"Hampton Plantation Portico" - A Plein Air Painting of a Historic Site

Hampton Plantation State Historic Site was a great spot to paint this afternoon. Recently I've been working inside on larger paintings but was drawn to paint outside today by the bright sunshine and mild spring weather.

The painting "Hampton Plantation" shows a view of the house's Adam style portico (porch) that was added to the original 1750 structure about 1790, shortly before a visit by President George Washington.
The Live Oak branch in the upper left of the painting is from a historic tree called the "Washington Oak".

My charcoal drawing of another view of the portico and other paintings of the mansion may be seen by clicking here.

During his visit in 1791, President Washington was asked if he thought this oak tree blocked the view of the new Portico from the front drive of the house and should be removed.
Washington reportedly said the tree should stay and the owners obliged by leaving it to grow where it remains to this day.

Hampton Plantation was a thriving rice plantation throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. After the War Between the States, it fell into decline until 1937 when it was restored by Archibald Rutledge, a descendant of the original owners who became South Carolina's first poet laureate.

The following poem was written by Rutledge about his garden at Hampton Plantation:

"The Garden I Made" by Archibald H. Rutledge

Whenever I Think Of
Life's Light That Must Fade
The Gleams And The Glow
That Must Pass In The Shade;
When Hopes That I Had
Now But Lave Me Afraid-
With Joy I Remember
The Garden I Made

The Redbuds And Dogwoods
I Planted Will Grow;
The Flaming Azaleas
Will Blossom, I Know;
The Chaliced Syringa's
Wild Beauty Will Show
When I Shall Be One
With The Long, Long Ago

The Glimmering Gardenias,
The Wildflowers Wan,
The Red Rose, The Lily
As White As A Swan;
The Garden I Made
Will Keep Blossoming On
When Life With Its Fevers
Is Faded And Gone.

The State of South Carolina purchased Hampton Plantation from Archibald Rutledge in 1971. Today the SC State Park Service preserves the plantation as a historic site and interprets it's natural and cultural history to the public. http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/park-finder/state-park


Anonymous said...

This a wonderful place to vist. Archibald Rutledge was my uncle and I spent several summers at Hampton Place.
Forney Rutledge Johnson

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

Hi Forney,
The Hampton house and grounds are beautiful in an almost magical, mystical way. You must have wonderful memories and interesting stories to tell about your summers there with your Uncle Archibald Rutledge... Lucky you!

How fortunate for all of us that the SC Park Service is doing such a good job of preserving and interpreting the house,grounds,and family history.

I was surprised to learn from the Park staff at Hampton that your uncle's works aren't available in print. Do you know of any anthology or publication of his collected writings? I'd love to read more of his poetry.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.
Kay Schneider

Anonymous said...

These are some of my favorites:

"The Complete Poems of Archibald Rutledge",
"The Woods and Wild Things I Remember",
"Life's Extra's", and "Home by The River".

Some of these works are out of print but may be available from online sellers.

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

For more artwork and information on Lowcountry live oaks, click "Live Oak" in the art category list at the right of this page.

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

After receiving the comment about Archibald Rutledge's books being available on the web, I searched the SC Charleston County Public Library website and found 62 entries listed for author "Archibald Rutledge", including "Hunting and Home in the Southern Heartland: The Best of Archibald Rutledge", "Life's Extras", and "Hone By the River" to name just a few.

Many of the out of print titles are available from online book sellers, also.

I'm off to the Chas Library to read more by this prolific and inspired writer.

Woodsy Al said...

I like your painting of the Hampton plantation house.

A good source of information about Archibald Rutledge including a complete list of his books is the website- "archibaldrutledge.com".

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

Hampton Plantation has completed work on a new visitors information building that includes an enlarged selection of books. Four of Archibald Rutledge's books are available for sale - "Home by the River", Life's Extras", "God's Children" and "Those Were the Day's" along with books of regional and historical interest.
The site also has original and out of print volumes by Rutledge in their collection.
The gardens around Hampton Plantation were beautiful today, with azaleas, wisteria and late blooming camellias in full bloom.

Geechie Boy said...

I really like your paintings of Hampton Plantation. As an admirer of Archibald Rutledge's writing,I was pleased to find an interesting selection of his works in the new Museum Gift Shop.

The recently completed Museum Gift Shop with expanding educational materials about Rutledge and Hampton Plantation's history is a welcome addition to the Park.

Anonymous said...

The lights of Hampton continue to burn brightly, allowing us one by one to dream of a better place long ago.

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