Dewees History Station 1: Rice Trunk

The technology of the Rice trunk was brought by enslaved western Africans who were specifically targeted because of their knowledge of rice farming. The trunk is essentially a box underneath a berm with water control structures on each side. how it works, impounded wetland definition, contributions of enslaved western africans   To this date there is not a better way to manage a flooded wetland.  If I am reading Larry Leppert’s book correctly (see below), in the 1960’s this was a hog pen.  This water  control structure was added in our 2013 water infrastructure impoundment project. Now referred to as “the corner,” it’s a great spot to see shorebirds and wading birds foraging in the shallows or resting on the sand bars.

How we manage our Rice Trunks for Wildlife

And in the ACE Basin, we found these explanations of how a rice trunk operates:

Diarama of Building a Rice Trunk from the Rice Museum in Georgetown

There is a historic Rice Museum in Georgetown South Carolina, which has a diorama depicting the installation of a rice trunk.  The more modern interpretation is from the Ace Basin signage.

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From the SC Sea Grant Consortium: A rice raft with plantation hands near Georgetown, S.C., in 1904. Photo: College of Charleston Stereoscopic Views, Special Collection, Addlestone Library.