Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eliza's House

Eliza's House

Living room

Passage to the bed room

Bed room

View to the back yard

Eliza's House (c. 1870)

was once occupied by former Middleton slaves. This two-family duplex was constructed of mill-sawn weatherboard with a central, double (back-to-back) fireplace, and the interior and exterior walls were whitewashed. There was no connecting access between the two units, but occupants of each half had equal use of the porch and the loft.
It is known as "Eliza's House" in memory of Eliza Leach, a South Carolina African-American born in 1891, and the last person to live in the building. She died in 1986, at age 94, and almost to the last continued to live in the house much as her predecessors would have done: raking the bare "swept yard" clear of leaves and twigs, chopping wood for her fire, and toting water from the Spring House -- even though modern conveniences had long since been installed. Eliza also worked over 40 years at Middleton Place, performing a variety of duties, from sweeping and raking in the Gardens to collecting tickets and distributing brochures to visitors.

The original occupant of Eliza's House is not known. Middleton Place Foundation archival material suggests that in the 1880s the house was lived in by Ned and Chloe, former slaves of Williams and Susan Middleton. Before 1865, Ned had been one of Middleton's drivers, or field supervisors, and his wife Chloe was one of 30 slaves Susan brought as a dowry when she married Williams in 1849. Four years later, in 1853, Chloe had become a nursemaid for the Middleton's son. Chloe apparently had three children named Catherine, Elias and Julia. In early 1882 Mrs. Middleton wrote her daughter that Ned and Chloe had just been moved into their "palace." This is taken to mean Eliza's House. Mrs. Middleton also said that the marble nymph Ned called "an image" had been taken "into his piazza" for temporary storage. This was a reference to the Wood Nymph statue by Schadow (1810), buried for safekeeping in 1865 and now overlooks the Azalea Pool in the Gardens.

(ALL photographs on my blog from Middleton Place are NOT for sale!)


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Flug said...

Hey eliza your house is very nice! I want to make some weeks holiday, how much it is when i want to make holiday in your house? :-P
Absolutly wonderful, every little count looks great! Greets- Flug

Susanne49 said...

Thank you Flug,

for visiting my blog, nice to meet you!:)

Marcie said...

What a lovely old well-preserved. Thank-you for sharing...

Susanne49 said...

Thank you very much, Marcie! ;)

Anonymous said...

what a great little house!! wonderful photos

Susanne49 said...

Yes, it's acute little house, you're right, Carrie!

Thanks for the nice comment.:)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! The photos are great and I love history. Thanks for sharing.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you Tricia,

for your kind comment, I'm glad you liked my post :)

OregonArtGuy said...

Hi Susanne:
your view to the backyard pic is really good - nice composition.
I'm still workin' on the music - can't find much that I like better than yours :-}

Susanne49 said...

Ho Oregonartguy
Thanks for the nice comment. :)


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