If you’ve ever been to our office, you’ll see two long bench-like pieces of furniture gracing our front porch. What you may not know, though, is the rich Charleston history behind them.
Here is a short excerpt below, courtesy of The Joggle Factory’s website.
The original building plans for the joggling board were sent to the Lowcountry in the early 1800′s from Scotland. The legend began in 1803 when Cleland Kinlock bought land from Thomas Sumpter and built a large plantation home known as Acton Plantation. C. Kinloch invited his sister, Benjamin Kinloch Huger, to care for the household chores following the death of his wife.While living at the plantation, B. Huger developed severe rheumatism and was unable to enjoy her once loved passion of carriage rides. B. Huger sent a letter to Glimerton, the family estate in Scotland, describing her state of health. In response, the family sent building plans of a joggling board to B. Huger to provide small amounts of exercise and gently simulate the motion of a carriage ride. The plantations’ carpenter used the plans in constructing the joggling board. After the building plans took shape, the joggling board was placed on the porch of the Acton Plantation. The widespread love of the joggling board echoed through the entire Lowcountry and became a necessity for all porches. Popularity of the joggling board flourished during the 19 century, where relaxation and front porch sitting was a luxury for families of the south.
The term “courting benches” was also established in the 19 century. According to the legend, if you had a joggling board on your front porch you would never have an unwed daughter. Young couples would sit on the bench and “joggle”. A joggle is created from the rockers cut into the stands and the large span between each rocker. The male would sit on one side of the bench, while the female sat on the other. Each would “joggle” guiding themselves to the middle. Once reaching the center, they would engage in an intimate moment or simply enjoy easy conversation.
So if you’re ever looking for a new date idea, then look no further than one of Charleston’s very own joggling boards!