Friday, June 17, 2022

Historic Brattonsville

There's lots to do and see at Historic Brattonsville, located in Rock Hill, SC, about 45 minutes from uptown. But this Juneteenth weekend, let me direct your attention to a new exhibit: "Liberty & Resistance: Reconstruction and the African-American Community at Brattonsville, 1865-1877."

This exhibition tells a powerful story of four "freedom seekers," who fled Bratton Plantation in search of freedom. If follows their journeys from escape, to military service in the Civil War, to civil rights advocacy to, in some cases, lynching. It's at once heartbreaking and inspiring, tragic and extraordinary, hard to reconcile and vitally important to acknowledge and understand. 

Brattonsville has long sought to tell the stories of the enslaved people who lived, worked and died there. But this exhibit, now part of the federal Network to Freedom program administered by the National Park Service, embraces a different perspective on the lives of some of those who courageously sought freedom and valiantly fought for civil rights. It is located in the newly restored Brick House. 

Historic Brattonsville features more than 30 historic structures and provides visitors the chance to see the evolution of Southern culture from the American Revolutionary War through the American Civil War. It offers an interesting glimpse of local history. Throughout the year, they host a number of events

And, if you like to mix education with outdoor recreation like we do, the site boasts a 6-mile network of hiking trails, full of historical significance and ecological diversity. We enjoyed this 3.9-mile loop. Note: The trails are only meant to be accessed with paid admission. 

Historic Brattonsville is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed on Monday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for youth ages 4-17, and free for kids 3 and under. 

Whether you head out there this weekend (there's a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or add it to your list of upcoming outings, go ahead and make time to visit Historic Brattonsville. It's a suitable outing for the whole family and an important chance to understand a significant piece of our shared history. 

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