Magnolia Plantation
The Gardens The House Nature Train Boat Tour From Slavery to Freedom Horticulture
Zoo & Nature Center Weddings & Events


From Slavery to Freedom:
The Magnolia Cabin Project Tour

COST: $8 per person with paid garden admission, children under 6 free

Magnolia's Cabin Project began more than four years ago in an effort to preserve five historic structures that date back to 1850. These former slave dwellings now serve as the focal point for an award-winning 45-minute program in African-American history.

Magnolia recognizes the importance of acknowledging the vital role that Gullah people and culture plays in any interpretation of Lowcountry history. By addressing this often overlooked part of the region's narrative, Magnolia seeks to respectfully afford credit where credit is due.

Visitors have the option to take a shuttle to the cabins, where they will experience an engaging and interactive discussion of the dynamic issues that shape this delicate inquiry. Afterward, time is given to allow everyone the opportunity to explore each cabin to appreciate the lengthy period in which the buildings were actively occupied - from the 1850s to the late-1990s. This arc of history conveys the tumultuous times continuously challenging African-American families from slavery, the Jim Crow/segregation era and through the modern Civil Rights period.

Magnolia promises visitors will leave with a newfound perspective rooted in cutting-edge historical and archaeological studies that consistently serve to inform and astonish all who visit.

Facebook Find The Cabin Project on Facebook Lowcountry Africana Project

Cabin A   Cabin A - Circa 1850's Slave Cabin
Built sometime in the early 1850's, this pine-framed duplex was designed to hold two separate families with as many as six people per room. Enslaved African-Americans lived here until Charleston fell to Union forces in February 1865.
Cabin A   Cabin B - 1926 Gardener's Home
Built in the 1850's, this cabin was restored to reflect the mid 1920's era when it was the home of one of Magnolia's gardeners. The Hastie family often brought newspapers with them from Charleston and New York, which were used for cabin insulation and are recreated here.
Cabin A   Cabin C - 1969 Leach Family Home
Also erected in the 1850's, this cabin was later inhabited by free African-Americans working at Magnolia. The Leach family boasted a long lineage of prestigious gardeners dating back to the early 1930's, and Johnnie Leach resided here from 1946 until 1969.
Cabin A   Cabin D - 1870 Freedmen's House
African-American workers resided in this cabin off and on into the 1980's, making extensive alterations over the years. Magnolia Plantation restored this 1850's structure to its 1870's condition to illustrate a time when many former slaves became gardeners, porters and guides to the many visitors who traveled to Charleston aboard steamboats once tourism began its rise after the Civil War.
Cabin A   Cabin E - Circa 1900 Gardener's Home
This is the only cabin on this street not built during slavery. All indicators point to the building's completion occurring around 1900, and would have provided shelter for an individual or couple without children. The last person to inhabit this cabin was groundskeeper Allen Haynes, who left in 1999.

Here's what others are saying.

"Do NOT miss the Slavery to Freedom Tour. If you only do one thing, this should be it...You'll be shocked by what you learn." April, 2011

"The From Slavery to Freedom Tour was an unexpected gem! I teach fifth grade US History and left motivated to redesign our curriculum [because] I'd come across a goldmine of resources that will help us do just that. The information was researched and presented with enthusiasm and a fresh perspective that gives credit to the skilled African-Americans that shaped our country. If you get a chance...take this tour, it was the highlight of our week in Charleston." April, 2011

"This was the best part of our trip. It was the most educationally moving activity we have experienced. Every adult and student should hear the information presented." March, 2011

"It was a life-changing experience that we will never forget. It's absolutely essential that our young people hear the truth about the slave trade." March, 2011