June 5, 2012. Charles Duell, president of the Middleton Place Foundation in Charleston, S.C., and a descendant of the Middleton family, will speak at a luncheon Friday, June 22, sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University. The event is at 11:30 a.m. at the Blowing Rock Country Club.
Tickets are $50 per person. Proceeds will support library collections. For tickets and more information call Lynn Patterson at 828-262-2087.
Duell’s presentation is the second in the annual Summer Author Series sponsored by Belk Library. Duell is the author of a new book, “Middleton Place: A Phoenix Still Rising,” that relates the history of the plantation and contains numerous color photographs of the house and gardens. Books will be available for sale and signing.
A favorite tourist destination in Charleston, Middleton Place was built in several phases in the 18th and 19th centuries and served as a primary residence of several generations of the Middleton family. Henry Middleton served as president of the First Continental Congress and his son, Arthur, signed the Declaration of Independence. The residence became an active rice plantation, and in 1865, Union soldiers burned most of the house. The 1886 earthquake toppled additional walls but one wing still stands.
The restoration of Middleton Place began around 1916, and the gardens, now known as America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens, were meticulously rebuilt over several decades. In the early 1970s, the gardens and several outbuildings were included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Along with heading the Middleton Place Foundation, Duell is a trustee of the American Classical Homes Preservation Trust and a trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.