Job Announcement: Wexler-Funded Curatorial Fellow


Circa 1740 Colonoware cooking pot created by enslaved people and used at Drayton Hall. Photo credit: Colonial Williamsburg

Under the supervision of the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust Archaeologist + Curator of Collections, the Wexler-Funded Curatorial Fellow (WFCF) is responsible for generating high-quality digital data on archaeological artifacts, excavation contexts, and site plans, with the use of detailed classification, measurement, digitizing, and coding protocols developed by the Monticello Archaeology Lab and the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). The WFCF is responsible for cataloging the legacy archaeological collection at Drayton Hall in order to contribute to a greater understanding of the material culture of the past inhabitants of the Drayton Hall property. The fellowship is a funded position with funding expected to last for approximately 24 months.


  • Mastery of DAACS protocols and data structures for artifacts and context data and their instantiation in the DAACS database.
  • Expertise in the material culture of the early-modern Atlantic world, especially ceramics and a basic understanding of stratigraphy, soils, sediments, archaeological survey and excavation techniques.
  • Knowledge of current scholary literature in historical archaeology.
  • Ability to communicate effectively through writing, informal tours, and professional presentations. Fellow is expected to work with supervisor to present results at professional conferences and to communicate with Deborah and Peter Wexler on the status and progress of the fellowship.
  • Excellent organizational skills with extreme attention to detail and diligent and patient work practices.
  • Be a team player and be able to lead, follow, and/or support colleagues in a tactful, positive way.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology or related discipline, preferably with a concentration in archaeology.
  • Graduate degree in anthropology.
  • Previous DAACS training by the Monticello/DAACS staff a plus.
  • A minimum of two years’ experience in archaeological research.
  • Must have strong oral and written communication skills.

Position Details

  • Department: Preservation
  • Reports To: Archaeologist + Curator of Collections
  • FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
  • Employment Status: Full Time

Please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references who can support the applicant’s ability to perform the duties described above, to:
Drayton Hall Preservation Trust
Attn: Sarah Stroud Clarke, Archaeologist + Curator of Collections
3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
Or you may email your application materials to
No phone calls, please.
The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

“China of the Most Fashionable Sort” with Suzanne Hood

Suzanne Hood in Chinese Porcelain exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg.

Suzanne Hood in her Chinese Porcelain exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg.

The Drayton Hall 2015 Distinguished Speakers Series Presents Suzanne F. Hood and China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America

October 15th at South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC at 6:30pm

Suzanne Findlen Hood is the curator of ceramics and glass at Colonial Williamsburg. Her research focuses on ceramics owned and used in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America with a particular emphasis on archaeological ceramics, Chinese export porcelain, salt-glazed stoneware, and British pottery. Her most recent exhibition, China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, is currently on view at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Williamsburg. As part of Drayton Hall’s 2016 Distinguished Speakers Series, Ms. Hood’s presentation of the same title will show how a decorative arts perspective broadens the stories archaeology can tell by highlighting one of the largest groups of artifacts recovered from Colonial America archaeological sites: Chinese Export Porcelain.

First crossing the Atlantic with the settlers at Jamestown, this porcelain was a valuable commodity that served not only as a symbol of the society the settlers had left behind, but of the wealth and status of those who owned them. Using archaeological evidence, Ms. Hood will bring complexity and nuance to the curatorial understanding of the Chinese porcelain that was present in the colonial South. Within this context, her presentation on October 15th will include images of Charlestonian examples of pre-Drayton and Drayton owned pieces, which are now housed in the Drayton Hall Archaeological and Museum Collections as well as private collections. Also, objects from the Drayton Hall Collections that correspond with Ms. Hood’s presentation will be on display in a small pop-up exhibit.

Ms. Hood holds a B.A. in history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and the University of Delaware. Prior to her arrival at Colonial Williamsburg in 2002, she was employed at The Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is co-author with Janine Skerry of Salt-Glazed Stoneware in Early America, winner of the American Ceramic Circle Book Award for 2009.

The Fall 2015 issue of Charleston Style & Design features a thoughtful interview with Ms. Hood in advance of her presentation — don’t miss it!  

