Monday, April 9, 2018

Visit to Somerset Place

   I had been wanting to visit the Somerset Place since I read an article one of our friends here in Tyrrell County had written in the Eastern Living magazine.  Rich with history, this civil war ear home just screamed Gone with the Wind, lol! 
    Our amazing friends...  well, may as well consider them family, the Almonds came to visit, and on the way my sweet Shellie saw the sign for Somerset place on the highway.  She asked about it, and we spontaneously planned to go visit the next day.  I'm so glad that we did. 

During its 80 years as an active plantation (1785-1865), hundreds of acres were converted into high yielding fields of rice, corn, oats, wheat, beans, peas, and flax; sophisticated sawmills turned out thousands of feet of lumber. By 1865, Somerset Place was one of the upper South's largest plantations.
From Somerset's earliest days through the end of the Civil War, people of different races, legal, and economic status lived on the property. A labor force of almost 200 men, women, and children was assembled before 1790. They were black and white, enslaved and free. Over the life of the plantation, three generations of owners, around 50 white employees, two free black employees, and more than 850 enslaved people lived and worked on the plantation.
-From the Somerset place website       
    This plantation was absolutely gorgeous!  Surrounded by a canal that was hand-dug by slaves, and placed in front of Lake Phelps, you could really get the feel of the history of this area!  Although they were not all original buildings, it was still amazing to see the way life would have been on this beautiful plantation.  

In 1939, after nearly 70 years of neglect and the loss of most of the original buildings, Somerset's main house and seven adjacent buildings were incorporated into the newly formed Pettigrew State Park. In 1969, these buildings and the immediate grounds were designated a state historic site under the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History, Division of State Historic Sites and Properties.
Somerset Place - Aerial View

The present-day historic site includes 31 of the original lakeside acres and seven original 19th-century buildings. With the goal of accurately representing the lives and lifestyles of the plantation's entire antebellum community, the Department of Cultural Resources has acquired the reconstructed Overseer's House and reconstructed representative one-room and four-room homes where enslaved families once lived, along with the plantation hospital.
-From Somerset website

Here are some of my own photos of our visit that day!  

A replica of a dinner on the table!  What a feast!  The table was actually an original piece!  Beautiful!

This guy makes me really happy!

Love these kids!

My sweet friend :)

The Gardens

Butter churn!

Check out the old irons!

A hospital

It was an amazing trip!  How interseting to know something so wonderful and historical is right around the corner!  It was a cool and windy day, so hopefully we can return one day when the grounds are greener and the air is warmer!  But it was a wonderful visit with amazing friends!!!