The homes of famous people tell us many things about the people who once lived there. Visiting these homes also helps us understand what life was like during their times.
Middleton Place, located on the Ashley River near Charleston, South Carolina, was the home of the Middleton family. More than 100,000 visitors come here each year to learn about the Middletons and to see their beautiful gardens. Today, visitors arrive by car; however, when the Middletons lived here, most visitors arrived at the house, which faced the river, by boat. Four generations of Middletons lived in this home.
Henry Middleton, who was president of the Continental Congress, built the house and established the gardens. His son, Arthur, signed the Declaration of Independence. Arthur's son, Henry, was a governor of South Carolina and a minister to the Russian Court for 10 years. Henry's son, Williams, signed the Ordinance of Secession and helped to save the plantation after the Civil War. Hampton Plantation, a national historic landmark, was built in 1750. The house features a large ballroom with a vaulted ceiling. This room was used for entertaining and hosting large parties. George Washington visited the plantation in the 1790s.
Rose Hill Plantation was built in the 1800s by William Gist, a former governor of South Carolina. Gist pushed the state to secede from the Union, which led to the Civil War. The house, now the outstanding feature of a state park, is shown decorated for Christmas.