Three Generations of a Lowcountry Family at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Members of the Leach family have lived and worked at Magnolia Plantation for generations Their family story is an important part of a new project at Magnolia Plantation to tell the history of the men and women who have worked here for over three centuries.

At 86, Mr. Johnny Leach is still an active member of the Magnolia Gardens staff. Mr. Isaac Leach (age 50) keeps the gardens beautiful for visitors by working on insect and disease control on the many historic plant species, in addition to maintaining the properties numerous ponds. Jackson Leach (age 18) works in grounds keeping and will be a historical interpreter when the newly restored cabins are open to the public.

Isaac, Jackson, and Mr. Johnny Leach revisited their former home on what they refer to as "the street" today to see the work that has been done to restore the cabins.
Mr. Leach (on the left) shows his son and grandson the addition to the old family cabin he built by himself over 50 years ago. He rigged a special rope pulling system to lift the metal sheets onto the roof by himself. Isaac Leach remembers a large wooden barrel that was used to white wash the cabin many years ago when he was a boy. All three men lived in the cabin, although Jackson was only 2 when he moved with his family to a new home.

New staff members meet with the Leach's at "the Street". Historical interpreter Preston Cooley and Managing Site Historian D.J. Tucker discuss plans for the historical sites opening in February with Jackson, Johnny, and Isaac Leach.

I'll post today's plein air drawing from the site tomorrow.
As both an artist and a former Park Ranger Historian with the National Park Service who interpreted the history of Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in the 70's, I'm enjoying meeting those who are involved in the development of this historic site. When it's completed, Slave Cabin Row (aka "The Street") will be a unique addition to the history of the Lowcountry, telling the story of how the lives of workers on a southern plantation changed through the years from the colonial era up to the present.


CharlotteHutsonWrenn said...

Great post! Looking forward to the foodways gathering with Michael Twitty Oct 2,3 there!

Mom said...

We visited the Plantation in October 2012 and were amazed at the preservation and history. I am so glad I was able to see it from another perspective. The grounds are beautiful and I have to say thank you to the Leach family.

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