Labors program at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site delves into the lives of enslaved people | Olde English District

User menu

Labors program at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site delves into the lives of enslaved people

Join us for our third annual Labors program. Through interactive exhibits, visitors will learn about the daily work of the enslaved African-Americans at Rose Hill, a large Upstate plantation in the 1800s. Come with us into the past us as we explore the world of the enslaved, such as Vardy Gist and Allen Gist and their families. Born into slavery, Vardy was a blacksmith at Rose Hill. Allen Gist, born in 1834, was an enslaved carpenter at Rose Hill. What was life like for them and others during the years they spent as property owned by Gist? What were their responsibilities? What did they do in their private time with their families? Labors is ongoing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with activities at various locations on the park. Special performances by guest interpreters, Kitty Wilson-Evans as “Kessie,” Tyrie Rowell as “Cato” and Dontavius Williams as “Adam,” will take you back in time to experience what life might have been like for enslaved workers on the Gist plantation.  We will examine their everyday life through the labors that they would have carried out as well as activities they would have done in their own time. No registration is required. $2/person age 16 and older. Those 15 and younger are admitted free. The park also offers gardens and a nature trail. A picnic shelter with several tables is available for those who would like to bring their lunch.

Extra option: Special tour (ticket purchase required) of the Gist mansion begins at 10 a.m. on the front porch and will emphasize the duties of enslaved African-Americans assigned to work in the mansion at Rose Hill. Tickets may be purchased in the office 15 minutes prior to tour.

For further information, contact Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site at 2677 Sardis Road, Union, SC. (864) 427-5966 or E-mail: Visit us at

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is the antebellum home of South Carolina’s “secession governor,” William H. Gist. Visitors to the 44-acre park can learn about the lifestyle of a wealthy Upstate plantation family, Gist’s contributions to politics, and the importance of cotton in the South. Visitors also get an inside look at the role of enslaved African-Americans and tenant farmers in South Carolina’s history. We also offer special school programs. Contact the park for further information. Normal hours of operation: Park grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year round. The mansion home is only accessible by guided tour. Tours are held Mar. – Oct., daily at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Winter tours, from Nov. – Feb., are scheduled Thurs. – Mon. at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Groups of 15 or more interested in taking a tour must contact the park for a reservation. The grounds at Rose Hill Plantation may be rented for weddings and other events.  The park is located eight miles south of Union, SC.

The South Carolina State Park Service is a program of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, a state agency that serves as the leading marketing organization for South Carolina tourism. SCPRT also operates 47 state parks and administers federal and state grants for recreational development.