MothThe Wedge

Several miles southeast of Hampton Plantation lies The Wedge, another old rich plantation where past lives mingle with present ones. The Wedge derived its name from the pie-shaped sweep of its grounds. The ancestral plantation home is now the International Center for Public Health Research, a University of South Carolina institute dedicated to the research and control of vector-borne diseases, particularly those carried by mosquitoes. Death did come to the plantation in the 1960s.  It is the ghost of Dr. Dominick that many believe haunts the plantation today. One of the doctor’s more sedate pursuits was collecting moths and butterflies.   Dr. Dominick died on his beloved plantation. Although his death was officially attributed to a heart attack, it is believed that Dr Dominick hastened his demise by using a cyanide-filled jar, commonly used by entomologists for euthanizing moths and butterflies. His remains were never removed from The Wedge. Dr. Dominick’s body was placed in a simple, wooden coffin and buried in a grave on the plantation grounds. When Dr. Dwight Williams first came to work at The Wedge, he stayed in the "Wedgeling," a former slave cottage. Dr. Williams did not believe in ghosts, so he had no explanation for the constant presence of a large, black moth that accompanied him everywhere for his first three days. "Wherever I was, it was," he said. The insect’s approximately four-inch wingspread made its presence quite obvious to Dr. Williams. However, the moth was slightly elusive. While it faithfully shadowed him everywhere he went, it never allowed him to get too close. After the large, black moth followed Dr. Williams for three days, it disappeared. Many who knew Dr. Dominick insisted that this was his inspection of Dr. Williams.  The Wedge plantation is never truly at rest, although outwardly serene and peaceful. The spirit of Dr. Dominick seems to wander the halls of his beautiful home with a watchful eye over those who come to stay here.

The Wedge is located beyond the turnoff
to Hampton Plantation State Park on U.S. 17.

 

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