Heading south after the Pioneer Festival

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

If you attended the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival last weekend, you know the weathermen from our local TV stations were probably as surprised as we were with the weather.

Though they reported there would be rain in the forecast Saturday, it was not supposed to hit until late afternoon or around 6 p.m. Nowhere do I remember hearing a cloudburst was in the forecast.

My heart went out to the many vendors and festival-goers this year. Sunday, the weather did cooperate much better.

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My friends from South Carolina wanted me to thank all who stopped by Dr. Terry Grainger and his wife, Sue’s, booth. They enjoyed meeting everyone and appreciated all who purchased a book from him.

Jane Cheuvront was the lucky winner of two of his books. She was able to get them signed before he returned to South Carolina. She also told us she had never won anything in her life so we were excited she had won.

If you wanted a book of the Graingers’ and did not get one you still can purchase one from Westbow Press.

I rode back to South Carolina with Terry and Sue and am spending a few days with them.

On Monday, they took me to Brookgreen Gardens located between Murrells Inlet and Pawley’s Island. Though I have been to Myrtle Beach several times in the past, I have never had the opportunity to go to these gardens.

I find it hard to try to impress upon you how beautiful this place is. What originally was rice plantations is now one of the Top 10 gardens in the U.S.

Archer and Anna Huntington founded Brookgreen Gardens in 1931. It was the first sculpture garden open to the public in the country.

In 1984, Brookgreen was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are more than 1,230 sculptures in Brookgreen Gardens. These sculptures represent 335 American sculptors. They are considered to be the best figurative artists of the last 130 years.

There are sculptures from eight of the most prestigious American sculptors there. Some sculptures date as far back as 1855. The oldest sculpture in the garden is “Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii,” by Randolph Rogers.

There are more than 2,000 species and subspecies of plant life native to the southeast U.S. There is also a 244-year-old oak tree. The flowers and greenery are beautiful around these sculptures. Some are in the center of the water. All are beautiful.

There is also a low country zoo in Brookgreen Gardens that spreads over more than 23 acres. There are more than 194 species of birds that call Brookgreen Gardens home.

When you first enter, I would suggest watching the film that explains how the gardens came to be. We were given a great tour guide. The history lesson is amazing and goes into detail so much more than I could ever do in a column. It helped me remember more after the tour began.

Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington were two people who had identical dreams, which is so rare.

Up until Anna began sculpting, there were basically no women sculptors. Though she married a very rich man who had inherited his money from his stepfather, who was a railroad and naval shipyard industrialist, she made her own wealth from sculpting.

I was fascinated with all that had taken place before the Huntingtons acquired Brookgreen Gardens. The history before the Huntingtons included Aaron Burr and even George Washington.

Take a day away from the beach if you are ever going to Myrtle Beach and go see this place. I will take back to Kentucky a great memory from here.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.