Thousands of books, blogs, magazines, websites, and other publications are committed to giving readers the history of Charleston, SC. That fact is quickly recognized with a basic search on Amazon, displaying over a 1,000 hits on that site alone. With that, there is obviously no way to give an exhaustive account on the history of Charleston, SC, but here are some of our favorite historical facts on The Holy City.
Charleston was founded in honor of King Charles II in 1670 as “Charles Towne” and eventually earned its current name in 1786. Charleston was heavily involved in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. The American Revolution spawned key figures – whom many parts of the town are named after – such as John Rutledge, William Moultrie, and Francis Marion.
The Governor’s House Inn also dates back to the American Revolution. Edward Rutledge lived in the house from 1776 until 1800, buying the house from James Laurens. Rutledge was elected governor of South Carolina in 1798 (thus the name), and stayed living in the house until his death on January 23, 1800. He is perhaps best known as being the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Edward Rutledge also married into a prominent family, tying the knot with Henrietta Middleton. Her father was Henry Middleton, of Middleton Plantation fame, and he was one of the largest landowners in South Carolina.
In order to see some spectacular views and learn more about the city, head down to The Battery, located right at the southern edge of the peninsula. There you will be able to see mansions that have been preserved throughout centuries, as well as Fort Sumter, which is most notable for being the site in which the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The Battery was also a spot where pirates were hanged in the 1700s and left there for days to show other pirates that they might want to think twice before trying to invade Charleston.
Another popular tourist destination in Charleston is the City Market downtown. Today, The Market provides a jovial area in which guests can buy souvenirs from more than 100 different vendors. The first parts of the market were built in 1790, and it expanded to take up nearly all the room from the harbor to Meeting Street by 1806. The market has been renovated many times and has been used for such things as the Confederate Museum, which was put together by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Countless other historical sites exist in Charleston, including the Calhoun Mansion, Rainbow Row, and the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. When you visit, one good way to learn even more about the history of the city would be to take part in a historical tour. The guides go through a rigorous process to become certified and will be glad to share their wealth of information with you, whether it be by foot, bus, or carriage.
When you come for a few days and are looking to experience the history of Charleston, SC, there is no better place to stay than The Governor’s House Inn. With 11 rooms to choose from, you will have the opportunity to better understand the history of the Holy City just by booking your stay at our historic bed & breakfast.
Photo courtesy dbking