Historical row homes in Charleston, S.C. - istock photo
The English successfully settled in the Charleston area after failed attempts by the Spanish and French. Life was hard – a whole colony was lost, pirates wreaked havoc, and it didn’t help that the Native Americans didn’t offer anyone a warm welcome. King Charles II assumed the throne in 1690 and when the new constitution proclaimed religious freedom, the French Huguenots, Sephardic Jews, and other diverse groups began settling in to the capital city of Charles Town. Charles Town soon becomes a prosperous trade center with plantations cropping up inland along the rivers and in 1783 the city incorporated and officially adopted the name Charleston.
And then there’s the dance of the 1920’s, the Charleston. This fun dance is tracked back to African Americans living on an island off the coast of Charleston, hence the name. African American communities began performing it in 1903 and it became established during the rag-time jazz period crossing cultures worldwide in 1923 with its musical debut.
What else is there to say – Charleston is a city with historical significance and, despite the turmoil of war and numerous devastating hurricanes, it survived and is a remarkable place to visit
Melissa’s must-see, must-do…
• The Nathanial Russell home is recognized as one of America’s most important neo-classical dwellings and you must see its famous “free-flying” staircase. An interesting fact from my visit is that it took about 7 years to build one of these amazing homes.
• The Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens symbolizes southern heritage and showcases a way of life that was an integral part of American History. Owned by the McCrae family since 1955, it's still one of America’s oldest, working plantations.
• The Charleston City Market is four blocks of open air buildings featuring all things “Charleston” including sweet-grass baskets that are hand-crafted by weavers, a craft passed down by slaves from West Africa.
Be sure to check out Charleston’s Convention and Visitor’s bureau for tours and great places to eat.
Thanks for being a faithful reader.