Charleston, SC Day 2

We took our time getting going this morning and made our plans for the day. It was a grey morning with a 60% chance of rain. We had light showers off and on in the early morning hours, but then only had raindrops from the trees on the roof. We packed our umbrella and left the campground around 10:30 and crossed the Ashley River into downtown.

We headed downtown towards The Market–a collection of open-sided buildings that contain boutiques and craft booths. We parked the car and walked through The Market amid many other tourist shoppers. The entrance is at the Daughters of the Confederacy building. 

Gullah women–aka “Basket Ladies” were busy weaving their famous hand-woven baskets. Very lovely, but expensive. 

The Market extends for blocks and we took our time looking at all the interesting wares.

Outside there are carriages that you can rent and take a tour of the historical district or other specialized tours.

These carriage tours take you to all the points of interest in the city.

We stopped for lunch at A.W. Shucks.

Bob had a cup of lowcountry jambalaya and 7 raw oysters. I had steamed mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce. We topped it all off with a couple of cold beers. Yum!

 From there, we walked down Church St. into the French Quarter section of Charleston. Our first stop was St. Phillips Episcopal Church which took an active part in the Civil War.

From there we came upon the Huguenot Church built in 1845 which is the last remaining independent Huguenot Church in the nation. 

The cemetery had headstones dating back to the 1700’s.

This building, The Dock Street Theater, reminded us a lot of the French Quarter in New Orleans and is America’s first theatrical building.

What you may notice about this house is that back in the day, people put solid shutters on the lower floor windows of the house for privacy and used louvered shutters on the upper floor windows for better ventilation.

This is an example of a “single house”–a single room wide and the front door, called a privacy door, opens onto the veranda rather than into the main house.

Here’s a better view of the door to the veranda where people often slept in the summer because of the heat.

Gas lights mark the front entrance of many homes.

We walked over a few brick or cobblestone streets like this one. This area is considered part of the “walled city” where from 1690-1720 Charleston was enclosed to protect it from the French, Spanish, and Native American invaders as well as pirates. 

Cobblestone streets and alleys mark where the walls once stood.

From there we spotted the First Baptist Church–home to the oldest Baptist congregation in South Carolina. During the Revolutionary War the building was overtaken by British troops and used to store provisions. The flag flying out front is the state flag of South Carolina.

This is an example of a “double house”–where the front door opens to the street and has one room on each side of the hallway going down the center of the house.

Many homes have very well-manicured yards, walls, and courtyards. Check out these steps.

We continued our walk down to the waterfront where the Battery is located. Battery Park is where the canons here were used during the War of 1812. This is also where the first shot of the Civil War was fired April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter. An elevated walkway overlooks Charleston harbor and across the street we could see the beautiful antebellum mansions.

We walked back along Meeting Street to the intersection known as the Four Corners of Law. The buildings on each of the four corners represent local, state, federal, and religious law. On the southeast corner stands St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. It is said that in pew #43, “The Governor’s Pew”, George Washington and General Robert E. Lee sat. Unfortunately, the church was closed to visitors so I couldn’t try it out for myself.

This beautiful building is the City Hall.

We made one last stop at the Old Slave Mart Museum where slaves were displayed and sold.

Inside, this gentleman was dressed for the part.

On our way out of town, we drove past Rainbow Row–a collection of pretty pastel houses, and the Waterfront Park fountain.

We got back to the campground around 3:00 and relaxed outside with Auggie until the mosquitoes drove us inside. We had a light dinner and took our evening walk as darkness fell. We never had any rain today and the sun was out to make for a steamy walk through historic downtown Charleston. What a great day we had!

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