Magnolia History Fair bridging
past and present on July 6
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will convene a History Fair on July 6 to showcase 41 organizations, businesses and institutions with historic ties to the Lowcountry.
The list includes groups that study rice cultivation, African-American genealogy and history, Native-American culture, military and Southern history, the workmanship of legendary blacksmith Philip Simmons and South Carolina's links with Barbados. A representative of the national heritage corridor, created by Congress in 2006 and dedicated to the preservation of Gullah-Geechee culture, will participate in the day-long fair.
The History Fair will showcase well-known names in education, religion, business, social services, the arts and tourism, including Charles Town Landing State Historic Site, a state-owned park on the grounds where the Carolina Colony was founded in 1670.
The History Fair will also be a time to honor the people who serve our nation and community. On July 6, free garden admission will be offered to firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, physicians and nurses and active duty military and immediate family. Valid identification is required.
During the History Fair, the public will have an opportunity to meet representatives of these historic organizations. A staff member from each organization will distribute information and make presentations that will appeal to the amateur and serious historian and children who want to touch the past.
Lisa Randle, Magnolia's director of research and education, said, "It is truly awesome that all of these organizations will be in one place for a History Fair. This affords the historians, researchers and visitors the opportunity to learn about one another in a convenient and festive outdoor setting. Whether you are a professional or novice at history, history will come alive at this event."
Tom Johnson, Magnolia's executive director, said the History Fair is a ground-breaking opportunity for Magnolia Gardens to "begin a cross-pollination of organizations and institutions in Charleston that otherwise might have not interacted together. We hope this will lead to future collaborations and a sharing of
information that can only increase our understanding of Lowcountry history and culture."
Magnolia was founded in 1676, a century before the Revolutionary War, and its gardens were opened seven years after the Civil War. "Magnolia has seen this nation through its birth, wars, the Civil Rights Movement up until today," Johnson said. The gardens at Magnolia were first established around 1685 and opened for a fee in 1872, establishing Magnolia as Charleston's first tourist attraction.
At the History Fair, Magnolia will be joined by its Ashley River neighbors Drayton Hall and Middleton Place under the banner of the Historic Ashley River Plantation District. Randle said, "These plantations have been together on the Ashley River for centuries. Now they are coming together to tell their unique histories."
Warren Cobb, Middleton's director of marketing and public relations, said, "This event is the perfect way to announce a new era of cooperation between Middleton Place, Magnolia and Drayton Hall. Just as the antebellum owners of these plantations would have worked together to help each other succeed in agriculture, we're now working together to help each other succeed in cultural tourism."
George McDaniel, Drayton Hall's executive director, said, "One would be hard-pressed to find such a rich concentration of historic sites in such a small area in the nation that compares with the Historic Ashley River Plantation District. The added bonus is that each site is steeped in history and each is distinctive in the way it presents itself so that visitors come away with a deeper understanding and a variety of enjoyable experiences for all ages."
The 40 presenters are:
• American College of the Building Arts
• Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, College of Charleston
• Barbados and Carolinas Legacy Foundation
• Cannon Street YMCA
• Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Project, College of Charleston
• Carolina Piggly Wiggly Co.
• Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
• Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
• Charleston Artist Guild
• Charleston Friends of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
• Charleston Library Society
• Daniel Library Museum and Archive, The Citadel
• Dock Street Theater
• Drayton Hall
• Emanuel AME Church
• Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Co. "I"
• First Federal
• Fort Moultrie National Monument
• Fort Sumter National Monument
• Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
• Jenkins Institute
• John L. Dart Branch Library
• Jubilee Project, College of Charleston
• Keepers of the Word
• Linwood Bed & Breakfast, Summerville
• Lowcountry Africana
• Lowcountry Rice Culture Project
• Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
• Middleton Place
• Moultrie Camp 27, Sons of Confederate Veterans
• Noisette Family, developers of America's first repeat blooming rose
• Old Exchange Building
• Old Slave Mart Museum
• Philip Simmons Artist-Blacksmith Guild of South Carolina
• Philip Simmons Foundation
• S.C. Historical Society
• Seashore Farmers Lodge
• Shaw Community Center and R3 Inc.
