Monday, June 09, 2008

IMAGES FROM SOUTH CAROLINA
Charleston is called The Holy City because of the large number of historic churches View from the East Battery Images from the Edmonston- Alston House

Edmondston-Alston House History( From Middleton Place Plantation WebSite)
In 1820, as Charleston outgrew its original limits, Bay Street stretched beyond the site of the southernmost battery that was reinforced by a permanent seawall. Behind the wall, the wetlands to the west were filled in and divided into lots and houses were built along the road that ran beside the embankment. The road was known as High Battery, and the new neighborhood was considered a desirable residential location. By 1850 houses occupied all of the lots.

In 1817, Charles Edmondston (1782-1861), a successful Charleston merchant, purchased a plot of land on East Bay that had previously been the site of a portion of Fort Mechanic (named because the mechanics and carpenters of Charleston contributed their services to construct it in 1794). Edmondston finished building his house on this plot in 1825. His house would be the first dwelling built on Charleston’s High Battery. Unfortunately, a series of financial depressions in the 1820s and 1830s, the most severe being the Panic of 1837, greatly depleted Edmondston's resources. By 1838 Edmondston was forced to sell his Battery home.

The buyer was Charles Alston (1796-1881), a member of one of the wealthiest rice-planting families of South Carolina's Georgetown County. He made several changes to the exterior of the house to conform it to the popular Greek Revival style of the period. He added a third floor piazza and altered the roofline by adding a parapet emblazoned with the Alston coat of arms.

In the 1860s, the piazzas of the Edmondston-Alston House provided a front-row vantage point to history as General Beauregard joined others at the Alstons' to watch the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Robert E. Lee must have also appreciated the harbor view the night he took refuge at the Alston house from a wide-spreading fire that threatened his hotel further uptown.



More images of Blue Skies and Sunshine.....
Coming soon...South Carolina Trip Part II: Low Country Treats and Death By Tea

9 comments:

Dee Dee said...

Oh my Rebecca...it's all so beautifully familiar. I do love these older homes along the Battery...my husbands grandmother grew up in that area as a child, her father was a doctor..the family is unsure of the exact location of the home...we really need to research that. Thank you for all the interesting history.. Such wonderful photos and the ocean ...it looks so serene there...so glad you had such a fun relaxing time...Blessings...Dee Dee

Betsy said...

Death by tea??? I can hardly wait! :)

Rebecca said...

Deedee, I wondered if you had family connections there. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in one of those great homes on the Battery...What a very interesting tidbit of family history that is.

Rebecca said...

Betsy, it's a good one...I promise.

willow said...

I have never been to Charleston, but recognize the Edmondston-Alston House from pictures. Interesting history! I want to go!

Rebecca said...

Willow, Charleston is every history buff's dream destination...The architecture is so beautiful and the atmosphere there transports me in time everytime we go. I think this was our 6th trip but I want to go and spend a LONG time there to see more of the homes, gardens, churches, cemeteries, and everything in between...

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

You are right, Charleston is every Southern history buff's dream destination....truly an elegant era is evoked in that town...a vanished, more gracious time still lives on....

Rebecca, *don't* tell me that is you away up there in the sky?

steviewren said...

Beautiful, beautiful city. I can't wait for more of the tour.

Blog Princess G said...

Beautiful place! How magical... thank you for sharing some of your trip with us... looking forward to more! :)