Wilmington, North Carolina

On March 2, 2020 we left James Island in Charleston, South Carolina. On our way out of the county park we stopped to watch some pond yachts racing. We headed north on Route 17 through Charleston and the Francis Marion National Forest. We stopped at the Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, the location of one of the largest rice and indigo plantations in that part of South Carolina. The swamp land was cleared and cultivated by enslaved people who actually taught their owners how to grow rice and made South Carolina one of the richest states in the 19th Century. After the Civil War many of the people freed stayed on to work the plantation.

Drive into Hampton Plantation through the windshield

There are many old large live oaks at Hampton Plantation.

Plantation house

There once were beautiful gardens at the plantation

This tree is said to be nearly 300 years old.

The wood structure at the left is part of a very complex irrigation system for the rice fields. The little alligator above was hanging out nearby.

The swamp above was part of the acreage that had been cleared and used for rice cultivation.

We continued north through the very nice little town of Georgetown at the confluence of multiple rivers – the Great Pee Dee River, the Sampit River, the Waccaman River, and Winyah Bay. We drove through Huntington Beach, Pawley’s Island and Myrtle Beach, then on to North Carolina and Wilmington. There we spent a few days with Deb and Ira, yes, the same people we saw in Miami Beach. We ate very well there – delicious salmon and asparagus. On March 3 they gave us a tour of Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach.

Carolina Beach, North Carolina

We had a good lunch in Carolina Beach, then went on to tour downtown Wilmington and the Cotton Exchange.

The Cotton Exchange in its heyday.

We also ate at a small wonderful Italian restaurant called Roko near Deb and Ira’s home.

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