• St. Andrew's Parish Church
• The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
• YWCA of Greater Charleston
The American College of the Building Arts is the only four-year liberal arts college in America that educates and trains artisans in the traditional building arts to foster exceptional craftsmanship. ACBA is a recipient of the 2012 "Heroes of the New South" award from Southern Living Magazine in the category of architecture for advancing traditional southern craftsmanship with a modern spirit. Website: www.buildingartscollege.us. Facebook: American College of the Building Arts.
Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston is located on the site of the former Avery Normal Institute. Founded in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute was a nationally recognized African-American educational institution that trained adults in professional careers and leadership roles for nearly 100 years. The Avery Normal Institute closed in 1954, but its graduates carried on the legacy and tradition of community leadership and educational excellence. This was especially apparent in 1978 when Avery graduates along with "Friends of Avery," organized the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture, a community-based historical society. In 1985, members of the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture cooperated with the College of Charleston to establish the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. It is the only research center of its kind in the Southeast. The mission of the Avery is to collect, preserve and document the history and culture of African Americans in Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. Website: www.avery.cofc.edu. Facebook: Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture.
The Barbados and the Carolinas Legacy Foundation was formed recently to highlight, research, archive, facilitate and promote opportunities for a Barbados-Carolina collaboration. Settlers from Barbados founded the Carolina Colony in 1670. Website: www.barbadoscarolinas.org. Facebook: Barbados and the Carolinas Legacy Foundation.
The Cannon Street YMCA is a national historic treasure. It is the oldest, continuously operating YMCA developed for African Americans. Established after the Civil War in 1866 and the Emancipation Proclamation, the Cannon Street YMCA is celebrating its 147th anniversary this year. The Cannon Street YMCA's core mission is youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Cannon Street YMCA has impacted the lives of many famous Americans including Harvey Gantt, the first African American mayor of Charlotte, N.C., and Congressman James Clyburn. The Cannon Street YMCA is home of the famous Cannon Street YMCA Little League All-Stars of 1955. In 2012, the Cannon Street YMCA merged with the Berkeley County YMCA to form the YMCA of Greater Charleston. Website: www.ymcagc.org Facebook: Cannon Street YMCA.
Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) at the College of Charleston was established in 1994. CLAW is an interdisciplinary program that fosters awareness of Charleston's and the Lowcountry's significance in the history of the Atlantic world. CLAW promotes scholarship in the Lowcountry, the Atlantic world and the connections between the two. The program works to strengthen the college's curricular instruction through its extracurricular programming and raise public understanding of the region and its place in a broader international context. To meet these goals the program sponsors monthly faculty seminars, public lectures and symposia and annual conferences, as well as a major publication series with the University of South Carolina Press. A website at http://claw.cofc.edu/ alerts the college community and public to the program’s activities. Website: www.claw.cofc.edu. Facebook: Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program, College of Charleston.
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site in Mount Pleasant was once the home of Charles Pinckney, a principal author and a signer of the United States Constitution. This remnant of his coastal plantation is preserved by the National Park Service to tell the story of a "forgotten founder," his life of public service, the lives of enslaved African Americans on South Carolina Lowcountry plantations and their influences on Charles Pinckney. Website: www.nps.gov. Facebook: Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site is on a marshy point along the Ashley River where a group of English settlers landed in 1670 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolina Colony. Charles Towne Landing depicts life in Colonial Charleston through interpretive rangers in 17th century dress, a self-guided history trail with an audio tour and a 12-room, interactive museum in the Visitors Center. Website: www.southcarolinaparks.com. Facebook: Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.
