Voted the Best Place to See by Condé Nast Traveler.


Stephen J. Wood Conservation Laboratory

Carter C. Hudgins, Development/Fundraising, Friends of Drayton Hall, Preservation

“Few understand nature of true restoration work.” Budding preservationist Stephen J. Wood penned this remark in his daybook in May of 1980. Three months later, Wood was dismantling scaffolding erected on the north side of Drayton Hall when it gave way and tragically claimed his life. Today, evidence of Wood’s many contributions is still visible on Drayton Hall’s chimney caps, the riverfront stairs, exterior stonework, and wood framing. Wood’s legacy is also reflected in the generosity of donors like you who contribute to the ongoing preservation and research of Drayton Hall.

The collective efforts of philanthropist and preservationist has expanded our understanding of Drayton Hall immeasurably. And yet, there are always more questions to answer. That is why the role you play in preserving Drayton Hall is so critical. Now, with your support in establishing the Stephen J. Wood Conservation Laboratory, you can connect visitors with history as it is uncovered. In this interactive space, visitors might help our archaeology team clean recently excavated artifacts or witness the careful conservation of architectural fragments. Without you, these objects—along the answers we might glean from them—could remain lost forever.

With investigations underway inside the main house and across the landscape,
our responsibility as a steward of this American icon grows daily. Please consider making a gift to the Drayton Hall Fund today. Your contribution will honor Stephen J. Wood’s legacy and unveil the nature of true preservation work. By building engagement with our growing historic collection, you will further the understanding of our shared American past. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to seeing you in the Stephen J. Wood Conservation Laboratory at Drayton Hall!
Right: Stephen J. Wood at
Drayton Hall, May 1980

With gratitude,Carter C. Hudgins Signature

Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D.
President & CEO


PS: Visit today to make an immediate impact on our research and preservation efforts. If you have questions about your giving to Drayton Hall, Director of Philanthropy Halley Cella Erickson is happy to help. You may reach her at or 843-769-2601.