In the meantime, please enjoy these images from her curated exhibit:


1. Teacup (partially reconstructed), Jingdezhen, China, 1685–1710, hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue. Excavated from the site of the Governor’s Palace.

This teacup, one of a pair recovered from the site of the Governor’s Palace, was likely owned by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, who served in Virginia from 1710 until 1722. In 1716, he was the first to reside in the Governor’s Palace. These teacups are ornamented over the exterior surface with a simplified version of the Sanskrit character “om,” which also appears on the bottom of the interior. Sanskrit, a liturgical language used in Hinduism and Buddhism, appears on a number of Chinese porcelains produced for over three centuries in Southeast Asia and India. The design can be read like a prayer wheel; as the bowl is rotated, the prayer is released. Despite their apparent lack of connection to a Western audience, sherds from a similar bowl were excavated at Santa Elena, on Parris Island, South Carolina, from a 16th-century colonial Spanish settlement. Two almost identical teacups were recovered from two 17th-century sites: Jamestown Island, and Bacon’s Castle in Surrey, Virginia. It seems unlikely that North American consumers knew of the connection between the decoration on their teacups and eastern religious practices.

Yonge Beakers*

2. Yonge Beakers.* Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1720, hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue. Drayton Hall, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The fascination with Chinese porcelain was as strong among the Lowcountry elite as it was with the British gentry. Trade laws of the day mandated that Chinese and other imported goods be moved through a British port before their re-shipment to America, but the resulting additional cost did not dissuade affluent colonists. South Carolina planter and political figure Francis Yonge may have been the first owner of these Chinese export beakers. Although Yonge resided in an Ashley River house of modest size, he went to England several times on the colony’s business. Both his travels and his wealth gave him access to such luxury goods.

Beakers were likely used for the consumption of hot beverages such as chocolate. The form was popular in the early 18th century, but soon gave way to the shorter cups associated with tea and coffee. As a result, beakers are seldom encountered on American archaeological sites.

*Fragments of two vessels from the same set are mounted to resemble a single beaker.


04_Teacup and Saucer

3. Teacup and Saucer, Jingdezhen, China, 1722-1750, hard-paste porcelain. Drayton Hall, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

These delicate tea wares were probably part of the first generation furnishings at Drayton Hall Plantation, which was finished in the late 1740s. The vessels are finely potted and of the higher quality more commonly associated with Chinese porcelains destined for the English and Continental European markets. Although not unknown in colonial America, Chinese porcelain with such minutely detailed painting was relatively rare. The superiority of these goods is in tune with period observations about the luxurious furnishings seen in the homes of the Low Country’s leading citizens.

These pieces were part of a larger group of cups and saucers that may have included a matching teapot. However, it is just as likely that they were used with a teapot made of silver, white salt-glazed stoneware, or another material. Mixing different wares was quite acceptable, even in gentry settings.

08_Saucer Dish

4. Saucer Dish, Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1750, hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue. Museum Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach Directors, 2013-29.

Porcelain decorated with cobalt blue had been popular since the 14th century when the Chinese first developed it. The main source of cobalt at that time was Persia, where there was a thriving earthenware industry. Because cobalt can be fired to a very high temperature in the kiln without burning off the dish, it had an economic as well as an aesthetic advantage: cobalt-decorated pieces of porcelain were not only beautiful, they also did not have to undergo multiple firings.

Blue-decorated porcelain appears archaeologically on many colonial sites. This fine example features a water buffalo, a popular design in colonial Virginia of which variations have been found on numerous sites. A dish with similar decoration, but rendered in more elaborate opaque enamels, was owned by Miles Brewton of Charleston, South Carolina.


5. Dish, Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1736, hard-paste porcelain with opaque enamels. Museum Purchase, Wesley and Elise H. Wright in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Hofheimer II and in honor of John C. Austin, 2013-57.

