11 Jun 2008
June 11, 2008
Subject: The Moore Family Visit
A lady named Daisy Riner and her family, including her brother Richard Moore and sister Emma Hearn, toured the Rose Hill Plantation House recently. They lived in the house back in 1937 then moved here once again from 1939 till the early 1940's. Their parents were James and Lenora Moore who were sharecroppers during the time when a Mr. Bub Walker owned Rose Hill Plantation. They said that the house & 1,600 acres cost around $12,000 back then. The Moores were a typical Southern farming family of that time - just at the end of the Great Depression. All the children (11 of them) would help to plant the crops - cotton, corn, vegetables etc. Most of their family now lives in Georgia.
Richard Moore, now 81, still clearly remembers when he was an 11 year old boy sliding down the banister of the spiral steps. Emma, now 80, remembers the beautiful stained glass skylight in the ceiling that would shower the entryway with a kaleidoscope of colors in the daytime - she said the same effect would happen during a full moon. Back then, the house had just been white washed and the roof was red tin with ladders still attached. Plaster work inside was still unfinished. They also remembered a little tabby structure that was on the spot of the present day caretaker cottage that they thought had been a detached kitchen or one of several out buildings that still existed here in the early 20th century.
Their parents slept in a room downstairs and the girl's slept in the adjacent room. The boys slept in 3 double beds in the room above the dining room. They remembered how it looked before Mirror Lake was built when there was a small bridge that crossed over a creek that ran out into the marsh and the oyster shell drive (now Rose Hill Way) that went all the way out to the gate house where the North guard gate now stands. Richard Moore said that he and his brothers used to go out to that gate and charge tourists a dime a piece to see the old house.
They shared so many priceless stories that day such as the outhouse (a fancy "3 holer") that actually hung out over the marsh. This was in the time before electricity, so they used kerosene lamps at night. They cooked over a wood burning stove. I ask them how in the world they survived lowcountry summers without air conditioning. Emma said, "We just survived with the Bluffton breeze." And they would open the jib windows in the main receiving parlor and often had to fight the mosquitos.
Here was another glimpse into Rose Hill's past when farming and planting was a necessity. Much has changed of course, yet so much is still very recognizable to them. "Those big, old trees are still here," they all commented.
Today was a diamond - a day that made the past 13 years worthy of my old worn out phrase, " labor of love" and one of the main reasons why we started our website years ago, hoping to locate former residents and just anybody who might have memories here and willing to share them. When they drove up I said, "Welcome home y'all!"
Here's another Rose Hill family. James and Lenora Moore and their children Daisy, Richard, Emma and the other brothers and sisters who worked and played here in 1937 and again in 1939 till the early 1940's.
Rose Hill Plantation House
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