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 email@example.com
There is something about this time of year that makes things almost magical. The house seems to come alive in the fall, especially with all the visitors that stop by. Some are here to take a tour of the house while others are looking for information about Bluffton. We are constantly kept on our toes with the start of our busy season.
Everyone once in awhile, the door chime doesn’t ding and the house gets quiet. That is when you stop spinning and sit down, and that is when you look around you. Most of the time you don’t realize how special of place you are standing in, but then it creeps up on you.
The walls of this house have so many stories and if you listen hard enough you can hear them. If you listen, the walls will tell you about the little girl that died in the house when she was around 4 years old. Her death certificate said it was because of teething, but more than likely it was because of an infection. If you close your eyes and concentrate, you can almost hear the laughter of a little girl and her footsteps as she runs through the hallway.
If you listen, the walls will tell you about the dangers of war. If you close your eyes and concentrate, you can hear the chaos outside and feel the heat of the homes burning down next to you. Then you can hear the shouts of the men as they rummage through the house, taking an valuables with them–including a piano.
If you listen, the walls will tell you about the dark time when there were no families living the house. It was too quiet, too lifeless… but then there was life again. Another family moved in, and brought life back to the house. You can hear the shouts of happy children, toys being played with, and the gossip of their mothers.
This house has many stories, some are still waiting to be told. All you have to do is listen.
Spring cleaning? More like beginning of the year cleaning!
The Heyward House closed down from Jan. 5 through Jan. 10 so that the staff and some volunteers would be able to do some major cleaning! And let me tell ya, we got a lot of stuff done! We were able to do a deep clean of the downstairs and the upstairs. We were also able to completely re-organize the upstairs (YAY!), so now we know exactly what we’ve got to work with. We weren’t able to do all the renovations we wanted to do, but hopefully we will be able to do all of that soon!
We were also able to move some things around in the house, and it looks great! We were finally able to set up a display case where all of the artifacts are set up now. The plantation desk looks more like an actual in use desk now. We’ve got a Harper’s Weekly on the desk that talks about the assassination of Lincoln, and a wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth! We also moved some stuff around in the Lady’s parlor so now it’s more open and not so crowded.
We are very happy with all the work that we’ve accomplished and we would like to thank everyone for bearing with us while we were closed.
It’s hard to believe that this year is coming to a close. It might be a cliche, but time really has flown by us this year. I feel that we have accomplished a lot throughout the year, and I know that next year will bring us many more accomplishments.
This year we were able to create new educational programs that allowed for a more hands on experience for children and adults. We have done more research on the families that lived in the house and because of that we were able to depict a more accurate story. We have had several events that have proven to be profitable for the historical society, including the introduction of our tea parties.
We’ve also got some great things in the works for next year! A new exhibit, a new tour option for the house, and so much more! We can’t wait to show ya’ll what we have planned!!
I have to say that if it wasn’t for the support we receive, we really would be able to do everything that we do! The Bluffton community is one of the best, because they know how important it is to preserve the past. I hope that we will receive the same support for the new programs that we are working on for next year! We’ve got some good lecture ideas tucked away, that will hopefully prove to be successful.
Stick with us, we’ve got some great things planned.
Happy Halloween! This is such a fun time of the year where everyone gets dressed up and things go bump in the night! The staff at the Heyward House decided to dress up this year and it ended up being really fun!
Katie is a Pegasus, Maureen is Mrs. Incredible, and I am a witch. We all put these costumes together ourselves and I think it makes it really unique and interesting. All of the guests that come in seem to enjoy it, although there were some odd looks at first. 🙂 We are also giving out candy to the guests that stop by today. So if you’re out in Bluffton, stop by for a treat!
This is always an interesting day here at the Heyward House, especially since the veil between the living and dead is lifted. The house is haunted, and yes we pretty much know that as a fact. Staff members and volunteers have heard footsteps, seen things, and notice things that have been moved. We’ve had a lot of people say that they have seen a gentleman in our upstairs window when they pass by at night. We like to call him our security guard. hehe So if you happen to walk or drive by the Heyward House tonight, take a look around and let us know if you see anything! We would love to hear about it!
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!
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, Alyssa
There are no words to describe the feeling when someone donates items to the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society. The feeling is quite humbling and we are so grateful for everything that we have. Recently the Historical Society was given a bedroom set that dates back to the mid-1800’s. The bedroom set didn’t fit inside of the Heyward House, but instead we moved it over to the Colcock-Teel house*. We are working on a new exhibit/tour that will be located at the Colcock-Teel house, and the furniture will help to decorate the house, and to help tell a story. The bed and dresser are the recent donations, but I’ve also included pictures of the inside of the Colcock-Teel House.
Living Room Area
Sheila the mannequin
*For those of you that don’t know, the Colcock-Teel house is another historic home that the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society owns; it was bequeathed to us by Sophie Teel. We use the Colcock-Teel house as an event space (we also own the live oak grove across from the house), and we store our archives there.
Last year Katie and I came up with some ideas for programs we could do over the summer. We had an archaeology program, candle-making class, and a scavenger hunt. The summer was a success and all the summer camps that came to the Heyward House seemed to enjoy the programs we came up with.
We decided that we shouldn’t limit it to just summer time, so we’ve come up with some dates this fall for an archaeology day and a candle-making class. The programs are open to adults and children ages 5 & up.
The public archaeology day will be held on October 18th from 10-12 pm. There will be two sessions for the archaeology, each lasting about an hour. $5 per adult and children under 18 are $3. Please call to sign up for the archaeology program by October 17th.
The candle-making class will be held on November 7th from 1-2 pm. Scented or non-scented candles can be made using 19th Century techniques. $6 per adult and children under 18 are $4. Please call to sign up for the candle-making class by November 6th.
If you are interested in these programs or want to know what else we have going on, just give us a call! 843-757-6293
It’s been a busy morning here at the Heyward House. We’ve already had over 15 people and it’s only 11 am! Can you believe it? 8 people wanted to take tours this morning, right at 10 am! That’s pretty amazing in our book. 🙂 We love that people are interested in the history of our little town. We have a pretty rich history, if I do say so myself!
Depending on the morning that we have, we can determine what the day is going to be like. So I think it is safe to say that a busy morning will mean that we will have a busy day. I think the rest of this year is going to be rather busy. We’ve had some school groups already schedule school days, hotels scheduling tour days for their guests, and people calling about tours!
We cannot wait for fall!!! It looks like it is going to be a good season ahead!