Barbados and the Roots of Carolina, Part 1

November 16, 2017

If you pick up any book about the origins of South Carolina in the late 1600s, you’ll be sure to find references to the island of Barbados and the great influence it exerted on our early history. Nearly 350 years later, in November 2017, a numbe...

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Captain Anson and the Spanish Entourage

November 10, 2017

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a descendant of Captain George Anson, the former local celebrity whose name is permanently affixed to Charleston’s first suburb, Ansonborough. Charles Anson, a great nephew of the famous captain, has had qu...

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A Brief History of the High and Low Battery Seawalls, Part 2

November 2, 2017

Welcome to the Charleston Time Machine. I’m Nic Butler, historian at the Charleston County Public Library, and today’s program is Part 2 of a brief history of one of Charleston’s most iconic landmarks, generally called “the Battery.” In ...

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A Brief History of the High and Low Battery Seawalls, Part 1

October 26, 2017

In Charleston parlance, “the Battery” is the common name for what is actually a pair of man-made seawalls that define the southern tip of the Charleston peninsula.  The so-called “High Battery” measures just over 1,400 feet long and was b...

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ShakeOut 2017

October 19, 2017

It’s time for our annual ShakeOut!  No, I’m not talking about some retro-themed dance contest, I’m talking about the Great Southeast ShakeOut of 2017, which is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to promote ea...

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A Short History of Philadelphia Alley

October 13, 2017

Philadelphia Alley is not the shortest or narrowest thoroughfare in the city of Charleston, but it is sufficiently small to escape the attention of many residents and tourists.  For those who have stumbled into its entrances on Queen and Cumberla...

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Dutch Town

October 6, 2017

“Dutch Town” was a short-lived phenomenon that may have been Charleston’s first ethnic neighborhood.  It emerged in the late 1750s and its growth was fueled by the arrival of large numbers of German immigrants in the years leading up to the...

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Governor’s Bridge and the Sinkhole of 2017

September 29, 2017

One of the most dramatic local effects wrought by the recent passing of Hurricane Irma was the opening of a large sinkhole on East Bay Street. According to the good folks at Charleston Water Systems (CWS), a main water pipe measuring ten inches i...

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Mr. Duncan’s Trees

September 15, 2017

I’d like to share with you a little mystery that I’ve been trying to solve recently.  Late one evening in early May 1822, a group of four men gathered on a Charleston street, under the cover of some overhanging tree branches, to discuss a sec...

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The Tornado of 1811

September 8, 2017

Hurricane season brings its share of anxiety, so I’d like to offer a bit of distraction from our current weather uncertainties.  At the risk of adding to your stress, let’s turn back the calendar to early September of 1811, when a tornado mea...

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