This dish exactly matches one owned by the Lee family of Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Stratford was built in the late 1730s, which corresponds to the date of this piece. The example recovered at Stratford was found in a rat’s nest in a wall of the house during 20th-century restoration. This pattern was popular on export porcelain in this color palette as well as in translucent enamels called “Imari.” Imari versions have been found archaeologically in Williamsburg and are also known in the Gore and Cargill families of Massachusetts. The design depicts two crabs holding a Chinese coin between them. The colonists who dined off of these wares probably did not know that, to a Chinese audience, the design indicated wishes for prosperity and financial success.

10_Cream Jug

6. Cream jug, Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1735, hard-paste porcelain with translucent enamels. Museum Purchase, 1964-335.

As the market for porcelain grew in Europe, potters in China began to produce more wares specifically based on Western shapes. This cream jug directly relates to silver prototypes, while the decoration continues to be Asian in inspiration. This piece descended in the Glen-Sanders family. It may have been owned by Deborah Glen and her husband John Sanders who married on December 6, 1739. Both the Glen and Saunders families were prominent in colonial New York. The cream jug was most likely used at the family home, Scotia, near what is now Schenectady.

05_China of the Most Fashionable Sort view1

China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (View 1)

06_China of the Most Fashionable Sort view2

China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (View 2)

07_China of the Most Fashionable Sort view3

China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (View 3)

To learn more about the exhibit and the art museums of Colonial Williamsburg, please follow these links:


China of the Most Fashionable Sort – October 15th  South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting ST., Charleston, SC

Doors open at 5:30pm with a Wine and Cheese Reception.
Presentation start promptly at 6:30pm.
No advance reservations; please arrive early as seating is limited.

Sponsored by The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.


McDaniel’s Tenure Praised for “Public History Leadership”

Dr. George W. McDaniel

Dr. George W. McDaniel, President Emeritus of Drayton Hall

We were delighted to learn that The Southern Garden History Society ran a wonderful tribute to Drayton Hall’s recently retired President and Executive Director George W. McDaniel in the Spring 2015 issue of its members’ newsletter, Magnolia. Written by Editor Kenneth M. McFarland, the article praised Dr. McDaniel’s leadership, noting his accomplishments and influence over his 25-year-plus tenure.

Click here to read the complete article: George McDaniel and Drayton Hall

About the Society: The Southern Garden History Society was founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in May 1982, as an outgrowth of a continuing series of biennial conferences on Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes, held at Old Salem. The purpose of the society is to stimulate interest in Southern garden and landscape history, in historic horticulture, and in the preservation of historic gardens and landscapes in the South. Membership is open to any individual, family, corporation, or organization interested in the aims and purposes of the society.  .

Interested in learning more about Southern historic landscapes? Discover Drayton Hall and what Southern Landscape Historian Suzanne Turner calls “The most significant, undisturbed historic landscape in America.”


Preserving the Past, Preparing the Future: Celebrating Ten Years of Wood Family Fellows

 The Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series – Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stephen Wood photo black and white

Stephen Wood at Drayton Hall, 1980

Presented by Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D., Acting President and Executive Director, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust

One of the most significant contributions to the initiatives of Drayton Hall has been the establishment of the Wood Family Fellowship, which was created by Anthony C. “Tony” Wood in 2005 in honor of his parents Leonard and Tanya Wood, and in memory of his brother Stephen Wood.

In August 1980, Stephen was a young preservationist who was repairing Drayton Hall’s main house as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Restoration Workshop when the scaffolding that he was on gave way. He fell to the ground below and later that day succumbed to his injuries. Some 24 years later, misfortune revisited the family as the lives of Tony’s parents Leonard and Tanya, who reared their children on the lessons of history and the value of preservation, were claimed by a car accident while traveling east of their home in Charleston, Illinois.

To further the legacy of his brother and parents in a manner that would build on the Wood family’s values and dedication to education and historic preservation, Tony and his husband, Anthony Badalamenti, established the Wood Family Fellowship at Drayton Hall in 2005. By design, the Fellowship is intended to foster the care and research of Drayton Hall while providing guidance and inspiration to rising scholars in the fields of history, historic preservation, anthropology, decorative arts, and architectural history.

