This Is Why Some Homes Have a “Joggling Board” on the Front Porch

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If you’ve ever taken a stroll through the charming neighborhoods of the American South, you may have noticed a unique feature adorning the front porches of many homes: the joggling board. Often referred to as “courting benches,” these distinctive porch swings have a fascinating history that dates back to the early 19th century. Let’s delve into the story behind the joggling board and uncover the secret meaning it holds for Southern households.

In 1804, a man named Cleland Kinloch from South Carolina kindly invited his sister, Mary Kinloch Huger, who was a widow, to come and live with him. Mary had aching joints, making it difficult for her to go for carriage rides. She often shared her frustration with her relatives in Scotland. In response, her family sent her a special board that could be rocked back and forth, giving her the feeling of riding in a carriage while also providing gentle exercise without causing pain. Surprisingly, this rocking board became very popular and started appearing on many front porches in the Southern region during the 19th century.

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A Secret Meaning – Courting on the Joggling Board:

The joggling board quickly gained popularity throughout the Southern states, as many people believed it held a secret power. Legend had it that if a home had a joggling board on its front porch, it would ensure that there would never be an unwed daughter residing within its walls. This belief led families to proudly display these benches, not just as a charming piece of furniture but also as a symbol of their daughters’ future happiness. Couples could sit there and enjoy each other’s company. 

The joggling board soon became a favorite spot for young couples to engage in courtship rituals. Its gentle rocking motion provided a comfortable and private space for lovers to spend time together, fostering a sense of intimacy and romance. The swaying motion of the joggling board also offered a calming effect, making it an ideal location for heartfelt conversations and stolen kisses.


Finding a Joggling Board for Sale:

If you’re captivated by the history and charm of the joggling board and wish to add one to your own front porch, you’re in luck. These unique benches are still being crafted today, allowing you to bring a piece of Southern tradition to your home. You can find joggling boards for sale through various channels, including specialized furniture stores, online marketplaces, and even directly from artisans who specialize in creating these iconic pieces.

The joggling board holds a special place in the hearts of many Southern families. With its origins dating back to the early 19th century, it has become a beloved symbol of courtship, romance, and the pursuit of marital happiness. These charming porch swings continue to grace the front porches of Southern homes, inviting visitors to sit, relax, and perhaps even experience a touch of the magic that the joggling board has brought to countless lives throughout history.