Posted By Bill Payer on Oct 7, 2017 | 0 comments


Foundation bricks from MaeRe Skinner’s Cainhoy home.

Shutters and doors salvaged from sharecropper’s cottage.

A few crumbling bricks.  Two time and weather worn shutters.  An old door.
A case of one woman’s junk is another man’s treasure?

Actually, the woman, Cainhoy resident and activist MaeRe Skinner considers the bricks, shutters and doors treasured memories from her childhood.  And the man, Michael Coker of the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center, is thrilled the Skinner artifacts will help anchor a new display.

The Daniel Island Historical Society is happy we were able to be the middleman in this relationship.

The bricks, shutters and door were salvaged from a cottage Skinner’s father moved to their home on the banks of the Wando. 

Skinner still remembers that day. “I remember being in the yard with my Momma watching it being brought in on a truck.  That was around 1956-57.   I was about 9-10 years old and fascinated by the whole process”

 “He acquired it from Pignatelli Plantation, which is now Dunes West.  It was on what is the main drive just inside the gate on Highway 41. He told us it was an old sharecropper’s house, probably built in early 1900’s.  It had a fireplace and he bought it to use as his workshop. He took his row boat back and forth across the Wando to one of the abandoned Brickyards and got all the bricks he used for its foundation pillars, and the new porches he put on our old house when he remodeled it in 1958.”

When the old cottage reached the point where it had to be demolished Skinner turned to the Daniel Island Historical Society looking for a new home for her memories.  Although DIHS lacks a permanent display space suitable for the Skinner artifacts we helped them find a new home at Monck’s Corner’s Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.

Display under construction at Berkeley County Museum.

Michael Coker says the museum is hard at work on a new display using the bricks, shutters and door to help illustrate the role of freedmen and sharecroppers in the Reconstruction era and 20th century history of Cainhoy and Daniel Island.  “These materials give us a great opportunity to help tell the story of tenant farming and give a sense of living here in that era.”  Coker says work on the new display is already well under way and he looks forward to the new exhibit being ready soon.



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