L-R: Sarah Stroud Clarke, Carter C. Hudgins, Trish Smith

L-R: Sarah Stroud Clarke, Carter C. Hudgins, Trish Smith

Such an experience continues to lend to the advancement of Drayton Hall as past Fellows Carter C. Hudgins, Sarah Stroud Clarke, and Trish Smith presently serve as the site’s Acting President & Executive Director, Archaeologist & Curator of Collections, and Curator of Historic Architectural Resources, respectively. These three former Fellows will join Drayton Hall Preservation Trust Board Member Anthony C. Wood to celebrate ten years of success with an eye towards the future of the program.

This event is sponsored by Richard and Jill Almeida.

Members in the Friends of Drayton Hall will find more about the history and impact of the Wood Family Fellowship in the Spring/Summer 2015 (Vol 34, No 1) edition of their members newsletter, Interiors.


Drayton Hall’s Fall 2015 Distinguished Speakers Series Starts September 17

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The Friends of Drayton Hall are pleased to present the 2015 fall season of the Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series. Beginning with the opening event on September 17, you can expect thought-provoking presentations related to American history and culture by some of today’s most respected historians and curators. Speakers will also highlight the connections of Charleston and Drayton Hall to their research interests and answer questions from the audience. All programs will be held at South Carolina Society Hall.

For more about the fall series, visit the Distinguished Speakers’ website.

Carter Hudgins headshot 2013 - bwSeptember 17th – Dr. Carter C. Hudgins, Drayton Hall, will celebrate Ten Years of the Wood Family Fellowship — one of the most significant contributions to the stewardship and advancement of Drayton Hall. Past Fellows include Hudgins, Sarah Stroud Clarke, and Trish Smith who presently serve as the site’s Acting President & Executive Director, Archaeologist and Curator of Collections, and Curator of Historic Architectural Resources, respectively. Sponsored by Richard and Jill Almeida.

Portrait of Suzanne Hood; August 13th, 2014.

October 15th – Suzanne F. Hood, Colonial Williamsburg, will present China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, including ceramics owned and used in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America with a particular emphasis on archaeological ceramics, Chinese export porcelain, salt-glazed stoneware, and British pottery.

Inaugural Chipstone Lecture:

Milestone Portraits; Cary Carson; 30 Years;

November 19th, Cary Carson, Ph.D., Colonial Williamsburg, retired, to present All Dressed Up, But No Place To Go, which examines the extraordinary archaeological discovery of three of Colonial Virginia’s most lavish structures: over-the-top, eye-popping plantation houses, similar to the colonial stature of Drayton Hall — except that their owners never resided in their grandiose mansions. Why? Dr. Carson will unravel the mystery. Sponsored by the Chipstone Foundation.


All programs will be held at South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting Street 

Doors open at 5:30pm with a Wine and Cheese Reception.
Presentations start promptly at 6:30pm.
No advance reservations; please arrive early as seating is limited.
The 2015 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series
is sponsored by The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.


A New and Different Kind of Historical Preservation: Preserving Tangible Expressions of Public Sympathy for Emanuel AME Church by George W. McDaniel

Photo credit: Andrew Knapp, Post & Courier

Photo credit: Andrew Knapp, Post & Courier

I wanted to share Andrew Knapp’s moving article in the Post & Courier, which was first published on August 8th. It describes the lengths to which people from all over the world are going in order to express their heartfelt words of sympathy for the tragic massacre on June 17th and how the Emanuel AME Church and its members plus many volunteers are responding by preserving thousands of messages of love, support, and prayer.

Elizabeth, “Liz,” Alston, historian of Emanuel AME church and a former member of Drayton Hall’s Site Advisory Council, is leading this effort to archive these items, and I and other Charleston museum professionals are pitching in. On Friday and Saturday after the shootings, I visited the church to pay my respects and was struck by the number of tangible expressions of concern and support that people left in front of the church: hand-written notes, teddy bears, banners filled with signatures, hand-made crosses, candles, paintings, photographs, and scores of bouquets of flowers. They told of this moment in time, not only for our community but for our nation. It had not yet rained, and I was concerned that when the summer storms came, as they surely would in June, they would spoil the signed banners and artifacts. I called Liz and asked if they had plans for their preservation. She explained that, as a historian, she was thinking in the same way, but that the church was in the midst of grieving and had lost its leadership and was focused on conducting funerals and caring for any number of things large and small. She too was devastated, but nonetheless, suggested we meet.

