Charleston, South Carolina became a settlement in 1670 as William Sayle worked with English Settlers to create a community near the Ashley River. It was originally named Charles Town and quickly grew into a major port while England was under the rule of Charles II. The settlement developed quickly causing a surge in population counts and in 1680 was moved to its current peninsula location. Charleston resided furthest to the south of all existing English settlements toward the end of the seventeenth century. It was a center for importing, a settlement expansion point, and suffered a large number of sea based attacks. The city continued to grow into a cultural community with numerous social groups having formed in the late 1700’s. Spain, France, Native Americans, and even pirates attempted to stake a claim at Charleston in its early beginnings.
As a major focal point of the American Revolution, Charleston suffered two major British attacks. Charles Town was freed from the British in 1782 and given its current name a year later. The city continued to grow as inventions like the Cotton Gin further developed crop production. As the Civil War began, Charleston became a target due to its succession from the Union. It was bombarded many times by Union forces, but did not get taken over until 1865 when a night attack by submarine took place. Charleston went through a rebuilding period as part of the aftermath of the Civil War. A few major natural disasters followed these historical events including the 7.3 earthquake in 1886. While the quake did almost destroy the city, it is once again a thriving southern port location.
Exploring Past and Present Charleston
Charleston is a highly desired vacation spot due to its extensive history, great food, abundance of activities, and beauty. Its charm is a remnant of the “Old South” character many people are only familiar with through movies. Locals provide a rich atmosphere filled with hospitality and pride. Visitors have an abundance of historical sites to see ranging from old homes to early war remnants. Charleston Museum is a great starting point for learning about the history of this beautiful city. Travelers have the opportunity to visit the island where Fort Sumter once stood strong. The location now serves as a National Monument for the Civil War era.
The French Quarters was once the site of an English colonial town surrounded by walls and is now a place to visit art galleries or see a variety of architectural creations. Travelers who love to shop must take a walk through the old shopping area sitting at the bottom of Market Street. The city offers countless alternative activities for those who want a more modern stay. Arthur Ravenel Bridge is a cable-stay passage that was completed in 2005 and remains as the longest of its type in North America. Historical landmarks, beaches, downtown shopping, museums, and nature activities await anyone visiting this beautiful city. While Charleston was a center for several major past events, it is also a place where people of all interests can come to enjoy traditional southern charm with the modern perks of a sea-side location.