15 Apr 2008
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 4:12 PM
Subject: Richard Clements' Visit
Last week I got an email from a man, Richard Clements, who had been to our website looking for more info the plantation house. As it turns out, he lived here with his mother and father and 6 siblings between 1938 and 1939 - when he was between 2 and 3 years old. That year, his father was attempting to get a long term lease with an option to buy Rose Hill for the purpose of establishing some kind of hunt club here. I had heard about a family named Walker trying to do this, since these were once considered prime hunting grounds in the area, but never the name Clements. (At right, Richard as young boy at Rose Hill)
Mr. Clements sent fantastic photos of the house. They arrived Saturday on my birthday - what a great present! In fact, they are the best pre-Sturgeon photos of this house that I've ever seen. One photo shows the back of the house with the original back door before the cinder block kitchen was added on by Mr. Sturgeon in the mid 40's. There is also an arch shaped double side door leading out to the yard in the area that is now between the planter's office and the parlor. His photos also show the original gingerbread fretwork that lined the roof - both front and back, and the conservatory when it was nothing more than a little piano room before the Sturgeons extended it out to be the full size of today.
In these photos the house is just starting to be white washed and the brickwork around the porch consists of pillars only with boards placed in between. This is what the house looked like when the Kirks lived here in the 19th century. This is also the way it looked when the Pinckney families lived here from 1918 through the 1920's. This is how it looked when sharecropper families lived in the house during the Great Depression.
Mr. Clements said that his mother didn't really like living here, as it was a large & rambling house and a lot to keep up. They only lived in one portion of the house at that time. His father and brothers would gather oysters out back in the marsh and cook them in the fireplace. His older brother had a few ghost tales that he used to tell as well. There is a photo of an old boiling pot out back and his mother sitting on the back steps and a cedar tree in front of the house that is long gone.
Everything else looks much like it does today. These photos are perfect windows into one of the other lifetimes for Rose Hill so many years ago. One more family once called Rose Hill home - the Clements 1938 -1939.
Rose Hill Plantation House
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