Historic slave cabin renovations complete

Published: Apr. 22, 2013 at 9:57 PM EDT|Updated: May. 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - To Joseph McGill, the slave cabin at Laurelwood Plantation is an important reminder and a window into African-American history.

"Tonight, I will sleep here," said McGill.

He'll write up a blog for his Slave Dwelling Project, documenting old cabins like this one across the country. But while he's a tourist here, Nancy Floyd is home.

Floyd and her family of five lived at the cabin in the 1940's, almost a century after it was as a home for slaves.

"Things have changed a lot, but I see a lot that I remember," said Floyd.

A renovation project led by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation kept the building upright. Jeremy Thomas, an English transplant, bought the property in hopes of making it an educational resource.

"Once they've gone, they've gone, so it's important that we save what's left," said Thomas.

To Floyd, the time under this roof was precious and the memories are still vivid -- stories that would stand in stark contrast to a slave's memories of life on this road, but both have been saved in a 170-year old cabin waiting to take visitors back in time.

"It's important to acknowledge places like these and make sure we keep them on the American landscape," said McGill.

The cabin is complete, but it's not quite ready for tourists. The Palmetto Trust is working on a plan that would allow the next generation to see how things used to be.

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