Thursday, November 17, 2016

Day Seventeen: The Stanton Cabinet Speaks

Day 17: Select a family heirloom (watch, quilt, Bible, etc.) and write a narrative from its perspective. Where has it been? How did your ancestor acquire it, and what would it have encountered throughout the years? What important family milestones might it have witnessed?


The Stanton Cabinet
I am back home and it feels great. No, more than that, it feels right. Although I certainly enjoyed my time in Richmond, Virginia, it is so good to be back in South Carolina.

My life started in the mid-1800's on John Dunkley Stanton's plantation. It was quite a large plantation, and the house itself was so big that family lore says people could see the smoke from the fire when the Yankees burned it all the way to Columbia! You see, I was the only survivor of Stanton family furnishings, because I was in the kitchen dependency, which was not burned. It must have been a good sized building, too, because I myself am 9 feet tall!

From John Dunkley Stanton, I went to his daughter, Nancy Stanton Ragsdale, and from Nancy I went to her youngest son, John Knox Ragsdale. John and his wife, Minnie, took me to Greenville when they moved in 1907 and I remained in the house on Hampton Avenue until 2001, when the family sold that house. From there I went to Richmond, Virginia, to live with Betty Isbell Steele and then her daughter, Liz. I had the perfect place in Liz's house. I fit into her breakfast room like that particular corner was made just for me! When Liz and her husband downsized, they took me with them and they tried and tried to find a place for me in their new house. But, no matter how hard they searched, they could not find a suitable corner.

Fairfield County Museum

Liz would not be discouraged. It was hard for her to let go of me (which I really appreciate), because she knew I had a story...a story very dear to her whole family. How could my story best be told? She knew there was a way...that there was a perfect place for me. And there was! Here I am today, in the dining room of the Fairfield County Museum in Winnsboro, Fairfield County, South Carolina. I am so happy here and many, many people get to visit me and hear my story. I couldn't be happier, because I am happy at home!

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