Charleston Artist Guild was the dream of seven artists, some of whom painted in the early Charleston Renaissance style. The guild's founding members, like Elizabeth O'Neill Verner and Anne Worsham Richardson, set as their mission to promote the practice, teaching and appreciation of fine art. This year marks the 600-member guild's 60th anniversary. The guild's gallery at 160 East Bay St. does more than sell paintings. The non-profit organization uses the proceeds raised at the gallery to promote the art and events such as Art for Alzheimer's, the Summer School Art Program for disabled children at the Pattison's Academy, the Extraordinary Arts Program and scholarships for students in the tricounty. The guild is also partnering with Magnolia Plantation and Gardens to sponsor, "Garden of Dreams," a national art competition. Website: www.charlestonartistguild.com. Facebook: Charleston Artist Guild.
Charleston Friends of the Association
for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
The Charleston Friends of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has as its primary mission the Annual Carter G Woodson Luncheon each February during Black History Month. Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist and founder of ASALH. He was one of the first scholars to study African-American history and his efforts led to the observance of Black History Month. The Charleston Friends of ASALH also participated in the Civil War sesquicentennial event in 2012 at Fort Sumter, and they collaborated in September 2012 with the Charleston County Public Library for a month of activities around the anniversary of Julie Dash's film, "Daughters of the Dust." Facebook: Assn. for the Study of African American Life and History Charleston.
Charleston Library Society was formed more than 260 years ago. From its inception, the society has been a cornerstone of intellectual and cultural life in Charleston. Today it is a center for scholarly research, a modern lending library and an oasis of calm in the middle of downtown Charleston. Website: www.charlestonlibrarysociety.net. Facebook: Charleston Library Society.
Daniel Library Museum and Archive
The Daniel Library Museum and Archive at The Citadel was constructed in 1960. It is named in honor of the late Charles E. Daniel, Citadel 1918, and the later R. Hugh Daniel, Citadel 1929. Both distinguished Citadel men were lifelong benefactors of the college. The Citadel Archive was founded in 1966 when Gen. Mark W. Clark donated the papers relating to his military career. Today, there are more than 300 collections in the archives which pertain to The Citadel or have military significance. Some notable collections include the Civil War letters of 1857 Citadel graduate Gen. Ellison Capers and the papers of the Pulitzer Prize winning historian Bruce Catton. The museum features the history of The Citadel from its founding in 1842 to the present day. Photographs from the archives highlight the exhibits, which portray the social, military, academic and athletic aspects of cadet life. Website: www.library.citadel.edu.
Dock Street Theatre
Dock Street Theatre was first built in 1735, and it opened on Feb. 12, 1736, with the play "The Recruiting Officer." The structure was believed to have been destroyed by fire of 1740. It was then replaced by another theater building, which was demolished by the 1780s as another, larger theater was built nearby. In 1809, the present-day structure was created to be the Planters Hotel. The hotel was remolded in 1835 and looks very much today as it did then. During that time, the Planters Hotel was one of the largest and most luxurious hotels in Charleston. After the Civil War, the building fell into neglect and was badly damaged by the 1886 earthquake. The building was soon after abandoned and became a haunted relic of times past. In the mid-1930s, the Works Progress Administration restored the hotel structure to its original appearance and converted the interior into a theater once again. The building served as a full-time working theater until it closed in 2007 for another renovation. Reopening in 2010, Charleston's Historic Dock Street Theatre continues to be the cultural centerpiece for the arts in Charleston. Dock Street plays host to a full season produced by Charleston Stage Company (in residence at the Dock Street) as well as productions for Spoleto Festival USA and a number of concert series and productions throughout the year. Website: www.charlestonstage.com. Facebook: Dock Street Theatre.
Drayton Hall, circa 1738, is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public and the nation's earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture. Surrounded by live oaks and bordered by the historic Ashley River, this architectural masterpiece offers daily guided house tours and programs that bring to life the history of the site and the stories of its people. Drayton Hall is a National Historic Landmark and a National Trust Historic Site. Its African American cemetery is one of the oldest in the nation, documented and still in use. www.draytonhall.org. Facebook: Drayton Hall.
