Charleston: A walk in the historic district in Daydreaming on the Porch

  • Sept. 16, 2020, 3:52 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

It finally turned mercifully cooler the past couple of days. A huge relief from days of heat index readings of 105-111. Fortunately, for the past 25 years I’ve lived in one of America’s most beautiful and historic cities, Charleston, South Carolina. It was founded as an English settlement in 1670. It also happens to be my ancestral home on my mother’s side of our family. My grandfather’s ancestors arrived here from Scotland in the mid to late 1700’s and are buried in one of the city’s oldest church cemeteries downtown in the historic district.

One of my favorite places to take relaxing walks and pictures, especially in the Spring, is Charle Towne Landing State Historic Site, only about a 20-minute drive from where live.. It’s really quite nice to wander the paths at this park which is the site of the first settlement of Charleston. It is filled with small lakes, paths, gardens full of azaleas and camellias, and dozens of very stately old live oak tees.

It’s therefore not surprising I would end up here in the latter decades of my life. In fact, my great grandparents lived in an old house just round the corner from where I live now. To me that’s very consequential. I did not plan to live here, but I have truly been at home here.

I have been coming to nearby Folly Beach starting with summer vacations in 1964. The main drawback to being here is hurricane season which we are right in the middle of now, and which, when it arrives each year, makes me feel like a sitting duck. In every one of the past four years there have been mandatory evacuations from various strong storms that have threatened us. Each year we escape, and each year I say I want to get as faraway from all this as I can. It’s not as nerve-wracking as having to flee on a moment’s notice from California wildfires which are turning that state into an inferno this year. Ours a more slow-motion type of wait-and-see-agony for 2-3 months of every year.

On a cheerier note, Charleston is extremely popular with tourists to the tune of 4 million visitors a year. Until the coronavirus pandemic, that is. Tourists discover a lot to do, and many come back to live here. That’s one reason for the exponential growth in our metro area. The downtown historic district covers dozens of blocks with perfectly preserved 18th and 19th century homes and businesses. The city has been ranked the No 1 travel destination in the U.S. for about eight years in a row by readers of “Conde-Nast Traveler” and “Travel and Leisure” magazines. The pandemic has not stopped people from coming here. All the tour guides wear masks and the horse-drawn carriages’ rows of seats are separated by plastic partitions. It’s a very strange sight in these very strange times.

So with the cooler weather I’ve decided to start taking leisurely walks in our historic district and take pictures of houses, gardens and other things which Interest me spontaneously. Below are some of the results of a photographic walking tour I went on a few days ago. It was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and I always think of how lucky I am to be within walking distance of all this history and beauty.

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Last updated September 16, 2020


Struggling With This Xylophone September 16, 2020

Lovely. I was a tourist there several weeks ago and enjoyed myself immensely.

ConnieK September 16, 2020

My maternal ancestors came from Scotland & England through SC, then migrated through the sawgrass of Georgia to Florida. I love Charleston's architecture, especially the generous porches and oversized windows for breezes.

Oswego ConnieK ⋅ September 17, 2020

I especially love the porches! My house has a nice one facing the side garden, and I spend a lot of time out there!

Jinn September 17, 2020

You do live in a beautiful place.

Oswego Jinn ⋅ September 17, 2020

I never tire of Charleston because there are so many intricate details to absorb in the gardens, architecture and natural beauty, and I always discover something new.

Jinn Oswego ⋅ September 17, 2020

Places like that have their own unique magic ; the beauty is constant but they also change all the time so there is always something new to see :-)

Kristi1971 September 17, 2020

I love Charleston's architecture. It's so beautiful. My maternal ancestors came from England and Scotland to the US via Canada (New Brunswick) down into Maine. My paternal ancestors came from Ireland into the US via New York. It's so interesting how people came over and into different areas. And guess what? They didn't have to wait a hundred years for citizenship or anything! They probably endured some pretty harsh treatment (especially my Irish family coming into NY).

Oswego Kristi1971 ⋅ September 17, 2020 (edited September 17, 2020)

Edited

Yes, at one time the U.S. welcomed immigrants. Now they pick and harvest almost all our food but they are called illegal!

I never tire of the architecture in Charleston.

Kristi1971 Oswego ⋅ September 17, 2020

Especially when they used immigrants to fight in the wars.

A Pedestrian Wandering September 18, 2020

Incredible photos! I can see why people would love to visit. I would love to see Charleston!

Marg September 18, 2020

That just looks gorgeous - I would love to go walking there!

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