The Akin Foundling Hospital Building

The Akin Foundling Hospital Building

October 19, 2018

Today I’d like to introduce you to the Akin Foundling Hospital, a short-lived and long-forgotten municipal institution that was once located on the west side of Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. Established in 1843 at the bequest of Miss Eliz...

Read more

The Forgotten Akin Family of Charleston

The Forgotten Akin Family of Charleston

October 12, 2018

Most of Charleston is familiar with the Aiken family of Antebellum times, whose railroad wealth literally stamped the family’s name across our state, but hardly anyone remembers the “other” Akin family of colonial South Carolina. From modest begin...

Read more

Under False Colors: The Politics of Gender Expression in Post-Civil War Charleston

Under False Colors: The Politics of Gender Expression in Post-Civil War Charleston

September 28, 2018

In the spring of 1868, the City of Charleston passed an ordinance making it illegal for a person to appear in public dressed in a manner “not becoming his or her sex.” Why would they do such a thing? The answer is wrapped in the confusing world of...

Read more

The Heads of the Two Toms in 1745

The Heads of the Two Toms in 1745

September 20, 2018

Has this ever happened to you: There’s a knock at your front door late at night. You open the door to find a messenger with a letter and a soggy burlap bag. You open the letter—it’s news about a series of recent murders. You look inside the bag an...

Read more

Murder at Four Holes Swamp in 1744

Murder at Four Holes Swamp in 1744

September 7, 2018

Today’s story begins in the summer of 1744, when the government of South Carolina was shocked by the news that two Native American men of the Notchee tribe had murdered several Catawba Indians in cold blood. Fearing a general Indian war, the gover...

Read more

Squeezing Charleston Neck, from 1783 to the Present

Squeezing Charleston Neck, from 1783 to the Present

August 31, 2018

Over the past three centuries, the definition of Charleston Neck, a geographic feature I introduced in last week’s episode, has changed radically. It once encompassed the entire tongue of land between the rivers Ashley and Cooper, but the steady g...

Read more

Grasping the Neck: The Origins of Charleston’s Northern Neighbor

Grasping the Neck: The Origins of Charleston’s Northern Neighbor

August 24, 2018

How well do you know “the Neck”? Perhaps you know a bit, and you’re open to learning more about its history and its present challenges. Or perhaps you’re confused by this strange anatomical reference and have no clue what I’m talking about. In tod...

Read more

The Great Memory Loss of 1865

The Great Memory Loss of 1865

August 17, 2018

This week, in honor of the 235th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Charleston (13 August 1783), I’d like to draw your attention to a little-known but incredibly important fact about the history of this city. During the early days of ...

Read more

Benne Seeds in the Lowcountry

Benne Seeds in the Lowcountry

August 10, 2018

For most folks in the Lowcountry, the word “benne” brings to mind images of benne wafers, those small, sugary, brown discs that you’ll find in local shops marketed as one of Charleston’s signature treats, if not the signature treat of the ...

Read more

The Watch House: South Carolina’s First Police Station, 1701–1725

The Watch House: South Carolina’s First Police Station, 1701–1725

August 3, 2018

South Carolina’s first police station was a brick “Watch House” constructed around 1701 at the intersection of Broad and East Bay Streets in Charleston. Built to shelter both the town’s nocturnal watchmen and the lawbreakers they caught on the str...

Read more

Pages