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the oldest AME church in the south. Mother Emanuel has one of the largest and oldest black congregations south of Baltimore, Maryland. Emanuel dates back to 1816. The original church was located at Reid and Hanover streets in Charleston. In 1822 the church was investigated for its involvement with a planned slave revolt led by Denmark Vesey, one of the church's founders. Following the failed revolt, the church was burned. Worship services continued after the church was rebuilt until 1834 when all-black churches were outlawed. The congregation went underground until 1865 when it was formally reorganized, and the name Emanuel was adopted, meaning "God with us." A wooden two-story church on Calhoun Street was built in 1872 and was destroyed by the 1886 earthquake. The present edifice was completed in 1891. The magnificent brick structure with encircling marble panels were restored, redecorated and stuccoed between 1949 and 1951. The current pastor is the Rev. Clementa Pinckney. Website: www.emanuelamechurch.org. Facebook: Mother Emanuel AME Church.
The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Co. "I"
The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Co. "I", Inc. is an African-American reenactment unit of the American Civil War (1863-1865). The non-profit group is dedicated to the education of the public and preservation of the memory of the primarily black Civil War soldiers who served the Union in South Carolina. Members of the unit participate in battle reenactments, visit schools and participate in public events as fully equipped and trained reenactors of that period. Contact Joe McGill at 843-408-7727.
First Federal is owned by First Financial Holdings Inc. First Federal was founded in 1934 on Broad Street in downtown Charleston. It is the oldest financial institution founded in Charleston. The bank has expanded services throughout the Charleston metropolitan area, Horry, Georgetown, Florence and Beaufort counties in South Carolina and Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties in coastal North Carolina. First Federal offers six- and seven-day banking services in many locations and also provides wealth management, brokerage and trust services. Website: www.firstfederal.com.
Fort Moultrie National Monument
Fort Moultrie National Monument is the site of Fort Moultrie, which was originally used as a quarantine station for European immigrants and enslaved Africans. The forts at this site were built to resist invasion and defended America's shores as a ready sentinel at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. The first fort was built out of palmetto logs in 1776 and defended by Col. William Moultrie and the Second South Carolina Regiment against the British Navy during the Battle of Sullivan's Island. A second fort was built but was destroyed by a hurricane in 1804. The third Fort Moultrie, which stands today on Sullivan's Island, was built in 1809. It was used in every American war through World War II. Website: www.nps.gov. Facebook: Fort Moultrie National Monument.
The Fort Sumter National Monument
The Fort Sumter National Monument is where the American Civil War began when Confederate artillery opened fire on the federally owned Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861. Underlying all the economic, social and political rhetoric of the early 19th century, was the volatile question of slavery. Federal troops at Fort Sumter surrendered after 34 hours and would work for nearly four years to take it back. The war that started at Fort Sumter would take the lives of more than 640,000 Americans, but change America forever through new amendments to the Constitution and the freeing of more than 4 million people of African descent. Website: www.nps.gov. Facebook: Fort Sumter National Monument.
