Magnolia Gardens’ History Fair returns with expanded program

Want to explore local history and meet the people who promote and preserve it? If so, come to the 6th Annual History Fair on Saturday, July 7, at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

The History Fair is a free event featuring well-known organizations in education, religion, social services, the arts and tourism, including the planned International African American Museum at Gadsden’s Wharf where nearly 40 percent of the captured West Africans brought to Charleston first step on American soil.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the public will have an opportunity to meet representatives of thirty-four historic groups. The event is designed for amateur and serious historians and children who want to touch the past.

The History Fair is free. Guests who purchase the $20 general admission to the gardens will have access to a storyteller, brick maker and a living history program.

Storyteller Kitty Wilson-Evans, who portrays an 18th century enslaved worker named Kessie, will be in the History Room at the Main House. Master brick maker Rick Owens will demonstrate early brick-making techniques near the Peacock Café. “Inalienable Rights: Living History Through the Eyes of the Enslaved,” will be staged at the cabins once occupied by Magnolia’s enslaved workers. This presentation is an outreach of the Slave Dwelling Project founded by Joseph McGill, Magnolia’s history consultant. Living History includes a blacksmith, cooking and chair-making demonstrations and storytellers.

On Friday night, July 6, join McGill for a sleepover in the former slave cabins at Magnolia. Sit around the camp fire as he discusses the need to preserve extant slave dwellings. To register for the sleepover contact McGill at [email protected]. Deadline to register is June 29. The sleepover is limited to 35 people.

The History Fair will also be a time to show appreciation for South Carolina’s public and private school teachers and college and university faculty. Magnolia will offer free garden admission on July 7 to teachers and their immediate family. Valid identification is required.

For more information and a list of the presenters, go to

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