If you’ve never been to Historic Brattonsville, it’s definitely worth the trip. This unique living history farm has 800 sprawling acres with historic elements around every corner.
Historic Brattonsville shows you how a blacksmith worked with metal, how wool from the farm’s sheep is spun, and the history behind the dozens of buildings on the property. Historic Brattonsville also uses African American interpreters to tell the history of the enslaved from the Bratton Family Plantation.
Between 1820 and 1840 the Bratton family dramatically increased the number of enslaved African Americans he owned. In 1820 the census shows that he had around 24 slaves, by 1840 there 112 enslaved people on the property.
On top of having a full time African American interpreter on hand to share the story of the story of the enslaved, they host two large programs each year. By the Sweat of our Brows brings the 7 families that are descendants of the enslaved together to tell their stories. By Way of the Backdoor gives tours each Saturday at 11a.m. and 2p.m. in February that focus on the daily life of the enslaved.
The stories of the enslaved on the Bratton family plantation also play a huge role in the American Revolution for the Backcountry. Watt, a young enslaved man is said to play an integral in the “Battle of Huck’s Defeat” in 1780. While British Captain Christian Huck had the Bratton farm under his control, it’s said that Watt escaped to warn Patriot Colonel Bratton of Huck’s whereabouts, giving Bratton the upper hand and the element of surprise to defat Huck. The “Battle of Huck’s Defeat” is marked on Historic Brattonsville’s property along with a headstone for Watt. A replica of the headstone sits at Historic Brattonsville for visitors to see. The stone reads “Sacred to the memory of WATT Who died Dec. 1837 During the War he served his master Col. W. Bratton Faithfully and his child WIth the same fidelty Until his death.”
To read a full history of the African Americans on the Bratton Plantation, click here.