So what do these look like on the inside? I figured the best way to find out was to take a tour of one of the half dozen that are now museums. One of the best of the bunch is the Heyward-Washington House on Church Street, built by Daniel Heyward in the 1770's.
The kitchen and laundry were housed in a fairly large brick outbuilding, and they've been restored to appear similar to how they would have in the 1770's.
The interior is decorated and furnished in period pieces, though none are original to the house. It was exquisite! The home is part of the Charleston Historic Society and they've taken pains to match the paint as nearly as possible to the original colors.
Nearly all of the furnishings that have been assembled for this museum were made in Charleston SC in the 1700's and early 1800's. The docent told us that there were over 80 fine cabinet-makers in Charleston in its heyday.
|A triple chest, one of only three known to still be in|
its original set. Gorgeous!!
This is the Holmes Bookcase, generally considered to be the finest piece of American cabinetry ever made:
Before visiting this house I stopped at the Old Slave Mart Museum on Chalmers Street. It's in the original structure, the only structure of its kind still standing. It was interesting to be standing in the actual room where slaves were sold and bartered. The exhibits are simple, just some murals and photos. But the most interesting item was the voice recording of a slave who actually passed through this mart in the 1860's. He was 93 years old when his story was recorded.