Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Touring Charleston

Today we took 2 tours of Charleston. The first was aboard the Carolina Belle, which took us around the Charleston Harbor.

We learned about some of the history of Charleston, founded as Charles Town along the Ashley River in 1670. It was moved to it's present location on a penninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers in 1680. The name was changed to Charleston in 1783.

These are a couple of the many historic homes along the waterfront:

A harbor cruise wouldn't be complete without our pelican friends:

Charleston was an important location in the Amercian Revolutionary war, and it was the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Jan. 9, 1861 by Citadel Cadets when the ship Star of the West attempted to enter the harbor.

Fort Sumpter was held by Union when, on April 12, 1861, it was attacked by shore batteries led by Confederate General Pierre Beauregard. After a 34 hour battle, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort.

Our cruise took us past the Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, seen here with part of the new Arthur Ravenel/Cooper River bridge in the background:

After our harbor cruise, we headed off on foot to our chosen lunch destination, Jestine's Kitchen. On the way, This pretty house caught my eye:

Jim and Mark were hungry! Jestine's Kitchen is named in honor of the lady who began it, she lived to lthe age of 112. It is known for it's great southern home-style cooking at moderate prices. It did not disappoint! The guys had pecan crusted fried chicken. Dortha had a delicious meatloaf, and I had the Blue Plate Special - shrimp creole. Side dishes included okra gumbo, squash casserole, hoppin John, collard greens and cornbread. Oh, yes, and the coconut cream pie the guys had for dessert. (Dortha and I got some bites of that!)

After our wonderful meal, we once again set out on foot to our next tour, a horse drawn carriage through the historic district.

Our tour guide was Robert, and our beautiful transportation was provided by Bill, a Belgian Draft Horse.

We saw many alleys like this, but this particular one was of interest because it was the only place where dueling was legal!

In the days of slavery, during the winter when there wasn't much work in the fields, slaves made bricks. Many buildings are built with brick, and many of them have been covered by plaster, stucco, or wood.

Some very interesting architectural detail:

The Exchange, where tea was stored during the time of the Tea Protest prior to the American Revolution. It was also the location where representatives to the Continental Congress were elected, and where South Carolina declared it's independence from the British Crown:

In addition to surviving several wars, including the American Revolution and Civil War, Charleston survived two major hurricanes in 1885, and a devasting earthquake in 1886. Many of the homes we saw today were built long before that, but they have been lovingly restored and maintained.

During the tour, our guide, Robert, told us stories of the individual houses we saw. Gee, I didn't take notes, so now I don't remember which house went with what story.

This house was built by a cousin of George Washington:
There is intricate scrollwork around the window frames, to indicate the owner made his fortune on the sea:
Another beauty:

We saw many beautiful places today in this historic city. Charleston has done a very good job of preservation. It's a very special experience to be here where many important events in the history of our country occurred!


Ginger said...

I left you guys a message the other day asking to see pictures of the kids sporting their new collars and leases, but for some reason it didn't appear. I also wanted to thank you for taking us along on your travels. I have been really enjoying all the sites. It seems doing all these things with friends makes it all the more special.

Continue safe travels and hugs to everyone!!

Ginger & Jesse

Lee Ann said...

Charleston looks like a cool place to visit, thanks for the great post! Beautiful homes, and Jestine's, well we're just jealous we weren't there having lunch with you as well, LOL!

Travel safe, Lee Ann & Larry

Joe and Sherri said...

Thanks for taking us along. We sure enjoyed the trip.

Joe and Sherri