Fieldwork in South Carolina

This past weekend I set off for a lovely weekend in South Carolina, brought on by an assignment: documenting a c.1905 parsonage in Georgetown, about an hour north of Charleston.  Given my husband’s and my love of Charleston, we decided to make a weekend of it and stay there, and I took Saturday afternoon to run up and do the measurements of the old house.  Best of all worlds!

The parsonage, sited immediately beside the Bethel church that is itself a landmark, has a failing metal roof that is allowing some significant damage to take place in the walls below.  Regardless, as I told the pastor, I’ve seen worse come back to beautiful and I’m sure they can do the same.  They’re under the guidance of the wonderful Mary Ruffin Hanbury, and now that I’ve been down there I am looking forward to seeing her plans.

Most of the stuff once stored in the house had been moved down to the first floor rooms… this made getting through them a bit of an adventure, involving moving stacks of children’s chairs and sliding around old refrigerators.  At one point, the charming elderly lady who was there to greet me admitted that she thought measuring “was a man’s job, but you look like you know what you’re doing.”  Ha!  If the volunteer assisting me hadn’t been at least 6′ tall, I would not have been able to pull it off so well.

That said, the upstairs rooms were cleared out and gorgeous: good light, lovely moldings, gobs of potential.  The group is considering making it a sort of visitors’ center for those who come see the church… I wouldn’t be surprised if they had people coming to see the house just for itself, too.  It certainly was a treat for me; now I just have to take my mess of measurements and make it presentable!


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