UNION — Come experience the ambience of an 1850s-style Christmas at Rose Hill, former home of Gov. William Henry Gist and his family.
The mansion will be decorated and open for special Christmas-themed tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 7-9. Please note that tours begin on the front porch of the mansion on the half hour from 1 to 4 p.m.
Father Christmas will make a special appearance on the park Sunday afternoon — bring the family!
In the mid-19th century, Christmas was a more low-key affair, centered upon spending time with family, a better-than-usual meal, church observance and the exchange of small gifts. Decorating was done with evergreens and holly to spruce up the house and lend a festive air to the dreary winter.
Interpreters will lead guided walks through the mansion and explain the Christmas traditions that were just beginning in the 1850s. Refreshments — including some from recipes of the era — will be available during and after the program in the original kitchen behind the mansion. Children’s activities will also be available in the kitchen.
Tickets are $7.50 per person (ages 6 and older) and may be purchased in the kitchen the day of your visit. Ages 5 and under are free. This is a Passport Plus program. The mansion will remain decorated for the holiday season throughout the month of December.
About Rose Hill
Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is the antebellum home of South Carolina’s “secession governor,” William H. Gist. Visitors to the 44-acre park 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.
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, which are held at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. — daily from March through October, and Thursday through Monday from November through February.
The grounds at Rose Hill Plantation may be rented for weddings and other events.
Rose Hill is eight miles south of Union.
About the State Park Service
The South Carolina State Park Service is a program of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, a state agency that serves as the leading marketing organization for South Carolina tourism. SCPRT also operates 47 state parks and administers federal and state grants for recreation development.