Family Enjoys Charm, Quaintness of Estate Built by Slaves

The porch on the estate was built by men who were never allowed inside the house.

After enjoying a weekend away in Charleston, South Carolina, the Wallerby family reportedly decided to stop at the Harringbone Estate, an 18th-century manor that they described as “endearing,” despite being built on the backs of hundreds of slaves.

“We were heading back from the Hilton and thought, ‘Why not stop and take a tour of a beautiful, 17-acre farm complete with a vineyard, two stables, and a distillery?’” commented Sarah Wallaby, regarding the property developed through forced labor of men, women, and children taken from their native land.

The family was able to enjoy a historical reenactment of yarn spinning and dying, a process traditionally done by unpaid workers who were regularly mistreated and physically abused. “The demonstration really opened my eyes to how much fun these sorts of activities would be to do myself!” added Wallerby, before touring what the guide called the “servant’s quarters,” a small closet-sized room in which over a dozen slaves were forced to sleep on the stone floor.

The family also took advantage of the small museum on site, which included an exhibit describing the “heroic life of George Harringbone, a prominent land-owner who was instrumental in maintaining the state’s economy,” and also allegedly chose the property for its sloping hills, plentiful daylight, and proximity to the local auction post where he frequently bought and sold human beings.

Robin Garring, the estate’s Historical Director, encourages all people to come explore and immerse themselves in 18th-century Southern life. “We hope to expose as many families as possible to the beautiful grounds and unforgettable architecture of the Harringbone estate. I’m sure the Harringbone family would be happy to see their property preserved and enjoyed by so many,” he said, neglecting to mention the legions of slaves who maintained the property and built the gorgeous buildings still standing today.

For their next vacation, the Wallerbys are hoping to to visit Cambodia’s Killing Fields, which they heard “has the most adorable little restaurant near the gift shop.”

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