Upstate Visit to Walnut Grove Plantation
Walnut Grove Plantation is located near Spartanburg, South Carolina. In the mid 1700s, it was the home of the Moore family, a family with 10 children. Walnut Grove, so named because daughter Kate planted the walnut trees, consisted of a well house, blacksmith house, doctor’s office, smokehouse, wheat house, cellar/refrigerator, and horse barn.
During the Revolutionary War, more battles were fought on South Carolina land than anywhere else in the United States. Margaret Kathryn Moore, who married General Andrew Barry, was considered a heroine for the role she played in the war. A scout and a horsewoman, she would spy on the Tories and report back to her husband. Kate gathered troops to fight for her husband, and chased away the Tories so they wouldn’t burn down the house. She was very brave.
To get a land grant in the early years of this country, a person had to have a profession. Mr. Moore was a teacher. The name of his school, the first in Spartanburg County, was the Rocky Spring Academy. In his school for boys only, the students wore uniforms and wrote on slate boards. Ink was made from vinegar and walnuts, and pens were made from quills. Students studied nature, math, and animals. The school, which also served as a weaving shop, contained a loom and a spinning wheel. They dyed their own fabrics. Snakeskins were used as bandages for wounds.
Candles were dipped on cold days because they were made of fat. To make the candles, animal fat, or tallow, was mixed with beeswax. Left over linen was used to make the wicks. Fifty to 80 dips were required to make one candle.