WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When the main house at Poplar Grove Plantation was rebuilt in the mid 1850s, the road in front of the building was made of wooden planks.
The wood road has been replaced, but the almost 4,300 square foot house, that once belonged to Joseph Foy, is still standing. And because of the work of a lot of volunteers, it is looking better than ever.
"We have been stripping wallpaper that was from the early 1900s, we have been stripping many layers of paint that had been added thru the years, and we have been applying new paint, consistent with the colors that they would have had in 1850," said Felicia Greene, Director of Tourism for Poplar Grove Plantation. "We want to stay true to the house itself, true to its history and we are just restoring everything to what he would have been like in 1850."
Like other plantations of the area, Poplar Grove was self-sustaining. If you didn't make it or grow it or raise it, you probably did without.
An abundance of Spanish moss may indicate an ample amount of water nearby, but not enough to grow rice, as some plantations along the Cape Fear River did.
So, in the sandy land in the area, Foy decided on growing peanuts, which he learned from his slaves.
"If they sat in water, they will rot, and we are so close to the ocean that we happen to have an ample abundance of sandy soil in the backyard, that gave peanuts good drainage, and for that reason, they took over as the cash crop and top money maker here," said Greene.
The plantation was owed by the Foy family until 1971. Today, it is operated by a museum, and it remains a popular place to take school groups.
Because the main house is now on the National Registers for Historic Homes, it means the main structure will continue to receive renovations and be around for years to come, for people to visit, and get a personal reminder of what it was like to live on a true working southern plantations, and the joys and hardships that came along with it.
Poplar Grove Plantation is open daily for tours and other special events.
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322 Shipyard Boulevard