Saturday, July 12, 2014
Volunteer at Hobcaw Barony
Bio: Native of West Point, Ga.
Pawleys Island resident for seven years
Attended Emory University and Atlanta Law School
40-year career in insurance with Royal Insurance, started as a trainee claims representative, ended as chief negotiations specialist
Owned tree farms in Georgia and Alabama
Certified South Carolina Master Naturalist
What are your responsibilities with Hobcaw Barony?
My wife and I volunteer at the Discovery Center desk every Thursday afternoon.
Since Iíve been there, Iíve done everything from washing and sweeping tour busses to fueling them, changing filters in air conditioner units, and changing light bulbs, and cleaning paint from articles at Hobcaw House like doorknobs and such. It is really whatever I am called on to do.
They have started allowing volunteers to act as docents and tour bus drivers on the property. That is what I have been doing primarily since August.
I generally work from one to two days a week doing those tours.
When Capín Rodís boat tours come in I take them through Hobcaw House and explain to them about the property and former owners.
On the bus tours, I take them around to Belle Field, Belle Baruchís compound, and show them the stables and the grounds.
I also take tours through the former slave village, Friendfield, and give them a rundown on the construction of the slave houses and a composite of the village itself.
Then I take them to Kings Highway and explain the I-95 of Colonial times.
There are times when I have met educational programs and led school busses through the property to make sure they get to the proper destinations.
What do you like about volunteering at Hobcaw Barony?
I donít know of anything Iíve done there I havenít thoroughly enjoyed.
It is nice to be able to work without close supervision, and it is nice to be out on this 16,000-acre property.
An interesting thing to me is when I was a child during World War II, I remember hearing Bernard Baruchís name practically every day on news casts.
When my wife and I stopped by there five years ago, it turned out to be Bernard Baruchís winter hunting lodge.
Everything kind of fell in place.
Iím a historian in the first place and I enjoy crossing paths with someone of historical interest.
That, coupled with working with nice people and people of similar interests, that is the main thing I have enjoyed.
What should people know about Hobcaw Barony?
When Belle Baruch set up the foundation in 1964, her vision was for the property to remain the natural pristine environment it had been.
It is never to be used for development, but it is to be used for education and research.
Clemson University is here, concerned primarily with upland research, and USC is here doing marine education and research.
Do you volunteer with other organizations?
My wife an I are volunteers at the Georgetown County Historical Society and the Georgetown County Museum. We also volunteer at the Hampton Plantation House.
Can I ask you about your family?
My wife is Jan.
We have one daughter, Laura Tate, who lives with her husband, Patrick, in Cary, N.C.
They have two children, Lucy, who is 8, and Molly who is 10.
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