Party at the plantation

Historic sites of enslavement grapple with food events

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Considering the subject of this story, it really ought to start with a description of Drayton Hall’s annual oyster roast. It’s hard to get a feel for the holiday party at the National Trust for Historic Preservation property, an 18th-century Palladian estate alongside South Carolina’s Ashley River, without an on-the-ground report of which songs the band played; what beers the bar offered; and how high the steaming oyster clusters, some clogged with viscous pluff mud, were heaped.

But I can’t properly set that scene because I couldn’t get a ticket to the Dec. 5 event. The oyster roast at Drayton Hall, the nation’s oldest unrestored plantation mansion open to the public, always sells out.


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