History Bus Tour
April 25 @ 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Explore history through a guided bus tour with historian, Carol Poole, starting at Fort Fair Lawn then to Biggin Church, Taveau Church, Mepkin Abbey, and Childsbury Settlement on the Cooper River.
Hop aboard the History Bus with Carol Poole, renowned local historian and teacher, for a tour of local cultural and historical sites! Meet up at Old Santee Canal State Park and board the bus for an amazing half-day tour of important sites and stories that bring history to life.Buy Now
Stop first at the site of Revolutionary Fort Fair Lawn under the ownership of the Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust and the conservation of the SC Battleground Trust. Learn all about the hugely significant Fort Fair Lawn, one of more than 30 SC forts constructed by the British during the Revolutionary War and “probably the most pristine, intact, original American Revolutionary War fortification in South Carolina, if not the country,” Doug Bostick, Executive Director for the SC Battleground Preservation Trust. (Some walking required.)
Next stop at Biggin Church and Cemetery, named for Biggin Hill in Kent, England, donated by John Colleton of Wadboo Barony, and completed in 1712. Visit the lowcountry notables lying in the churchyard, learn of the rich history of the Parish of St. John’s Berkeley, used until the end of the Confederacy, and enjoy the extraordinary natural beauty of the camellias and azaleas surrounding you there.
Travel to Cordesville and stop at Taveau Church, built in 1835 by Martha Caroline Swinton Ball Taveau. Formerly a Presbyterian Church and once a vibrant house of worship used by the area’s black community and called “Holy Ghost Headquarters”, the simple 19th century-era church owned by the Cordesville United Methodist Church now stands vacant.
Enter the spectacular avenues of oaks on the grounds of Mepkin Abbey, a community of Roman Catholic monks established in 1949 on the Cooper River at the site of Mepkin Plantation. Founded by the monks of Gethsemani, the brothers are part of the Trappist Order and devote their lives to prayer, spiritual study, work and hospitality. Tour the gardens and the Abbey Church at 11:30 with a Mepkin guide. Listen to the quiet of this deeply religious and historical place and take a breath of tranquility.
Then head over to Rice Hope Plantation on the West branch of the Cooper, dating from 1696. Tour the formal gardens from 1795, restored and enhanced by noted landscape architect, Loutrel W. Briggs. See Rice Hope Plantation House (c. 1840) and enjoy a casual Southern picnic lunch!