a Goodbye Lie favorite
Gracious Living / Victorian Life:
Jane Marie's Gone With the Wind pages
Few people outside the American South know what a joggling board is. I had never heard of one until my husband took us on a tour of the southern United States where we saw them in Charleston, South Carolina.
PS I was watching the old Dan Dailey / Betty Grable film, Mother Wore Tights and discovered a scene containing a joggling board. Let me know when you find it.
dress demurely in our own handmade crystal & gemstone jewelry
photo used with permission of South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina
A joggling bench is identical in design, but is only 10 feet long and 20 inches off the ground.
Sometime in the early 1800s, Mrs. Benjamin Kinloch Huger, a widow, came to Auton Plantation near Stateburg, South Carolina to run her brother’s household. Word reached their relatives in Scotland that her rheumatism was so bad she was hardly able to get out. They sent her a model of a joggling board so she could have one made up as an exercise aid.
The original joggling board sat on stationary supports and had no rockers. Look closely at the photo.
After the plantation’s carpenter made one for Mrs. Huger, people from all around wanted their own, and joggling boards became the rage, particularly in Charleston and the low country, anywhere there were long piazzas (porches) with little frontage or backyards for gathering. The boards were perfect for seating several adults and didn’t take up as much space as furniture.
Finding the right lumber after World War II made these handmade pieces very expensive. Then in 1970, The Old Charleston Joggling Board Company was formed to keep this unique furniture alive today.
This is where my husband purchased ours. Learn more at Old Charleston Joggling Board Company.
A joggling board is sometimes called a “courting board.” Imagine a boy on one end and a girl on the other, her father directing them to keep their distance from one another. They begin joggling. The longer they bounce, the more they innocently slide to the middle of the sagging board. Before you know it, they’re side by side and …
If a joggling board is left outdoors, it is necessary to repaint the entire piece with enamel paint every two years, preferably Charleston Green, a dark green that was the original color. Mine is outside and some cracks have developed in the grain despite the painting, but this hasn’t weakened the board. The next time our board is painted, the grain will be sealed.
The modern board with rockers should be set on a cement or brick patio to keep the supports out of the wet and dirt as much as possible.
A joggling board can be broken if too much vigorous bouncing is allowed. Two average adults can probably joggle with gusto as long as they keep in mind that the board can break. However, a joggling board is a thing of charm meant for socializing and a mark of the Old South.
page concerning aforementioned joggling board. I must take issue
though, with respect to the asserted length of 16 feet. My family
had one growing up in Savannah, GA in the '70s, provided by an uncle
native to Charleston. It more resembled the board pictured on your
site, 30 feet long, if an inch.
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