UNION — What was it like to be at Rose Hill Plantation in the antebellum era when the sun went down?
A moonlight tour will be held Sept. 29 at the Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site to give participants the opportunity to experience what life was like in the days before electric lights.
“Mansion by Moonlight” is a new program offered at the state historic site which was the antebellum home of William H. Gist, the “secession governor” of South Carolina. In announcing the program, Park Interpreter Elizabeth Moses stated that Mansion by Moonlight is “a rare opportunity to tour the William H. Gist mansion and plantation grounds at nighttime. Join us on a full moon as we experience evening activities on a mid-1800s Upstate plantation.”
The tour, which will be conducted from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., will give participants the opportunity to “explore what life might have been like after the sun went down. Tour by lamp and candlelight as we discuss and participate in some of the evening activities for both the plantation owner’s family and the enslaved people who lived at Rose Hill Plantation.”
Space for the tour is limited to 15 and those wanting to participate must call by Sept. 28 to make their reservation.
Admission is $10 for those 16 and over, $7 for youth ages 6 to 16 and free for children 5 and under.
Moss cautioned those planning to participate that “lighting will be limited and the ground is slightly uneven. Good walking shoes and comfortable clothing are recommended. The event will go on rain or shine.”
Normal Hours Of Operation
Park grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. The mansion home is only accessible by guided tour. Tours are held daily at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in March through October and 1 p.m., 2 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays in November through February.The grounds at Rose Hill Plantation may be rented for weddings and other events.
The site is located 2677 Sardis Road, eight miles south of Union, and visitors can learn about the lifestyle of a wealthy Upstate plantation family, Gist’s contributions to politics, and the importance of cotton in the South. Visitors also get an inside look at the role of enslaved African-Americans and tenant farmers in South Carolina’s history.
Rose Hill is operated by the South Carolina State Park Service, a program of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, the state agency that serves as the leading marketing organization for South Carolina tourism. SCPRT operates 47 state parks and administers federal and state grants for recreation development.