Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Arriving in Charleston, South Carolina

We arrive for a weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, and walk around the downtown area, admiring the architecture and the sights.  Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II, and rapidly grew to become the fifth-largest city in North America by 1680.  The state government moved from Charleston on the coast to Columbia in the interior of South Carolina in 1788 as the population of the state pushed westward, but the city remained among the ten largest cities in the United States through the 1840 census.  

One major aspect of Charleston's propserity was its role as a major slave trading port:  almost one-half of the slaves imported into the United States arrived in Charleston.  In addition, Charleston was famous for the beginning of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861, continuing until the Union forces took control of Charleston in 1865.

Charleston is now known for its cobblestone streets and collection of candy-colored, pre-Civil War houses, an architecture exclusive to the city.  Although Charleston-style houses come in a variety of  styles (Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian), they share a similar interior layout with tall, narrow fronts, typically only one room wide on the street-facing side, but several rooms deep.  The houses appear to have a front entryway on the street, which actually leads to a small piazza or porch, allowing privacy at the entrance of the house.

Charleston houses

Cobblestone streets

And, a few churches
We take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of the city, getting a great tour of this town and viewing a few more grand houses built by the richer merchants of the city.

Our carriage moves out

Grand houses built by the merchants

Our ride ends up near the City Market complex, a four-city-block market established in the 1790s with a large Market Hall connected to a continuous series of one-story market sheds.

Market Hall

The carriage pulls up to a shed near the city market and we disembark and head out on foot.

Our transportation gets treats at the end

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