WHITE OAK — Though the crowd was small Saturday at harmony Hall Plantation Village, the grounds were abuzz with the annual homecoming activities under a sunny sky that brought only brief periods of puffy, white clouds passing by the historic Revolutionary War-era homeplace of Col. James Richardson.
It’s been a little thin today, but we’ve had a lot of fun here,” said Sunday Allen, a members of the Harmony Hall Plantation Village Committee charged with organizing the event.
For those who chose to wander the iconic 1760 plantation residence and surrounding property, those in attendance included more than just those modern-day folks who came to tour the buildings, watch as period-style dolls were being made on the home’s porch, eat some chicken bog cooked over an open fire, watch a musket get fired and see the period costumes being worn.
“You can almost get the feeling, if you think about it enough, that the original family is here today, too,” said Myra Wilson of St. Pauls, who had come with her granddaughter to see the home. “We’ve never been here before, and I can see why it’s such a special place.”
Though the day centered around the homecoming activities, much of the discussion among the HHPV committee members focused on a recent visit by representatives of the North Carolina Historic Preservation organization. They spent the better part of a day touring and inspecting the plantation home, as well as the other five structures on the grounds.
“They came to give us an idea where we stood as far as what needed to be done to keep the buildings in good shape,” said Harry La Rock, acting president for the committee. “The only structure that needs to be done to historical specifications is Harmony Hall itself.
“They also talked about the furniture inside (Harmony Hall9, and it’s not period,” he added. “But there are places that have period replica pieces if we want to go that route.”
As for the other buildings, the group thinks the Tatum Store, chapel and Shaw kitchen are manageable as they are now.
“The schoolhouse needs work and a prayer,” Allen said. “And the Brisson Cabin is beyond refurbishing. Perhaps some of the wood or logs from it can be reclaimed.”
As the heat of the day began to bear down on the plantation grounds, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a living history for those who remained.
Long before the sun finally set, Harmony Hall Plantation Village was tucked in for the night and left alone to the spirits of Col. Richardson and his family.
Anyone who would like to become a volunteer or member of the committee can call Cyndie Harrelson at 910-876-2892.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.