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Candlelight Supper at Walnut Grove Plantation – March 19th

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Contact: Zac Cunningham, Director
Walnut Grove Plantation & Historic Price House
Spartanburg County Historical Association
864-576-6546 (o), 864-576-5048 (f)

Candlelight Supper at Walnut Grove Plantation to Explore Upstate’s Rich Scots-Irish Heritage

Roebuck, SC, March 2, 2011 — Who were the first European settlers to move into Spartanburg County? Historians have long told us they were Scots-Irish. J.B.O. Landrum, an early chronicler of the county’s history, wrote that several families, “doubtless Scots-Irish,” settled along the Tyger River. Writers creating another county history for the Depression-era Work Progress Administration likewise took note of “Scots-Irish Presbyterian settlers” on the Tyger. The Moore Family of Walnut Grove Plantation was one of these first settler families and was, indeed, Scots-Irish. But just who were the Scots-Irish? Or should it be Scotch-Irish? Were they Scottish or Irish? Were they from Scotland or Ireland?

A Candlelight Supper at Walnut Grove Plantation will answer these questions. Join us on March 19 for an elegant evening of dining and dancing by candlelight in Walnut Grove’s rustic outdoor pavilion. Dr. Bill Brockington will share the fascinating history of the Scots-Irish people in the Upstate and surrounding areas. The Carolina English Country Dancers will demonstrate 18th century dances popular with the Scots-Irish and other American colonists. Guests will even be able to try out the colonial dance steps themselves.

The evening’s authentic colonial-era dinner features a Scottish-influenced menu of pea soup, shepherd’s pie, and bread pudding and will be served near a roaring fire as 18th-century musicians entertain. Before supper, visitors may tour the original Moore Family home by lantern light.

A Candlelight Supper at Walnut Grove Plantation takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. The cost is $30.00 per person or $55 for two people and may be paid at the door using cash, check, or Visa/Mastercard. Dinner reservations are required by 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 16. Optional pre-supper lantern light tours of Walnut Grove’s Manor House and Kitchen as well as of Rocky Spring Academy will take place at 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, and 5:30 p.m. These lantern tours are an additional $6.00 per adult and also require reservations. A Candlelight Supper takes place in an outdoor pavilion with a vinyl curtain enclosure, patio heaters, and a fireplace, so it may be cool. Guests are asked to dress in warm and comfortable business causal attire.

To reserve your place at supper or on a tour, contact Zac Cunningham by phone at 864-576-6546 or by email at

A native of both Lowcountry (Kingstree) and Upcountry (Greenwood), Professor Bill Brockington received his Bachelor’s (1966), Master’s (1969) and Doctor of Philosophy (1975) degrees from the University of South Carolina. Teaching history was, for Bill, never a job; his teaching career spanned 43 years, with 35 years at USC Aiken. For his love of teaching, ‘Dr. B’ was honored with the Teaching Excellence Award in 1990 and was named the South Carolina Professor of the Year in 1991. After teaching for over four decades, he retired in December 2008.

Established in 2005 and based in Greenville, the Carolina English Country Dancers continue the long tradition of English Country Dance with a repertoire that includes dances from across four centuries. When performing for the public, the group’s experienced dancers cheerfully and skillfully help beginners to learn these centuries old folk dances. As the dances are taught and then called, the pace varies from lively and dynamic to slow and elegant. The dance movements are fairly simple and the music expresses a range of mood and emotion. English Country Dance is alive and flourishing in South Carolina.

Walnut Grove Plantation tells the stories of the free and enslaved people who settled the South Carolina Backcountry and the rest of Britain’s American colonies, who fought for independence, and who, in the end, built a new nation. Charles and Mary Moore established the plantation on a 550-acre land grant. The Scots-Irish family raised ten children, including Revolutionary War heroine Kate Moore Barry, in the house they built about 1765 and lived in for the next 40 years. In late 1781, Loyalist William “Bloody Bill” Cunningham killed three Patriot soldiers at the plantation and sparked a small skirmish with local militia, which is reenacted each year in early October.

Operated by the Spartanburg County Historical Association, Walnut Grove offers the public guided tours of the plantation’s 250-year-old buildings. Special events examining the history of 18th-century America and usually featuring reenactors portraying soldiers and artisans from the time are held frequently. Groups of ten or more people from schools, churches, scout troops, senior citizen groups, and other community organizations can schedule special tours and activities in advance.

SCHA activities and events are supported in part by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg and its donors, the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, the City and County of Spartanburg, and by corporate and individual partners.

For more information, visit, see photos from our special events on Flickr at, or “Like” us on Facebook at

Captions for accompanying photos:

Dr. Bill Brockington will speak on the history of the Upstate’s Scots-Irish people at this year’s Candlelight Supper at Walnut Grove Plantation on Saturday, March 19, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The Carolina English Country Dancers will demonstrate 18th century dances popular with the Upstate’s Scots-Irish settlers and other American colonists at this year’s Candlelight Supper at Walnut Grove Plantation on Saturday, March 19, beginning at 6:00 p.m.


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