After signing a banner in front of Emanuel on Friday after the tragedy and seeing all the other testimonials, I contacted Liz Alston, historian at Emanuel.

After signing a banner in front of Emanuel on Friday after the tragedy and seeing all the other testimonials, I contacted Liz Alston, historian at Emanuel.

Cross with notes and artifacts in front of Emanuel.

Cross with notes and artifacts in front of Emanuel.

Messages from the heart and soul.

Messages from the heart and soul.

I called a range of museum and preservation professionals, including John Hildreth, regional vice president of Eastern Field Services of the National Trust, Faye Jensen, director of the SC Historical Society, Toni Carrier, co-founder of Lowcountry Africana and a former fellow with Drayton Hall, Rebecca Campbell, a Drayton Hall descendant, who grew up near Emanuel, Kitty Robinson from the Historic Charleston Foundation, Carl Borick, director of the Charleston Museum, and others. Each responded positively, and just a week after the tragedy, we met in the ground floor room, where the shootings had taken place a week earlier .

First meeting of memorial committee, Liz Alston,Toni Carrier,Rebecca Campbell,Va Ellison,Faye Jensen,JH, GM (2)

First meeting of the memorial committee. Clockwise from top: Liz Alston, Toni Carrier, Rebecca Campbell, Virginia Ellison, Faye Jensen, John Hildreth, and George McDaniel.

It was discomforting to be in that same space yet also uplifting to see the life of the church continue, as members, young and old, came and went, comforted one another, and got ready for the Bible study that evening, the same study conducted a week earlier with the assassin present. Discretely to one side were chamber music musicians, including Charleston violinist Yuri Becker, who were there to play and to express through music their support for the Bible study that evening. We had our meeting, got the ball rolling for preserving artifacts, and since it had not rained, we brought a number of them into the church, including a large cross, and stored them in a side room.

Unidentified priest and Virginia Ellison remove signed banners for safekeeping on first day.

Foreground, L-R: Unidentified priest and Virginia Ellison remove signed banners for safekeeping on first day.

Liz Alston and me, in front of cross with note cards we saved on the first day

Me and Liz Alston in front of a cross with note cards of support. This was one of the first precious items that we rescued a week after the shootings and just before a thunderstorm.

While we were retrieving artifacts, a press conference was held directly in front of the church. About a half dozen pastors were gathered, and I was glad to see among them The Rev. Callie Walpole, an Episcopal priest in Charleston whom I know and who is the niece of friends of mine. The principal speaker was The Rev. Nelson Rivers, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of the National Action Network. Speaking forthrightly into television cameras, he explained in no uncertain terms that this was the time for “respect.” Protest has its time, but not at this time. These families have experienced loss beyond our understanding and will be respected during their times of grieving, as will their church and community members. With force, he declared, “Malcolm X was about respect. Martin Luther King was about respect. The civil rights movement is about respect. And if you don’t understand respect, then you don’t belong here at this time.” It was a challenge and an assurance, both for that moment and for our future.

Later that night a thunderstorm struck, so our retrieval of memorials had been just in time. Our group met again the next week, assessed progress, and retrieved more artifacts. Virginia Ellison and Celeste Wiley, archivists from SC Historical Society, and Karen Emmons, archivist with Historic Charleston Foundation, proved to be key players and offered the assistance of the Charleston Archives, Libraries and Museums association (CALM). Together, their association devised a well-organized process by which artifacts would be systematically photographed in situ and then retrieved from outside for safekeeping. Liz also contacted Mayor Joe Riley, and knowing Liz as he does, he quickly responded by offering both staff support (Danny Burbage and Megan Moughan) as well as temporary storage space in the St. Julian Divine Community Center not far from Emanuel. It was agreed that the articles would be carefully stored there until a more permanent home could be found. Thanks to CALM and the church, volunteers have since been retrieving artifacts on a regular basis and taking photographs before they were removed — papers, notes, teddy bears, canvas frames with inscriptions, crosses, even small rocks with words like “love” and “hope” painted on them and arranged in a circle. In fact, what we won’t remove are the fire hydrant and two or three crepe myrtles in front of the church now covered with hand-written messages and signatures.

