Known as the Holy City, Charleston has many churches and synagogues scattered throughout the city and this gives the feeling of religious diversity. Many steeples poke out among the historic buildings.
There are numerous kinds of tours, like walking tours, carriage tours, ghost tours, culinary tours. I opted to do a general walking tour of the historic district to see the downtown area. The historic downtown district is considered the cultural capital of the South and is a living museum of a beautifully preserved area with landmarks, including 18th century homes and plantations, museums, churches and a city market.
Here are some photographic highlights of my tour by www.twosisterstours.com, led by one of the sisters, Therese. Her family goes back many generations in Charleston, so she is very well-informed and certainly did not disappoint with her anecdotes and enthusiasm.
Early Saturday morning I made a beeline to the Farmer’s Market and here are some pictures from that visit. Note the Rolls Royce wrapped in pink with signatories including yours truly. They have raised $10,000 thus far and are aiming for more (will let you know the final number in a later post)
ANGEL OAK TREE, JOHN’s ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA
Being a devoted tree lover, I wanted to see this oak when I heard about it from the locals, so I traveled a short distance outside of Charleston and was not disappointed. Angel Oak is a live oak and is native to the low country.
Rumored to be the oldest living thing east of the Rockies, Angel Oak is not tall but has a wide spread canopy. Some locals simply call it The Tree. It stands in a wooded area along Bohicket Road of John’s Island outside Charleston and is basically a tree in a park.
The city of Charleston owns Angel Oak. There is no charge to view the tree and I think it is a must when visiting Charleston.
“Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land back to the year 1717 when Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant. The tree stayed in the Waight family for 4 generations. In these times, the Angel Oak has become the focal point of a public park. Its diameter spreads 160 feet, a circumference of nearly 25 feet and covers 17,100 square feet of ground” – www.historictrees.org.
Folly Beach is a city located on historic Folly Island in Charleston County, SC. Since it is only 15 miles outside of Charleston, I ventured a trip on October 31st and discovered a beautiful beach with people enjoying the water, sand and pier; it was a glorious bright and sunny day, about 70 degrees.
The locals call the beach the “Edge of America”. There is also the fishing pier where you can find some of the best saltwater fishing in the area. The pier is a breathtaking landmark that stretches 1,045 feet into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is 25 feet wide and 23 ft above sea level and is the 2nd longest east coast pier. There were spectacular views.
I walked the pier and enjoyed watching young and old fishing.
McLeod Plantation is located at 325 Country Club Drive on James Island. The manor house was constructed about 1858 in the Georgian style. Also on the property and extremely interesting are 6 clapboard slave cabins, a detached kitchen, a dairy building, a pre-war gin house for long-staple cotton, and barn and a carriage house.
The tourists in attendance the day I visited the site were very fortunate to have a wonderful and very knowledgable guide named Paul, who told us all about sea island cotton, the slave trade and cotton, the owners of the plantation, the various occupants of the house over time, the McLeod family, the history of who occupied the house during two wars.
“In 1780 in the American War of Independence General Henry Clinton used the original house as his headquarters while planning the siege of Charleston. The plantation was occupied by Confederate soldiers during most of the Civil War. After the evacuation of Charleston in early 1865, it was occupied by the 55th Mass. Volunteer Regiments, which were African American soldiers. The home was occupied by the McLeod family until 1990 and in 2011 Historic Charleston foundation sold McLeod Plantation to the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission., thereby ensuring the buildings will be restored and protected under public ownership. The McLeod Historic Site opened to the public on April 25, 2015.” — Wikipedia
Our guide told us that many slave descendants have visited the site and for the opening back in April, the great granddaughter of Mr. McCleod was in attendance.
Originally the plantation had 23 slave cabins which housed 78 slaves.