architecture

Wednesday at the Grove

Wednesday, August 26, 2015




Wednesday has quickly become one of my favorite days of the week as it often finds me at one of my favorite places, Poplar Grove Plantation


The House & Grounds



Built around the same time and in the same Greek-revival style as the Pelletier house, the manor house here at Poplar Grove was home to the Foy family who oversaw the operations of the self sufficient plantation that surrounded it.
 In its 19th century heyday, the plantation stretched from the plank road that ran just in front of the manor (which is now a busy paved highway), all the way to the salty shores of the coastal sound hundreds of acres away.  



Beside the manor house there is an incredible pomegranate tree that was just loaded with fruit.

The back porches of the house and the brick kitchen/root cellar

The house and grounds are open for visitors and give a little peek into what coastal plantation life would have been like in the 1800s. Just beyond the house there is a tenant cabin and beyond that lies a pasture filled with horses, pigs, goats, and chickens, all part of the plantation's animal sanctuary. 






Pigs at the animal sanctuary.

An outbuilding near the animal sanctuary had this great old gas pump, a relic from the later days of plantation life.
The plantation was in operation through the 1970s. 



The Market

On Wednesdays, in the dappled shade of the old oak trees, a farmer's market is held, filled with local meats, cheeses, produce, plants and hand crafted goods. Until I visited this market, I had no idea what an agriculturally rich and creative area this was; finding this market was like finding a little bit of paradise and a piece home. 
  
Thanks to some early rain, it was a slow day at the farmer's market. 

On this particular Wednesday, I picked up some wonderful local goat cheese, a bottle of Scuppernong wine, and a button fern. Minus the fern, my purchases could have been found being produced here at the plantation when it was in its heyday.

After I had made my selections, I was kicking myself for not stopping by this cute little camper for some chocolates! Oh well, that gives me incentive to return to the market (not that I needed any!).

It is my dream to someday own a little camper like this and drive to 'round the country visiting every flea market I pass along the way.


The Nature Preserve


While the plantation no longer lays claim to the hundreds of acres it once did, beyond the animal sanctuary is a tract of land that once belonged to Poplar Grove and is now a nature preserve. After wandering around on the sweltering plantation grounds for a few hours, a stroll along the shady paths of the nature preserve was too inviting to resist. 

I found this swing but was too short to hop up on it.

And better yet, when I finally reached the bridge at the mill pond, I was greeted by a terrific downpour that soaked me through and cooled me down immensely. 





This pond always has more turtles than I have ever seen anywhere else. Everywhere you look, little turtle heads are poking up out of the water and every log is packed with shell clad sunbathers-- it's really a sight to behold.

Look closely and you can spot the turtle heads!
Whenever I think about upgrading my camera to a DSLR, something like this happens and I'm incredibly glad for my little waterproof point and shoot.



The Outfit

Nice and simple:
Hat-- Forever 21
Dress-- vintage, a gift from a hometown acquaintance
Shoes-- Target  

Getting caught in the rainstorm definitely validated my outfit selections for the day; by the time I made it back to the plantation my dress was nearly dry. I can't imagine a southern summer without cotton dresses and hats! 
The rain, and the humidity, also validated my decision to let my hair go naturally curly, but that's a story for another time...



Poplar Grove, with its animal sanctuary, farmer's market, and adjacent nature preserve is such a special place. Recently, it has been publicized that the plantation is struggling financially and may have to close its doors. On a summer Wednesday, when it is free to mill about the market and the grounds, it seems like this is impossible. It's clear from the Wednesday crowd that I'm not the only one that loves this place, I just hope everyone loves it enough to try and save it.
   









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