“Firebugs are in love with old houses.”
Thanks for your feedback from last weeks blog – yes, indeed you are receiving and reading the From the Porch posts!
I was recently reminded, by one of R&R frequent users, that years ago there was a rash of fires in our county, consuming many a historic structure. The arsonist was not specifically interested in any architectural style, he or she, simply wanted to consume decades of history and turn it into ash. Some of these structures, though unattended, were handsome and historically valuable pieces of architecture. One of these I had been investigating for potential restoration and assuming incorrectly that I would be allowed access at a later date, didn’t take my camera. Weeks later it lite the night sky for miles as another Carolina “I” house of distinction burned to someones delight – not mine! Unfortunately, there are too many cases of this occurrence happening across every county and geographic region. The old Moore house fire consumed the dwelling in a mater of minutes and destroyed four decorative and over-sized mantels, thousands of board feet of heart pine flooring, an exquisite staircase and the documentation needed to conclusively link its builder to other houses in the upcountry area of S.C.
The Moore house was one of those rural pieces of architecture which had been abandoned for years, green devils growing everywhere and pine – cedar trees obscuring the view. But still a dream for photographers. Following the demise of this house a photograph was subsequently shared with R&R, which can be seen by clicking on the links below.
But the two fires that were most disturbing were those occurring in the western areas of York County, S.C. Only months after a group of researches had visited the historic antebellum Blair house it burned to the grown. Thank goodness, we do have some images, which had been taken on our visit as well as a few others that had been shared previously. And some years later, local historian, J. L. West called to inform me, that the Russell Plantation house was on fire near Sharon, S.C., it too burned to the ground. It is interesting that both these houses would have been on Jefferson Davis’s route across the county and he would have perhaps viewed each as he traveled south. The Rev. R.Y. Russell recorded in his diary about his having seen the Confederate transport proceeded on the road in front of his house.
The point of this blog is not to cry over spilled milk but rather to celebrate the preservation of images and their being shared by so many on R&R! With their images we have been able to reconstruct much of what arsonist attempted to wipe from our heritage.
Click on these three links to discover more:
- Blair House – An iconic Carolina “I” House
- Russell Plantation – A witness to history….
- The Moore House – Burned but not forgotten…
Another reason that preservation through a shared platform works!
From the Porch – Blog @ RootsandRecall.com – 2.9.17