Larry Graham, chair of Mental Health America of Kershaw County, recently announced the organization’s fourth annual Easter Family Tour at Aberdeen, home of Jack Brantley.
"Jack Brantley has again opened his home and grounds to our organization for a fund raising opportunity," Grasham said. "Our mission is to promote mental health and to work for improved care, treatment and quality of life for persons with mental illness."
The tour, open to children and adults, will be held on Sunday, March 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Live rabbits, balloon making, face painting, an egg hunt and refreshments will be available on the carefully manicured grounds for the children. The historic home will also be open for tours. Music will be provided by "We Three."
The house now known as Aberdeen was built around 1810 by Samuel Mathis who was the brother-in-law of Joseph Kershaw, the "Father of Camden" for whom the county is named. The home was carefully built with pine with each construction beam labeled with a Roman numeral, apparently a coding system if the house ever had to be moved. The beautiful wide pine flooring in the house is fastened with pegs and most rooms have 12-foot ceilings.
The house had 10 owners between Mathis and Brantley, who purchased it in 1975. The interior has seen extensive restoration and renovation during the years. Brantley completed major renovations in 2001 and 2003 when beautiful crown moldings and rich vibrant paint colors were added to enhance his extensive collection of antiques and porcelains. Each room in the house is special, but the "Miss America Bedroom" where many former Miss Americas slept, is a major highlight. The library is also another "must see" room. The floor-to-ceiling glass cabinets in this room display Brantley’s collection of Christmas and Easter porcelains, which are his favorite holidays.
Brantley has always been gracious about offering his home for tours, but most of them have been Christmas tours. This will give the public a chance to tour it in the springtime.
"My greatest pleasure is not in owning the house and its contents but is in sharing it with the community," Brantley said. "God wants us to build a better world and I feel I can do some of that by sharing the beauty of my collections with others."
Tickets may be purchased for $5 each at Graham’s Tire Company, 828 Mill St. or at Mental Health America, 110 East DeKalb St. or by contacting Executive Director Debbie Massalon at 432-7955. Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour.