Over the years I have heard several fun stories on the origin of joggling boards. For those of you unfamiliar with just what one is, take a look above at the seating on the porch of Hampton Plantation, McClellanville, South Carolina. Now before I start you might like to try taking a guess as to how it is used.
As you can imagine with a long length of board the seat has a good bounce. It also has curved bases on the feet to allow for rocking. Stories have included it being a place to rock and nurse a baby. But why so long? One fun version is that in the days when “courting” actually took place that the boy would sit at one end, the girl at the other and they bounced and rocked until they innocently ended up next to each other. Another legend has its beginnings in the early 19th century in the upstate of South Carolina. Supposedly an elderly, arthritic lady with limited mobility had the plans sent to her by her family back in Scotland so that she could get a little exercise.
Regardless of its possible upcountry roots, joggling boards were most often seen and built in the Lowcountry. This might account for them mainly being painted “Charleston Green”. This is a popular color used also on shutters, doors and fences. The “recipe” for this color is 10 ounces black paint, 4 ounces green paint and ½ an ounce of yellow paint.
My sweetie drew up the dimensions of this joggling board at one of my neighbor’s house incase any of you feel inspired to attempt what is probably not that difficult of a project. Whether you have a long porch to set it on, a brick patio or incorporate it into a garden design it is fun, functional and a definite conversation piece!
JogglingBoard Click for a drawing of a joggling board’s dimensions.