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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). 

Success of the Mourning Tea

Success of the Mourning Tea

The Mourning Tea was a huge success! All of the ladies (& gents!) enjoyed the tea and the mourning talk immensely! Kim Poovey started the tea by giving a talk about the mourning practices of the Victorian Period, which included dress regulations, portraits, traditions, and hair jewelry. It was quite informative, and I believe everyone learned a lot. Much of what the Victorians practiced for mourning are still with us today. Did you know that women have to wear mourning clothes for a certain number of years (depending on who had passed) while the men only had to wear mourning clothing for three months!

Once Kim was done giving her talk we served tea and food. The tea was Charleston Breakfast Tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation! It was very well received, which is good because we did have a mix up with the tea order. The tea we originally ordered was lost in the mail, and we were worried that the tea we had over-nighted wouldn’t make it on time. So we set out to find the tea, and thankfully Le Cookery on Hilton Head had some! They saved the entire tea and we are so thankful for their help! The Sugaree did an amazing job at catering the event! The food was delicious and almost all the plates were clean by the end of the tea!

The staff at the Heyward House is very appreciative for all the of help that we received from our event committee in planning the tea, and thankful for all of their hard work. We are also appreciative that so many people wanted to come to our event! We sold out of tickets just a few days before the tea was held, and people still wanted to buy tickets! We are glad that it was such a success, and we are pretty sure that the Mourning Tea might be a regular event!

Here are a few pictures from the Tea:

Set-up for the Tea 

Exhibit for the Mourning Tea 

Exhibit for the Mourning Tea 

Examples of Mourning Clothing 

Mourning Clothing 



Hair Jewlery 

Mourning Wreath made entirely out of hair 

More examples of Hair Wreaths 

3 Tiered Servers with Food 

Mini Eclairs & Lemon Bars 


Finger Sandwiches 

Dianne, one of the docents. 

Behind the Scenes Action! 

Kim Poovey giving her talk

Best Always, 

Mourning Tea

Mourning Tea

Today is the big day, we are having our Mourning Tea! We officially sold out of tickets on Monday, and we couldn’t be more happy! We almost had a slight crisis for the tea, but thankfully that was quickly solved. The tea we ordered from the Charleston Tea Plantation got lost in the mail, but thankfully Le Cookery on Hilton Head Island had the exact same tea. (Yay!)

The Mourning Tea will start at 3 pm and Ms. Kim Poovey is going to be our host. Kim is a local reenactress who knows quite a lot about Victorian culture and history. She will be discussing Victorian Mourning Practices, and will also have part of her collection on display. Kim has a lot of mourning jewelry (including hair jewelry) and examples of mourning clothing that will be on display. 

The Sugaree is catering the event and will provide the finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts. They are an amazing little cafe that has some of the best food. They are making a chicken salad finger sandwich, tomato and bacon finger sandwich, and a traditional cucumber sandwich. For the desserts we got mini eclairs and lemon bars! Yum! 

We will post another entry after the tea to show pictures and give details about how the event went! Wish us luck! 

Best Always,