Charleston: Day 2

Today was spent unpacking, doing laundry and getting some needed supplies. But being as we are in the heart of the historic district, a long, daily walk is required. The only problem is Steve wants to walk for exercise. Every home, building, and street has something historic (or beautiful) about it and I constantly have to stop, read, learn about and photograph.

The Otis Mills Tenement House is a classic example of very a popular style here- a single house, with its narrow end facing the street, a false front door screen a piazza, and a true front door halfway along the longer side of the house. This one housed the author Ludwig Lewisohn, best known for The Island Within (1928).
Otis Mills was quite a builder/developer and I will most likely discuss him again.
How cool to have an outstanding vehicle to park in front of your outstanding home.
Longitude Lane is an alley we discovered in downtown’s South of Broad area. It offers a glimpse into some of the hidden backyards and courtyards of Charleston’s oldest homes. The lane dates back to the 17th century. So very cool.
There was just something so interesting about this guy who rode up on his bike, wearing a bow tie and boater hat. Very Charlestonian.
In 1788, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (big name here) ceded this land to the City for the express use as a public market, and he stipulated that the land must remain in use as a market for perpetuity. The Charleston City Market is recognized as one of the oldest in the country and a great place to spend an afternoon meandering.
On August 31, 1886, the city of Charleston was struck by a powerful earthquake. Over 2,000 buildings were damaged, and between 60 and 100 people were killed. Many fire stations were also damaged so the City built new ones. Considered the most important station in the city, because of its central location and straight passage from each end of the city, the new station (1887)  housed four steam engine companies when it opened and is still in use today.

Everything is in bloom and the Star Jasmine plants fill the air with the sweetest scents. The aromas waft throughout the streets, delighting the senses.

I might have to do an entire post just on the door wreaths in town. This one of cotton seems so Southern.
Nearly every house has a plaque on it. How can one not stop?
President George Washington coordinated a journey to the southern states in 1791. During his tour, Washington emphasized national unity, familiarized himself with political sentiments in the region, and learned about the geography and economic production in the lower South. The City rented this house for his use during his week-long Charleston stay and here we are looking at it 225 years later. Wow.
Catfish Row (originally called cabbage row) served as the inspirational setting of George Gershwin’s opera, Porgy & Bess. Porgy & Bess were real people in this town and are a part of the Gullah culture here. The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of Georgia and South Carolina. Because of a period of relative isolation in rural areas, they developed a culture that has preserved much of the African linguistic and cultural heritage from various peoples, as well as absorbed new influences from the region. We will learn more about this interesting culture during our stay in Charleston.
Probably the coolest, modern item to be seen in Charleston is the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River. It is the third longest of this type bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It is going to be linking us to some really fun places.

It's important to know a little of the history of Charleston because it is one of the longest and most diverse of any community in the United States, spanning hundreds of years of physical settlement beginning in 1663 through modern times. Charleston was the leading city in the South from the colonial era down to the Civil War. It grew wealthy through the export of rice and, later, sea island cotton, and it was the base for many wealthy merchants and landowners. The devastation of the war, the ruin of the Charleston's hinterland, followed by a huge earthquake, lost the city its regional dominance. However it remained the center of the South Carolina economy. Starting in World War II, it became a major naval base, providing jobs and an economic resurgence. In recent decades, tourism and service industries have led the economy to a new level of prosperity...making this place awesome!

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3 comments:

Karen Booth said...

The pics from today make me understand why you are spending a month in Charleston. Enchanting! Tell Steve to chant the word - meander. He can take a second walk for exercise.

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Now Steve needs to power walk first then, stroll! It is the southern way! These are some of the nicest photos I have seen. How cool to capture the man and bike in front of that home! Love it!

Cyndy Brown said...

The cotton wreath is amazing! I might make one for our door here for the holidays!

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