At a later meeting, we met with The Rev. Norman Goff, Presiding Elder and interim minister for Emanuel AME, whom many of you saw and heard during the televised funeral services. A thoughtful man with a lot on his shoulders and his heart, he expressed his prayerful support and appreciation for our preservation effort. During our meeting, who came by? Gov. Chris Christie, candidate for President. He offered his sympathies and his appreciation for the preservation work we’re doing. Joining us too were historian Bernard Powers and Mary Battle Pinckney from the Avery Research Center from the College of Charleston.

In subsequent blogs, I’ll report more, but suffice it to say that in the near future, we will be developing a longer term plan, the development of which John Hildreth has much experience and expertise to provide, and for which, fortunately, he has offered to help. We intend to learn from other sites, like Ground Zero, the Boston Marathon, the Vietnam Memorial, and 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. As an example of a future blog, just this week, Edward Crawford, vice chairman of our board, visited Emanuel with me, and Liz Alston showed us around. Edward, a skilled photographer, took pictures, which we’ll feature here later, and was deeply touched by the power of place and of people.

I’ve been deeply grateful to the work with Liz Alston, the Rev. Goff, members of Emanuel, and staff from other museums and preservation organizations in Charleston. Even national support has been provided by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture thanks to Lonnie Bunch, inaugural director and former Drayton Hall Site Advisory Council member, and Dr. Rex M. Ellis, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and a friend of mine. The organization CALM is especially to be thanked for its remarkable dedication to preserving the public response of sympathy, hope, and support to this landmark moment in the history of Charleston and our nation.

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George W. McDaniel recently retired from his position as President and Executive Director of Drayton Hall. He is currently on sabbatical, during which time he has volunteered his services on behalf of Emanuel AME Church. He returns to Drayton Hall on October 1st to work with the Board of Trustees on several projects through June 2016.

All photos are courtesy of George W. McDaniel unless otherwise noted.

Job Announcement: Landscape Technician

view-from-portico-dh-landscape-1020x377Reporting to the Manager of Landscapes, Horticulture and Facilities. the Landscape Technician (LT) will assist in the maintenance and preservation of Drayton Hall’s historic landscape. The LT will work with other Preservation staff contributing to the achievement, support and compliance of the established and future landscape objectives as outlined in Drayton Hall’s Landscape Master Plan or as new projects and plans are initiated.


  • Contribute to the overall success of Drayton Hall in achieving its mission.
  • Maintain and present the landscape according to the highest professional horticultural standards. Primary responsibilities include turf maintenance including: trimming, mowing, pest control, fertilizing; garden duties including proper planting techniques, watering, fertilizing and mulching; removal of invasive plant material and dead plant material; general knowledge of aquatics.
  • Operation, inventory and maintenance of assigned landscape tools, equipment and machinery.
  • Perform duties to the highest standards of landscape maintenance for maximum presentation of historic gardens, trees, parking lots, woodland walks and the cemetery.
  • Work with and monitor volunteers in assigned duties within selected landscape and garden areas.
  • Ensure that all property signs and garden interpretation are well maintained and unobstructed.
  • Assist in emergency storm preparations and recovery, as required.
  • Develop knowledge of the site and its history by attending enhancement programs and reviewing the site landscape plans and horticulture documents.
  • Attend all meetings as required and help ensure effective communications.
  • Become knowledgeable in site security procedures.
  • Assist with special events and programming as needed, including arriving early and staying late to open/close the site, some evenings, weekends or holidays might be required.
  • Work as a cooperative member of a team, and be willing to lead, follow, and support colleagues in a tactful, positive way.
  • May perform other duties as assigned.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions.
  • While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls. The employee is required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee may have exposure to moderate noise, crowds at functions or events, and at times variances in weather.
  • The employee must be able to lift items over 80 pounds and perform manual labor as required. The employee must be able to work outdoors. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and the ability to adjust focus.


