC. The amazing thing about these repeat stays is that I will be joined by high school students, their teacher and chaperones from Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Often, in being an advocate for extant slave dwellings, I have to address assembled audiences. A coup for the project this month is that I will address a Camp of The Sons of Confederate Veterans about the Slave Dwelling Project. Yes, staying in slave cabins gets the point across about the necessity for their preservation but addressing this group about the subject matter will certainly speak volumes.
The invitation for anyone wanting to join me in any of these stays is always open.
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The Slave Dwelling Project, Preservation Month 2014
Magnolia Plantation, Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Derry, LA, Fri., May 2
McCollum Farm Madison, NC Fri., May 9
Clover Hill Manassas, VA Thur., May 15
Ben Lomond Manassas, VA Fri., May 16
Lee-Fendall House Alexandria, VA Sat., May 17
Sons of Confederate Veterans Charleston, SC Tues., May 20
Clover Bottom Nashville, TN Thur., May 22
The Hermitage Nashville, TN Fri., May 23
Belle Meade Nashville, TN Sat., May 24
Old Charleston Jail Charleston, SC Wed., May 28
Hopsewee Plantation Georgetown County, SC Thur., May 29
Magnolia Plantation Charleston, SC Fri. May 30