Woodlands Inn has always inspired and attracted people to Summerville. The latest to be drawn to the mansion is the cast and crew of "Army Wives," which took over the property last week and wrapped up filming Tuesday.
The Lifetime television series transformed the former inn into a plantation casino for its April 28 episode. It took five days of construction for just one day of shooting.
Woodlands owner Tom Limehouse, who bought the property late last year and unveiled a new events business, said watching the "Army Wives" crew come in and transform the historic inn was a lot like watching a professional kitchen operate to create one amazing dish. He said he never had to worry for a moment about any potential damage since the crew took all precautions to preserve furniture, walls and floors.
Limehouse said the experience was something he would repeat.
"This money recirculates," Limehouse said. And he's not exaggerating.
From drapes to floral arrangements to art to the folks creating the sets, "Army Wives" used as much local talent as possible.
"We always look for the local option," set decorator Missy Ricker said. "We're encouraged to use S.C. vendors ... A lot of us are residents of South Carolina."
Summerville High grad Adrienne Brown has worked with the TV show for five or six years now as a rigging grip — that means she's responsible for keeping fixtures like lighting in place.
Working on the set of "Army Wives" is an opportunity she hopes will continue to be available to her and other local employees.
"We love being at home," Brown said.
The art around the transformed casino was from local artist Stephen O. Gunter. His paintings were digitized and then printed on wallpaper to create bordered murals. M.W. Hunter Custom Interiors and Designs of Charleston created the drapes. Distinctive Events created the casino-themed floral arrangements.
According to Producer Michelle Rubinstein, one of the reasons Woodlands was selected for the ideal "Army Wives" casino was it's "energetic," patterned carpet. Rubinstein said the crew took extra precautions at Woodlands due to the property's age and history.
In seven seasons, this is the first time "Army Wives" has made it to Summerville for a shooting location. The crew filmed an episode at the Ocean Restaurant in Ladson nearby, however.