  • Technical Certification or Associates Degree or higher in horticulture/landscape maintenance or in a closely related field,  with 1 year applied work experience; or High School Diploma plus 5 years work experience in landscape/horticulture maintenance.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate and maintain landscape equipment including tractors, commercial mowers, and other power equipment.
  • Safe and current driving record.
  • Ensure all work is performed in a safe manner; also demonstrate an understanding of instructions and deadlines, yet take initiative and work independently.

Position Details

  • Department: Preservation
  • Reports To: Manager of Landscapes, Horticulture and Facilities
  • FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
  • Employment Status: Full-Time

Please send a resume and cover letter to:

Drayton Hall Preservation Trust
ATTN: Eric Becker
3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
Or electronically to

The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

Image courtesy of Drayton Hall

Job Announcement: Visitor Services Coordinator

Drayton Hall - Photo by Robbin Knight

Reporting to the Director of Visitor Services, the Visitor Services Coordinator (VSC) serves as a primary point-of-contact for all visitor services on a daily basis. The VSC will be charged with supervising basic site operations at Drayton Hall, including the front ticket gate, museum shop, and the day-to-day interpretive schedule during his/her work week. The candidate will be the point-of-contact in case of emergencies, and will aim to ensure a consistently positive guest experience for all visitors to Drayton Hall.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the overall success of Drayton Hall in achieving its mission.
  • Serve as a point-of-contact for visitors in their experience at the site, providing clear and accurate information in a pleasant, effective, and positive way.
  • Manage basic daily site operations related to the visitor experience, including opening/closing museum shop, front ticket gate, office buildings, and historic structures; respond to the needs and concerns of front-line interpretive/visitor services staff.
  • Present guided house tours of Drayton Hall and Connections: From Africa to America programs to diverse audiences of all ages as needed.
  • Conduct educational and special interpretive programs for adult and student groups of all ages. Assist with program preparation and clean-up.
  • Provide coverage for Drayton Hall admissions and museum shop as needed.
  • Actively facilitate open lines of communication amongst different areas of the site (including museum shop, front gate, historic structures, multiple office buildings, etc.) to ensure efficient and orderly day-to-day operations.
  • Become knowledgeable in site security procedures.
  • Participate actively in interpreter training or enhancement programs in order to expand knowledge of the property and/or interpretive skills.
  • Assist with special events and programming as needed, including arriving early and staying late to open/close the site.
  • Work as a cooperative member of a team, and be willing to lead, follow, and support colleagues in a tactful, positive way.

Minimum Qualifications (Education, Experience, Skills):

  • Bachelor’s degree; studies in history, public history, museum studies, museum education, architecture, historic preservation, anthropology, or similar fields preferred.
  • At least three years of relevant experience required; experience in historic site work strongly preferred.
  • Must have strong oral and written communication skills, and be able to synthesize information into clear, effective presentations.
  • Must be dependable, trustworthy, and a problem-solver, with the ability to respond to stressful situations calmly, tactfully, and with good judgment.
  • Basic math and cash handling skills required; experience with point-of-sale retail systems, cash registers, and ticketing systems a plus.
  • Ability to work outdoors; some lifting and manual labor required.
  • Some weekend, evening, and holiday work required!

Position Details:

  • Department: Visitor Services
  • Reports To: Director of Visitor Services
  • FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
  • Employment Status: Full-Time

Please send a resume and cover letter to:

Drayton Hall
ATTN: Allison Jordan
3380 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
or electronically at

The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

Photograph by Robbin Knight.

McDaniel leaves admirable legacy at Drayton Hall

by Steve Gates, chair of the Board of Trustees for Drayton Hall Preservation Trust

First published on the op-ed page of the Post & Courier on July 9, 2015

At Drayton Hall, the sweep of history is measured in generations. We work every day to preserve an important historic house, the focal point of the property, built more than 250 years ago.

Dr. George W. McDaniel

Dr. George W. McDaniel

Drayton Hall has experienced prosperous times and lean times, but few people have had a greater impact than George W. McDaniel, Ph.D., executive director for the last 26 years.

George retired from his post on June 30, leaving a legacy of visionary preservation, education and community building.

