Another day of exploring Charleston’s historic district… Lots of walking but fortunately, the area is relatively compact plus there is free bus service that cruises throughout the district... Although this service doesn’t go through the historic residential area, it does pass through the adjoining commercial district with stops conveniently close to Charleston’s beautiful old homes.
This is Two Meeting Street Inn on South Battery Street across from White Point Garden and the Charleston Harbor. Laurie and her sister Bonnie ‘discovered’ this inn on our walk and immediately decided that this beautiful home would be a great place to stay during a subsequent visit!
Two Meeting Street Inn is actually a bed and breakfast establishment. This Queen Anne mansion was completed in 1892…a father's wedding gift for his daughter. Room rates vary from $195.00 to $489.00 per night. A hot southern breakfast is included. To learn more, you can go to http://www.twomeetingstreet.com/.
These views along our route caught my eye because of the architectural or natural beauty… Even the little alley ways beside these historic old homes are strikingly beautiful!
This is Washington Square Park. This 1.5 acre oasis of greenery is located on the edge of the downtown district and the historic homes at the tip of the city’s peninsula. This city square dates back to 1818. It was known as City Hall Park until October 10, 1881, when it was renamed in honor of George Washington. Washington’s statue wasn’t actually installed in the park until 1999.
The Italianate designed Calhoun Mansion was built in 1876 by a business man and it was inherited by his son-in-law, Patrick Calhoun…a grandson of John C. Calhoun, the 7th Vice President of the United States. The home has 24,000 sq. ft. with 30 main rooms and many smaller rooms. The main hall is 50 feet long and 14 feet wide and there is a ballroom with a 45 foot high ceiling.
The Calhoun Mansion is still a private residence but it is open to the public for tours every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. To grasp the scope of this home as well to catch a glimpse the over-the-top Victorian décor, as well as tour information, go to http://calhounmansion.net/. We will definitely add this to our itinerary for our next visit to Charleston!
Charleston is a city of spectacular churches! This is the First (Scots) Presbyterian Church. To give you an idea of the scope of history in Charleston, this is the only the fifth oldest church in the city…and it was built in 1814! The congregation itself dates back to 1731, when a dozen Scottish residents left the Independent Church of Charleston to form their own church.
This is the former German Fire Company building and it was built in 1851… The ‘Deutschen Feuer Compagnie’ (German Fire Company) was one of several companies organized after the Great Fire of 1838. The building continued to be used as an engine house until 1888. Subsequently it served as a meeting hall, first for the Carolina Light lnfantry and later for several black fraternal lodges. In 1982 it was rehabilitated and it now serves as a law office.
The Citadel Square Baptist Church was the fourth Baptist church built in Charleston. This relatively ‘new’ church was opened in 1856. Hurricanes have blown the steeple off this church on 2 occasions…the last time by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
· I remember ‘commandeering’ Montgomery Ward’s corporate jet and sending a loss prevention/security crew to Charleston to protect our damaged store from looters and to help with the recovery after Hurricane Hugo. They landed at dusk at the airport which didn’t have any working landing lights or much else either…and they got the job done.
St. Michael's Episcopal Church is the oldest surviving religious structure in Charleston. It was built in the 1750's by order of the South Carolina Assembly. The walls are of brick that was stuccoed over and painted white. The two-story portico facing Broad Street was the first of its size in colonial America and it features Tuscan columns.
· The church houses a clock and change ringing bells that date back to colonial times and the clock is the oldest tower clock in North America.
· St. Michael's Churchyard is the final resting place of some famous historical figures, including 2 signers of the Constitution…John Rutledge and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church was completed in 1836 but the spire wasn’t finished until 1850. Established in 1681, St. Philip's is the oldest religious congregation in South Carolina.
· Henrietta Johnston was the wife of an early rector. She became the first recorded female artist in the American colonies. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Johnston.
· Another artistic first with connections to the church was Mary Roberts, the first female American miniaturist painter, whose burial was recorded in the register in 1761. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Roberts_(painter).
· The tower of St. Philip's served for many years as the rear tower of a set of range lighthouses which served to guide mariners into Charleston's harbor. The front tower of the range was located on Fort Sumter. The church is one of only two in the United States known to have served such a function.
These 2 photos are of the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. I couldn’t feature all of those other historic churches without including this one… Founded in 1816, Emanuel AME is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the Southern United States, with the first independent black denomination in the United States as well as one of the oldest black congregations south of Baltimore.
The history of this church is both amazing and tragic. This structure was completed in 1892. Over the years, this congregation has been linked to slave revolts, lynching’s, black church banning’s and burning. Sadly and most recently it was the site where avowed racist Dylann Roof shot and killed 9 people on June 17, 2015. The history of this church can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_African_Methodist_Episcopal_Church.
Just click on any of these photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for another tour of historic Charleston!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave