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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Boy practices 18th-century writing at FestiFall
Young man practices 18th-century writing at FestiFall Photo courtesy Spartanburg County Historical Association

FestiFall at Walnut Grove Plantation

Festifall, held annually on the first weekend of October, is a family-oriented two-day event centered on the re-enactments of life on a pre-Revolutionary upstate colonial plantation . Among the attractions are demonstrations of colonial life, storytelling, the re-enactment of "Bloody Bill" Cunningham's raid on Walnut Grove Plantation, militia drills, musket firing, eighteenth-century dancing, and colonial-era music. Craftsmen dressed in colonial period costumes demonstrate a variety of 18th century skills, including basketry, cooking, apothecary skills, blacksmithing, woodworking, quilting and pewtersmithing. For children there is candle dipping, writing with quill pens, and 18th century games and toys. Festifall is sponsored by the Spartanburg County Historical Society.

Walnut Grove Plantation in Spartanburg County is a historical interpretation of a large and successful family farm in "Backcountry" South Carolina during the years between 1765 and 1800. The owners were Charles and Mary Moore, Scots-Irish who had come first to Pennsylvania from Northern Ireland in the late 1750s, later traveling down the Great Wagon Road to the South Carolina Backcountry. The Moores were strong supporters of the American Revolution. It is thought that Walnut Grove served as a recruiting center prior to the Battle of Cowpens. Toward the close of the Revolutionary War, Walnut Grove was the site of a skirmish between Captain Andrew Barry, a few of his young Patriot soldiers and "Bloody Bill" Cunningham, the notorious Tory and Loyalist to the British Crown. Each year this skirmish is re-enacted at Festifall; both the Loyalist and Patriot sides are portrayed. They set up camps, and live as they did in Revolutionary times.

Project documentation includes a six-page report, press release, videotape of Festifall entitled " Backcountry Heritage, Key to American Independence," 27 slides with their descriptions, a promotional flyer, local newspaper coverage, a program from the 1998 Festifall and a brochure from the 1997 event.

Originally submitted by: Jim DeMint, Representative (4th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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