Historic Brattonsville is one of our favorite places to visit. It is a 775 acre living history site nestled in the Carolina backcountry (Historic Brattonsville). Throughout the year they have special events and this month was the Battle of Huck’s Defeat. This two day event includes battle reenactments, tours, and demonstrations.
We are members and have attended Brattonsville on numerous occasions. Why do I bring my kids to the same place multiple times? I do this for two reasons: they have a passion for history and we learn something new each time. Last year’s experience was different than this years experience. This year we watched a battle but focused on the home tour because my niece and nephew were with us. This gave my children an opportunity to teach what they know about 18th century living and the Revolutionary War.
My kids talked so passionately about the slave cabins and the Bratton home. They talked about why the kitchen is outdoors. They talked about the slave who warned Col. Bratton during the Revolutionary War and how this slave has a special memorial. They demonstrated how to play the 18th century children’s games.
Then we listened to interpreters and we learned new things. We learned the history of the oldest home that was converted to a schoolhouse so the Mr. Bratton’s daughters could get an education. We talked about how revolutionary that was for the time period. We learned what feathers make the best quills.
Finally , we listened to description of the Battle of Hanging Rock and watched the reenactment.
There is nothing like visiting Historic Brattonsville. History vividly comes to life and I truly believe immersing my kids in living history gives them an appreciation for our past. Watching a battle unfold before their eyes gives them a taste of how much was sacrificed for them to live free today. Seeing people working jobs in 18th century clothing and using equipment from two hundred years ago gives them an appreciation for our modern day conveniences. Stepping inside slave quarters gives them a sense of reality of what slavery was like that no textbook ever could.
History is not a set of dates and battles to be memorized. It is a beautiful set of stories of the past that have shaped who we are in the present. That is why I love going to Brattonsville over and over again. Each time we hear
a different story from different voices of the past.
If you live near Historic Brattonsville, visiting York County, SC or would just like more resources—-this link has great additional resources on the Bratton’s, 18th century physicians , and disease in the 18th century: