Restoration/Preservation Projects

Since 2002 the Foundation has been involved in a number of projects to stabilize the Foundation, estate, and personal property of Ambassador McGhee. Below are descriptions and images from some of our more recent projects. For more images, visit our photo galleries


Restoration of Chapel — 2011

After a severe windstorm in June 2011, it was necessary to remove several of the damaged pine trees. The damage to the Chapel roof and belfry was repaired, and replanting the area has begun.


Renovation of toolhouse into bathroom facility — 2008-2009

Farmer's Delight completed bathroom facilityThe McGhee Foundation renovated and expanded the old brick toolhouse near the Manor House for use as a bathroom facility. The Foundation decided to repurpose the building in order to reduce wear and tear on the plumbing in the Manor House by redirecting visitors during restoration projects and beyond. The completed building will also provide a laundry facility and additional storage.

Later restorations to the machine shed / workshop will provide storage for farm tools and implements.


Restoration of the North Wing of the Manor House — 2007-2008

The stone foundation uncovered during restoration workThe North Wing of the Manor House was added by Henry and Dorothy Frost in the 1920s, and still retains some classic features of the architecture and design of the period. These include arched doorways with cross-hatch paneling, hexagonal porcelain tiles in the bathrooms, and colonial-revival mantles.

However, by the time The McGhee Foundation took possession of Farmer's Delight Plantation, the North Wing was suffering from serious structural issues and general disrepair. In particular, several floor joists had deteriorated, compromising the floor's integrity and making it dangerous to staff and visitors.

Contractors carefully pulled up the floor boards in the first floor back bedroom, and labeled them to preserve their original order. In doing so they uncovered a stone foundation which did not match the wing's existing footprint; this discovery bespoke an earlier structure previously unknown to the Foundation staff! Our historic architect, Don Alexander Hawkins, measured and photographed the foundation for further study. Then replacement joists were lowered into the basement and floor jacks were used to secure the flooring.

The workers carefully stripped away layers of decaying paint, wallpaper, and ruined plaster to restore the wing's interior spaces. Interior designers utilized knowledge of 1920s design and, using many pieces from the McGhee collections, created a dressing suite and sitting room on the first floor.

The two bedrooms on the second floor will be utilized for Foundation staff purposes, with a view to opening the rooms for historic interpretation.