Oral history helps recover past at SC plantation

By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina is holding its historic preservation conference in Columbia this week, and part of the discussion focuses on telling the stories of communities that seem to have vanished.

In the case of Drayton Hall near Charleston, there's little evidence of the buildings that housed blacks at the former plantation after the Civil War. But researchers have relied on oral histories of the descendants of those who once lived there to help reclaim that history.

Drayton Hall executive director George McDaniel says the sense of place provided by Drayton helps keep such history alive by allowing people to walk the ground where their ancestors once lived.

The preservation conference taking place Tuesday will deal with a range of other issues, from underwater archaeology to documenting the state's rural country stores.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.