We thank George for his distinguished service. Because of his leadership, the future of this irreplaceable historic site has never been brighter.

Incredibly, George’s first day as executive director was the Monday after Hurricane Hugo. Driving in from Summerville along Ashley River Road, George passed downed trees and devastated houses, unsure if Drayton Hall still existed as a physical structure.

The house was intact, but the grounds were severely damaged — the first of myriad challenges that George faced and overcame. Over the course of the next quarter century, George would become the driving force behind one of the most remarkable historic sites in America.

George’s outreach to both Drayton and African American family descendants and his conservation efforts in the Ashley River region now serve as models for other historic sites across the nation

He enhanced Drayton Hall’s financial sustainability and stewardship of the archival, archaeological and museum collections. Since its acquisition from the Drayton family in 1974, Drayton Hall had been owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of its stewardship sites.

George, working with board members, was instrumental in engineering a co-stewardship model of governance and administration that created the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, a new 501(c)(3) organization, that is now responsible for the operation, preservation, interpretation and enhancement of Drayton Hall.

Most importantly, George has been a tireless advocate of whole place preservation as he believes the preservation of both natural and cultural resources is essential to maintaining the character of places.

He strengthened Drayton Hall’s connections to the community, created a transformative experience for visitors and led the exemplary preservation of the site and the surrounding landscape of the Ashley River corridor.

In July, George is transitioning to president emeritus, a consultative position to our Board of Trustees. He will take a well-deserved (and long deferred) sabbatical through the rest of this summer.

Vice President and Deputy Director Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D., will serve as interim executive director until the Board of Trustees makes a permanent appointment.

The Drayton Hall of today is very different from the storm-scarred property George inherited more than 25 years ago.

Thanks to his efforts, Drayton Hall’s place in the story of American history has been magnified and enriched.

So, too, has its responsibility in conveying its history — the history of all of its residents — to visitors from around the world. With that in mind, the Board of Trustees is dedicated to taking Drayton Hall into a new era of thoughtful preservation and interpretation, and planning has begun.

We encourage the Charleston community, friends of historic preservation and students of American history everywhere to join us in thanking George McDaniel for his tireless efforts.

We also ask for your support as we move forward into a new era, ever mindful of our storied and celebrated past.

Click here to read on the Post & Courier’s website.

Reflections: Looking Back and Looking Forward at Drayton Hall with George McDaniel

From The Preservation Leadership Forum Blog

By Elizabeth Byrd Wood, senior content manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Looking Back,Forward-DH Aerial

Drayton Hall with the Ashley River in the background. The site’s goal is to “people” the landscape by interweaving African American history throughout the site and telling stories of specific individuals like the boatsmen Tim and Toby, who plied the Ashley River and beyond. | Credit: Drayton Hall Preservation Trust

For the last two decades, historic sites around the country have been engaged in a steady, thoughtful  discussion about slavery and race. This conversation isn’t always comfortable or easy, but it happens consistently and it happens with the authenticity and veracity that can only happen in an old place, in a place where history happened and history is preserved, and history is connected to the present. This year the Preservation Leadership Forum blog takes a look at National Trust Historic Sites and how their interpretation of slavery has evolved and changed over the years. In this month’s post we took a moment to catch up with George McDaniel, the executive director of Drayton Hall, about the evolution of slavery interpretation at his site. 

A day after the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Drayton Hall director George McDaniel and his staff were still trying to comprehend the enormity of the event. Yet McDaniel, who is retiring in September after 26 years of overseeing Drayton Hall, still firmly believes that an understanding of history—both the good and the bad—has increasing relevance in today’s world and can bring people together to work through what he calls “troublesome” history.

In a recent interview, McDaniel spoke with conviction about the crucial role of historic sites in telling the full story of the nation’s history and in dispelling falsehoods and misperceptions. “It is even more important now to use historic sites to build cross-racial bridges,” according to McDaniel. He goes on to note that African American history is integral to American history, and people who claim otherwise are historically illiterate. “There is no ‘their’ or ‘my’ history, only ‘our’ history,” he says.

Click here to read the complete Forum interview.