Last week, I received a couple of books from Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, SC, the fantastic used- book shop on N King Street that for years has been my go-to source for books about the low country. One of the books in this shipment is about a 1980’s effort to discover as much as possible about Richmond Hill Plantation, one of more than a two dozen rice plantations that developed along the Waccamaw River beginning in the 1700’s and continuing through the mid 1800’s.
Researchers found hand- made nails, pipe stems, buckles and buttons. But it was the fragments of pottery that helped them establish the date that the house at Richmond Hill was built. By studying pieces of Chinese porcelain and creamware, the researchers established what is called a “mean ceramic date” placing the date of construction at around 1735. The Chinese porcelain told them that the owners were wealthy. Just the first of many facts I will uncover as I continue reading. This book promises to open a window to those who lived in the house, to what they ate and drank, and how they lived. I can’t wait to learn more, and to share it with you in the pages of a new novel, to be published in 2013.