Alexander Street originally extended from Boundary (now Calhoun) to Chapel Street and was laid out as part of the suburb of Mazyckborough in 1786. It was named for Alexander Mazyck, developer of the suburb. Middle Street, in Gadsden's Middlesex, between Laurens and Boundary streets, was made part of Alexander Street in 1903. The east end of Judith Street in Wraggborough became part of Alexander Street in the 1880s.
("Streets of Charleston.")
5 Alexander St. Simon Chancognie House c.1813
IMAGE -- This three story clapboard single house was built about 1813 by Simon Jude Chancognie, French consul and merchant. The interior has fine Adamesque woodwork and an interesting, graceful stair. The roofline was remodeled in the late 19th century. Chancognie also built the house around the corner at 48 Laurens St.
(Thomas, DYKYC, Dec . 7, 1970. )
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Francis Nelson, a ship's carpenter, built this house sometime after purchasing the site in 1799. lt remained in his family until 1853 . This is a variation of the single house, unusual in that there is no central hall and the fenestration on the piazza side is unusual.
(Stockton, DYKYC. Feb. 20, 1978.)
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Richard Edward Dereef (1798-1876), a free black wood factor and real estate investor, built this small two story frame single house sometime after he purchased the site in April, 1838. The site was part of a large lot, extending to Calhoun Street, on which Dereef erected several buildings, of which only this house remains. Dereef, a native Charlestonian, was one of the wealthiest men of the free black community. He and his son, Richard, Jr., had a wood factorage business on Dereef's Wharf at the foot of Chapel Street, and lived nearby on Washington street. By 1867 Dereef had conveyed this property, apparently built for rental purposes, to Margaret Walker, a black woman.
(Stockton, unpub. MS.)
IMAGE: TOP OF PAGE -- Liberty Tree Marker and WCSC Broadcast Museum. Marker placed by the Sons of the American Revolution commemorates the live oak tree, known as the Liberty Tree, where colonial independence was first advocated by Christopher Gadsden in 1766, and where 10 years later the Declaration of Independence was first heard and applauded by South Carolinians. Gadsden and his fellow revolutionaries, who led public meetings here to protest the British Stamp Act and later the Tea Tax, called themselves the "Sons of Liberty." Seeking to prevent the tree from becoming a Patriot shrine, the British cut it down and burned the stump, during their occupation of the city in 1780-82. The root was later retrieved by Judge William Johnson, who had it made into caneheads, one of which was given to Thomas Jefferson.
(Rosen,. 77; Leland, Charleston, the Crossroads of History ,
21-22, 129; Walsh, Sons of Liberty , 31-32, 4O, 46 , 48, 50, 87, 98, 116; Johnson, Traditions , 35; McCrady, 2:589-591, 604, 652-653, 664-671, 679-680.)
IMAGE: ON RIGHT-- The three story brick building, with its two story auxiliary building to the rear, facing on Chapel Street, were built c .1867 by Cordt Dieckhoff, a German-born grocer. Dieckhoff purchased the vacant site in 1866. A three story frame house, previously on the site, had been destroyed by a fire caused by the explosion and burning of the Northeastern Rail Road Depot, across the street at Chapel and East Bay streets, during the Confederate evacuation of the city in 1865. In February 1867, Dieckhoff obtained a building loan from the City of Charleston, under the "Ordinance to aid in Rebuilding the Burnt Districts and Waste Places of the City," adopted in 1866. Dieckhoff built the main building as his store and residence, and the two story rear building as an out-building or tenement. After 1882, the small one-story frame house was added to the rear yard, as a tenement.
(Stockton, unpub. MS.)
153 Alexander St. Memorial Baptist Church c.1886
-- Memorial Baptist Church. Black members of the First Baptist Church purchased this site for a burial ground in 1818 . After the Civil War, the black Baptists separated in a friendly fashion from the white members of the First Baptist Church, and in1868, the burial ground was transferred to them. A new congregation was formed in 1886 and the present building of frame (since bricked over) was built.
(Legerton, 124-125 .)