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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The Road Paradox

August 31, 2017

For the first 180 years of Charleston’s existence—from the arrival of the first settlers, through the entire colonial era and the American Revolution, through the War of 1812 and the Nullification Crisis, right up to the middle of the nineteen...

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The Omnibus Revolution(s)

August 24, 2017

Let’s roll back the hands of time to talk about a nineteenth-century transportation phenomenon that few people remember, but one that revolutionized the concept of mobility in the Charleston area and continues to impact our community in the twen...

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