Toured by Mary Gallagher/ Photos by W. A. Davis
**The Joseph Manigault House**
A delightful visit to one of the most unique historic homes can be on the history menu for those visiting Charleston. A bold three story house built in 1803 designed for Joseph Manigault, a wealthy plantation owner and businessman, by the amateur architect and Joseph’s brother Gabriel.
Known as Charleston’s “Huguenot House” because of it’s close association with the large number of French Protestants (Huguenots) who anxious to leave France and escape the religious troubles of the time and began arriving in Charleston in the 1690’s. Patriarch of the family Gabriel (The Wealthy) Manigault became one of the richest men in the colonies.
The thirty minute tour is one that details the house, the furniture and collections on display giving visitors a peek at the lifestyle of the wealthy elite in early Charleston. The unique history of the property and its relative importance to the preservation movement in Charleston is also detailed.
The replicated period gardens and a unique Temple Gate building from 1803 as well as signage for where some of the outbuildings were located complete the visit.
The CharlestonMuseum owns the Manigault House (located directly across the street) and also the Heyward -Washington House both open for tours as well as the museum. Tours and discounts are available for visits to more than one site. The museum is wheelchair accessible but neither of the historic homes. School age children enjoy the tours.
Please see the museum website: www.Charlestonmuseum.org for more details and to help plan your visit.
This was my second visit to the beautiful historic Magnolia Gardens but the previous visit was about 5 years ago and they seem to have expanded on their tours quite a bit.
If you wanted to go all out and take every tour as well as walking around a bit it would take about 5 hours. The paths are sort of crushed gravel and you could push a wheel chair and stroller on them but it will be a workout. Most of the grounds are fairly flat and there is a lot of shade. If it’s a cooler day the breeze coming in off the Ashley River will demand a light jacket or sweater.
They have an orientation Theater just as you enter and a short but very interesting film on the history of the Plantation and the Drayton Family. There is also a small café serving lite fair and the real bargain a full bag of microwave popcorn for $2.50. We saw some families had brought their own food and were eating at the picnic tables. There are two picnic areas.
There is a great petting zoo, a horticultural maze, nature center, playground and walking and biking paths through the many historic gardens, along the lakes and the Ashley River all included with your basic entry fee $15 adults $10 children.
The additional tours ($8 adults and children) include the nature train, the house tour, the From Slavery to Freedom Tour, the Nature Boat and the Audubon Swamp Tour.
There a number of plantation tours in the area with a variety of pricing ie Charlestowne Landing ($7.50 adult), Middleton Gardens ($28 general admission for adults additional $15 for house tour)
www.magnoliaplantation.com. 843 571 1266