Monday, May 9, 2016

A Fun and Informative Day in Charleston!

Ken and I left James River County Park CG and headed to the historic district of Charleston.  Ken had done research on what tour would be the best one to take and the strong "winner" was Oyster Point Tours led by "Coach".  His son started the business 4 years ago and Coach, his father, is one of his tour guides. Charleston has a very tough testing program you have to pass before you can be a guide in their city.   

The tour started at 9:00 and ended around 11:15 with 12 of us enjoying all the information that Coach shared with us.  He was just a "wealth of knowledge".

This is coach and he is a history scholar!

In the early 1800's, Charleston was a very wealthy city with 3 main sources of revenue - rice, indigo, and cotton.  It had deep water channels on both sides providing a wonderful area for transporting their goods.  Many slaves were used and by the Civil War there were 2 1/2 black people for every white person.   Currently a very active city for the young because the average age is 37.  Night life is supposed to be great!

Our 1st stop was Philadelphia Alley (AKA Duelers Alley) named because the city of Philadelphia gave Charleston thousands of dollars when they were trying to rebuild after a damaging fire!  You can still see evidence of the brick wall that was built around the city for protection.

This is Philadelphia Alley and you can see the brick wall!

Shows the materials that made up the brick wall!

From there we went to the Episcipal Church that was built with 3 separate sections seen from the outside representing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Coach also explained the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery.  A graveyard is on the yard of the church and a cemetery sits by itself.

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This steeple is the highest point in Charleston!
This Church is Gothic style and all the decorations on the windows and on the roof make you look up towards the heavens, closer to God!

A very beautiful style Church!

The Dock Street Theatre was the oldest performing arts theater in America, not the most continuously running.  It was built in 1736 as the 1st building specifically built for rperfoming arts in the US.  Next it was the site of the Planters Hotel, serving as one of Charleston's finest hotels.  Merchants and plantation owners stayed here when they came to town to sell their wares.  In 1930 the Dock Street Theater was rebuilt within the shell of the old hotel!

It is a beautiful building!

 This is the oldest house in Charleston built in 1680.  It recently sold for 4 1/2 million dollars and has no inside kitchen, something like a summer kitchen.  A lady bought it for an art gallery and was not granted permission for air conditioning and temperature control.  So, you can have an opportunity to purchase it.  In 1931, the Charleston passed  a zoning ordinance that all of the homes must remain as constructed.  Any repairs to the exterior have to be repaired with the original materials and if the outside lights are gas, they must remain gas.  The exterior colors have to stay the same also.  Also, they keep close watch on the outside maintenance and will let you know when shutters, paint, etc. have to be improved.

Cobblestone streets were added in recent
years to help with tourism!

This is the building where slaves were brought when they were sold and not just for a little money.  If they were young and strong, they were sold for $18,000 to $30,000 in todays money.  Not cheap!

This is rainbow row, and it is a little hard to tell, but all of the 13 homes are different pastel colors.  They used to be warehouses, but now they are single family dwellings.

These prestigious homes were built by plantation owners and wealthy merchants, each one trying to out do the other. 

This was the 1st one that was built and the owner was sure he
would't be out done - NOT!

They kept getting bigger and better!

This is called the Compromise House.  The 1st floor was
totally flooded and left in bad repair.  A developer offered to
buy it, but only if he could "compromise it" and make it into
3 condos.  He was refused at 1st, but after some time, they
allowed it so the deteriorating property would be improved

Currently the 3rd floor of the compromise house is for sale
for about 3.4 million and it is only the 3rd floor!

Just a few other style homes in Charleston -

Many of the homes have what looks like a front door, but it only
leads to a beautiful covered porch and all of them are on
the same side of the house for privacy!

Ken loved the architecture of this circular church and the saying on the banner -

What a way to live life!

We enjoyed lunch at 82 Queen, a restaurant we would highly recommend!

82 Queen is where we ate lunch and it was fantastic!

Ken's jambalaya!

I enjoyed this unique sandwich of fried green tomatoes, ham,
lettuce and pimento cheese spread on grilled corn bread!
We had fun walking through the Marketplace in downtown Charleston!

This is the famous Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge -

The bridge is 2 1/4 miles long and has a separate walkway.

 When we were at the Marketplace, Ken saw a photo of this famous southern live oak, which he remembered seeing a photograph of when we attended an art show in Venice, Florida.  He said he wished he could see this impressive tree.  Today, on the back of the photo it mentioned it was located on Johns Island, very close to the County Park where we are staying.  So, off we went to find this famous tree called The Angel Oak.  It is magnificent.  It is approximately 300 to 400 years old.  

From there we drove to Kiawah Beachwalker Park which is a rather elite area.  It is known for a famous golf course where the PGA Tour will be held in 2021.

This beach is on the Atlantic Ocean and is so wide!

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