The Wando Mount Pleasant Library is located within the new Carolina Park development, but the land has a deep and colorful history stretching back for more than 350 years. Located near the southeast end of the Wando River, this site is within the historic domain of the Wando Indians, one of the many small local tribes who greeted European colonists that began settling the Lowcountry of South Carolina in the 1670s. The Wando people, as well their culture and language, quietly disappeared around the turn of the eighteenth century, but their name has continued to define the local landscape for centuries.
Plantation agriculture commenced in this neighborhood, part of Christ Church Parish, in the early 1700s, using the labors of enslaved people of African descent to generate wealth for a small number of white owners. The land on which the Wando library stands was controlled by the Legare family for more than a century, during which time it acquired the name Elm Grove. The death of Dr. Daniel Legare prompted the 1855 removal and sale of the 104 named people who worked the land, however, and in 1857 Elm Grove was combined with its eastern neighbor, Walnut Grove, then owned by George White. The present Carolina Park development contains most of the land that once formed those two plantations.
In the decades after the end of slavery in 1865, the former plantation economy along the Wando River was replaced by smaller-scale truck and tenant farming, and the descendants of formerly-enslaved people spread throughout the area to create new communities. Between 1936 and 1987, the land formerly comprising Elm Grove was a quiet forest owned by timber companies that periodically harvested the trees. At the turn of the twenty-first century, its new owners launched a residential development called Carolina Park and reserved land within the planned community for the construction of future public amenities. A successful bond referendum in 2014 empowered Charleston County to secure the present building site within Carolina Park, and, after two years of planning, construction of the present building commenced in late 2017. The Wando Mount Pleasant Library, containing 40,000 square feet of community resources and proudly managed by the Charleston County Public Library system, opened to the public on June 10th, 2019.