October 1, 2018
The History and Heritage of Charleston
Charleston is a proud Southern city—and it has every right to be. Charleston is steeped in American history, so much of which is preserved in this area. As a local homebuilder, Hunter Quinn Homes is equally proud of our region and we want to share some of the things you should know about the history and heritage of Charleston.
With its location on the Atlantic coast, Charleston’s history began long before the original colonies were established. “Charles Town” was named in 1670 after King Charles II, by British colonists who came here from Bermuda. Not long after, more settlers came from Bermuda, England, Virginia, and Barbados, and Charles Town became the capital of the colony known as “Carolina”. This port city grew to a center for trade and became the fourth largest city in the colonies by 1770. Agriculture—cotton, rice, indigo plants—was an equally thriving part of the robust economy economy.
In 1774, South Carolina declared its independence from England, which responded by attacking the seaport. Two years later, the Continental Army defeated the British soldiers, who couldn’t break through the tough walls of the sturdy palmetto log walls.
When the American Revolution ended, Charles Town became Charleston in 1783. The Antebellum Period was filled with prosperity with the rise of cotton plantations in the South. The cotton was shipped to New England states where the Industrial Revolution brought about mills to process the fiber.
Throughout the growth of the United States, Charleston remained an integral part of the country, standing strong and contributing a cultural heritage that has made its mark. This Lowcountry metropolis has given us notable leaders, scholars, scientists, and revolutionaries who have impacted the country and the world. When you explore Charleston and the surrounding areas, here are some interesting historical notes to keep in mind:
- The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon was built in 1771. It functioned as a meeting house, a public market, and later, a jail for the British during the Revolutionary War. The South Carolina Convention met here to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
- Magnolia Plantation is one of the oldest plantations in the South, dating back to 1676 when the Drayton family established it on a 450-acre space along the Ashley River. The gardens were created by one of the Drayton heirs as therapy while he battled tuberculosis. He survived and those majestic gardens bloomed into one of the most beautiful (and frequently visited) in the country.
- The Gullah people descended from slaves who were brought from areas of Africa. Their traditions and Creole-like language became embedded in Charleston’s culture and the festivals celebrate with the music, food, artistry, and history of the vibrant Gullah and Geechee people
- The notorious pirate, Edward Teach—more commonly known as “Blackbeard”—once seized merchant ships off Charleston’s coast in 1718 over the course of about a week. He eventually released his hostages and sailed away. His flagship’s wreckage was later discovered with some of the items he stole from passengers.
- The Charleston Museum houses artifacts, treasures, journals, and documents that reflect the long history. With its beginning in 1773, the museum itself is a piece of history!
Wherever you go in and around Charleston, you’ll discover an important part of our past, from the artfully preserved architecture and historic sites to the people who have been here for generations and contributed to our present.
Hunter Quinn Homes welcomes you to join this community. Whether you want to live in Charleston or one of the scenic cities and towns around it, talk to us about the communities of single-family homes and townhomes we build, our own history of respecting the Carolina way of life, and the lifestyle that’s waiting for you here.