Friday, February 25, 2011
Carolina Winds Blowing In From The Caribean: Part 1 Charlestowne Landing
When I think of the Caribbean I picture lush flowering tropical foliage, palm trees, water, warm breezes, pastel colored buildings, and life that is slow and easy. Throw in an ample supply of mopeds on narrow streets, sultry summer afternoon thundershowers, and umbrella drinks to complete the picture and you have another day in paradise.
An examination of the history of Charleston suggests that the connection between the Caribbean and the Lowcountry is not merely a coincidence or an image created by designers and those in the tourism industry. As most of the readers of this blog can tell I am a bit of a history novice, in other words, I am intrigued by the past but can't call myself a historian since I just don't seem to have the recall ability for it. But I do believe that in order to fully appreciate contemporary times we must have an understanding of where those before us have stood. In that vain, to fully appreciate the wonderful place where I live, Charleston, it is helpful to re-visit the roots of modern day Chucktown. A great place to start is the Historic Charlestowne Landing Site located near present-day Charleston on a small peninsula secluded and surrounded by marshland. It is the location where the first European settlement in the Carolina Province was established in 1670.
There is a wealth of history available in Charleston, the city is a living museum of history. Charlestowne Landing has not been a location that I have ever taken any of our "vacation land" guests to explore. In a city of romantic history with such great historic Civil and Revolutionary War Venues there is a lot to choose from when planning a day of history for our guests. I guess at first glance Charlestowne Landing just isn't quite as sexy as a boat tour of Fort Sumter or a carriage ride past a house where George Washington once slept. After visiting Charlestowne Landing on on my own, boy was I ever wrong. After a day of meandering the grounds of this historic site I do have a much better understanding of why it's not accidental that Charleston has a Caribbean Flair A quick review of the history books, including my favorite Charleston! Charleston! The History Of A Southern City by Walter J. Fraser provides a superb explaination for the Caribbean Influence here in the Lowcountry. And that explaination, which we will fully examine in a future blog, has it's genesis at the site of Charlestowne Landing.