This week I will show you another place to visit if your ever in South Carolina, The Aiken-Rhett House. It is located in Charleston and it has a wonderful history. The Aiken-Rhett House is preserved, not restored. Walking through the house made me feel like I was in the 1800’s. The furniture in the house is sparse and the interior is reflective of a house that has been untouched by painters and carpenters for many years. There is no better insight into antebellum life than that provided by the Aiken-Rhett House, built by merchant John Robinson in 1818 and greatly expanded by Governor and Mrs. William Aiken in the 1830’s and 1850’s. The property still looks like it did in 1858, before the outbreak of the Civil War.
There are slave quarters, a detached kitchen, and a stable are part of this property, with a lot of original fixtures preserved. While little here has been restored, the house and grounds provide an excellent picture of life in pre-Civil War Charleston. As compared to other house tours, the furnishings and decor have not been restored or replaced. The tour is excellent and the back-yard kitchen house, stables and slave quarters provide a good impression of how families lived in that era.
I love learning about the history of old houses and what I really love about the Aiken-Rhett House is that they preserved it rather than restore the home. As a result, as you walk through you feel as if you have truly traveled back in time. It’s surreal. The art work, the furnishings, the lighting fixtures – I loved it all.