I really enjoyed getting to see all of the outbuildings and interior decor that Walnut Grove Plantation had to offer. Here you can experience a rare glimpse of plantation homes built before the 1830s. You can genuinely see what life was like so many years ago. While I could talk about those aspects of my visit, I have instead focused on some of the trivial facts that the tour guide shared with me during my sojourn into the past. Enjoy.
Two stories stuck out as the most peculiar. One involves Kate Barry who lived in Walnut Grove. She is mainly remembered for serving as a scout during the American Revolution. She worked for the patriot militia and she so famously warned of the impending arrival of the British troops.
All of that is fine and good. I just got stuck on one very specific and odd fact. Apparently, before running off to yell at her neighbors, she tied her newborn to a bedpost. Is it just me or was it completely random that they felt the need to include the part about tying up an infant with a rope? How did that get into the mythos? Why couldn’t she just put the child in a crib or just lock the door? I doubt it was normal or they wouldn’t have made sure to preserve this valuable information for so long. Anyway, I thought it was a very strange detail and this is exactly why I always fail history tests.
Moving on, Bloody Bill Cunningham was the other interesting person who found his way to Walnut Grove. Bloody Bill was seriously one vengeful and bloodthirsty guy by the way. He actually started off as a patriot, but after being refused a promotion decided to go on a bloody massacre for the other team. Okay. So a lot more went into it than that. His life is really fascinating to read about and I suggest you check it out.
Anyway in the fall of 1781 Bloody Bill was murdering his way through the upstate. Three patriot soldiers were at the Walnut Grove Plantation when ole Bloody Bill came trotting along. Two tried to make a run for it and were killed while fleeing. The third was Captain Steadman who was already seriously ailing and confined to his bed.
It was commonly believed that a blood stain in the upstairs bedroom belonged to Captain John Steadman. The story was that Bloody Bill had gunned him down while he lay in bed. Turns out that isn’t exactly what really happened though. A research team recently determined that the stain is not blood and that the story isn’t accurate. Captain Steadman was still murdered by Bloody Bill. He just wasn’t killed inside the house.
So those are two of the most facinating facts that I learned on my visit. I am sure though that you will take away much more useful information when you visit, like the milk door perhaps. Make sure to visit and enjoy learning about South Carolina’s fascinating past.
#83 on the Adventure Map
- National Register