Every Fall, Charles Drayton and his family removed from Drayton Hall to Sullivan’s Island only to return after the first frost of the season. Why? To escape the heat and humidity. Charles Drayton described such weather August 12, 1801, “Atmosphere wet, vapoury, close often.”
How has Drayton Hall survived the South Carolina climate? (Today, for example, Charlestonians awoke to 75% humidity.) Free floating Cypress paneling allow the walls to contract and expand in response to the environment. The climate was a definite consideration during construction. Had the panels been adhered directly to the walls, such humidity would split them! Currently, the use of Louvre shutters and UV protection over the windows serve dual purposes to protect the indoor space and block heat.
But don’t let the heat keep you away!
The Drayton story is one you don’t want to miss. Drayton Hall is a living timeline of centuries of change and continuity in the American South. Our guides keep visitors as comfortable as possible by staying in the cooler areas and keeping them hydrated! During high tide a lovely breeze sweeps through the Great Hall to cool visitors. If you’d like to stay even cooler, purchase a fan from the museum shop! Join us to tour the preserved structure, in which modern conveniences were never installed, and learn more about the American experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about past and current preservation efforts at Drayton Hall please contact Amber Clawson for information concerning our Preservation Technology Tour. firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 769-2608