civil war

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The air is cold and crisp and winter is finally underway. That also means that the holidays are fast approaching, and people are beginning to prepare in earnest for it. Decorations are going up, presents are being purchased, and good deeds are being performed. 

The staff members at the Heyward House are equally busy planning for the holidays. November 30th we are planning on decorating the Heyward House in a Victorian Christmas fashion. A Christmas tree will appear in the Gentleman’s parlor, decorated with old vintage ornaments. Giant wreaths will take their place on the front porch, along with yards of garland. Mantle’s will be decorated with Santa’s, oyster shell wreaths, and candle sticks. The doll houses in the Ladies parlor will join the festivities and be equally as decorated. Candles (electric, we promise) will glow in the windows at night, a symbol of welcoming guests into the home. We’ve even heard a rumor that a couple of mischievous elves will make an appearance. 
Front Door Wreath
The Christmas Parade is steadily approaching (yay!) and we are participating again this year. However, this year we will have a trailer pulled by a tractor and ladies walking beside it in period clothing. Staff members are planning on how the trailer will be decorated, so make sure you keep any eye out for us during the parade. 
Our Victorian Ladies in the 2013 Christmas Parade
We are also preparing for the upcoming Oyster Roast that is going to take place on December 5th. This is our annual online loan no credit check fundraiser and should promise to be a great time. The event will be held at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park and the Toomers are going to provide delicious May River Oysters. If you aren’t a big fan of oysters, don’t worry they will have BBQ there as well. The tickets for the oyster roast are $30 per person, and children 12 & under get in for free. The winning tickets for the bird houses will be drawn at the oyster roast, and someone will walk away with replica bird houses of the Heyward House and the Teel House. If bird houses don’t peak your interest, then the 50/50 drawing and the silent auction should. 
2014 BHPS Oyster Roast

We have many holiday traditions at the Heyward House, and we started a new one this year. We are an official drop-off location for Toys for Tots. We thought that this would be a good way to give back to the community that has supported us over the years. The donation box can hold 50 toys and we would like to give the Marine Corps a full box of toys, but we need your help! We will be accepting new unwrapped toys during business hours until December 16th. 
If you have any questions about anything from the blog post, please call us at 843-757-6293 or email us at 

171 years ago…

171 years ago…

Tomorrow marks the 171st anniversary of the beginning of the Bluffton Movement, that took place underneath the infamous Secession Oak.

Secession Oak
Photographed by Alyssa Krob
Robert Barnwell Rhett was a hot-headed politician from Beaufort. He served South Carolina as a State representative, attorney general, and a congress man. Rhett was one of the many Southerners that opposed the 1828 and 1842 Tariff that was passed down from the North. 
The South often traded with Europe because goods were cheaper than they would be coming from the North. With the tariff in affect, the South’s trade with Europe was greatly restricted. Having no manufacturing abilities online loan no credit check like the North had, the South was forced to trade with the North and pay a higher price for their goods. This enraged many in the Southern states, causing the talk of Secession. 
“Although several days of consistent rain prior to the event hampered attendance, several hundred of Rhett’s constituents still appeared at the gathering. Rhett gave his fiery and now legendary speech atop of platform that had been erected under the shade of a sprawling live oak, which would later be referred to as the Secession Oak.”1
Rhett inspired many of his fellow states-men with his speech, but South Carolina was not prepared to handle a secession movement. “The popular and politically powerful John C. Calhoun, ‘South Carolina’s giant elder statesmen,’ was for a more moderate approach to the states’ rights movement.”2
The movement would still live on with the “Bluffton Boys” and sixteen years later, South Carolina would be the first state to secede from the Union. 
To learn more about the Bluffton Boys,the Secession Movement, and the Civil War in Bluffton please refer to The Bluffton Expedition. The Bluffton Expedition was written by Jeff Fulgham, Director of the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society. The books are for sale in the gift shop of the Heyward House Historic Center. 
Fulgham, J. (2012). Chapter One. In The Bluffton Expedition: The Burning of Bluffton, South Carolina, During the Civil War (Second revision. p. 8). 

Fulgham, J. (2012). Chapter One. In The Bluffton Expedition: The Burning of Bluffton, South Carolina, During the Civil War (Second revision. p. 9). 



Today marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death. He had been shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater while he was attending the play, “Our American Cousin.” He died at 7:22 am in a stranger’s home, in a bed that was too small for his giant frame, and after enduring several hours of pain. The man that had just accomplished something so many thought would never happen, was gone. Killed by anger and frustration. 

Lincoln was a quiet man, fond of wearing tall hats to extenuate his already tall frame. I’ve read that he would often tell an elaborate story when asked a question that needed a simple answer. He fought and worked for what he thought was right. He ended slavery and he worked tirelessly to end the war between the states. He was a brilliant man who was often doubted. People thought he was incapable of being President, but he proved all of them wrong. He was a strong president at the time when our Nation needed him the most. 

“Now he belongs to the ages.”

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a time where people remember the women that have made an impact in the past and the present. Suffragette leaders, doctors, authors, etc. are highly remembered during this time of the year.

A few months ago I came across an article from Smithsonian Magazine describing the female soldiers that fought during the Civil War. I’ve heard about them before and knew a little about their history, but what I didn’t realize was how many actually fought during the war. The soldier article lead me to a spy article and so on and so forth. I started to read about these women that had done so many amazing things during the Civil War, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many people actually knew about these women?
That question lead me to putting together a lecture called Women of the Civil War: Soldiers, Spies, and Nurses. The lecture is going to have three local women portraying a solider, spy, and nurse from the Civil War period. They are going to talk about what it was like during the war, and the different women who filled those roles. The lecture is going to be held at the Bluffton Branch Library on March 24th from 2-4 pm. The cost to attend in $5.
I’m hoping that the lecture will give people information about something that they don’t know much about, and help them understand the different roles that women played during the War. They didn’t just sit at home and fret over their loved ones that joined the war. They held active, and at times dangerous, roles during the war.
Acting House Manger