The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, designated by Congress in 2006, extends from Wilmington, N.C., to St. Augustine, Fla. It is home to one of America's most unique cultures, a tradition first shaped by captive Africans brought to the southern United States from West Africa and continued in later generations by their descendants. The Gullah/Geechee people are descendants of enslaved Africans from various ethnic groups of west and central Africa. Brought to the New World and forced to work on the plantations of coastal South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, Gullah/Geechee people have retained many aspects of their African heritage due to the geographic barriers of the coastal landscape and the strong sense of place and family of Gullah/Geechee community members. Website: www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org
Daniel Joseph Jenkins Institute
The Daniel Joseph Jenkins Institute was previously known as Jenkins Orphanage. Jenkins Orphanage was founded on Dec. 16, 1891, by the Rev. Daniel Joseph Jenkins. Jenkins was born in Barnwell County, S.C., in April 1862. He moved to Arkansas for a short while, but returned to South Carolina and resided in Ladson. He later moved to Charleston where he started a business selling wood. He started the orphanage after observing four young black children huddled together early on a cold December morning. They told him they were out early because they had no parents and no place to live. Jenkins, his heart moved with compassion, determined that he would help the children and thus began his work known today as Jenkins Institute. Perhaps the best known program at the orphanage was the Jenkins Orphanage Band, which gained national recognition through performances in several cities in the Northeast, Midwest and the South. The band made many trips to England where they performed for the Queen on several occasions. Website: www.jenkinsinstitute.org.
The John L. Dart Branch Library is historically connected to the 1927 opening of the first free public library for African-Americans in Charleston by Dart's family. The library started as a reading room at the Charleston Normal and Industrial School, a school founded by Dart in 1894 to educate black children who were crowded out of the city's segregated schools. Dart's daughter, Susan Dart Butler, established the library, providing free access to her father's extensive collection of books. Through her efforts, it became a community resource for music, politics and literacy. The Kracke Street library drew the attention of the Rosenwald Fund, which provided money to the community to establish the Charleston Free Library. When it was opened in 1931, the Dart family leased the building to the county for $1 per year. The library's collection grew to 3,600 books with three librarians, including Susan Dart Butler. In 1952, the county purchased Dart Hall, operating it as a library until 1968 when the current John L. Dart Branch Library opened at 1067 King St. Website: www.ccpl.org.
The Jubilee Project at the College of Charleston, established in 2013, is a spin-off from the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) program's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Jubilee is a collaborative academic and cultural project that extends across the college, the City of Charleston, the Lowcountry and beyond. The project celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public education in South Carolina and other key events both of 1863 and of the Civil Rights movement in 1963. The coincidence of the anniversaries of these significant events also prompted the college to ask what happened in the intervening century and to what extent emancipation and equality of opportunity have yet been achieved. Website: www.jubileeprojectsc.wordpress.com. Facebook: Jubilee Project SC.
Keepers of the Word drum, formed in 2007, is an integral part of a Native American Non-Denominational Ministry by the same name located in St. George, S.C. The "drum" is an inter-tribal Christian group, which recovers and studies Native American cultures including music, spirituality, stories, dance and traditions. Keepers of the Word has members who are of Native-American heritage and of United Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Church of God, Pentecostal Holiness and Lutheran denominations. Members of Keepers of the Word are of Ojibwa, Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Catawba, Comanche and Wassamasaw heritage from Colleton, Berkeley, Dorchester, Orangeburg and Sumter counties. Directed by Cathy Nelson, the drum has been played at a variety of Native American programs as well as spiritual formation seminars and retreats throughout the Southeast. Website: www.keepersoftheword.org Facebook: Keepers of the Word.
Linwood Bed & Breakfast
Linwood Bed & Breakfast in Summerville was built in 1883 by Julia Drayton Hastie, heiress to the famous Magnolia on the Ashley Plantation. This exquisite, Victorian mansion stands majestic on nearly two acres of award-winning, landscaped gardens in Summerville. Heart of pine floors, high ceilings, chandeliers, Victorian bays and triple sash windows, many with original glass, provide an elegant background for the owners' collection of fine English and American antiques and oriental rugs. Website: www.linwoodbedandbreakfast.com. Facebook: Linwood Bed & Breakfast.
Lowcountry Africana is a free website dedicated to African-American genealogy and history in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Lowcountry Africana is sponsored by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Drayton Hall. Website: www.lowcountryafricana.com. Facebook: Lowcountry Africana Research Community.
The Lowcountry Rice Culture Project proposes to discover and revive the significance of rice cultivation and its legacies, and to use this history as a launching off point for broad discussions of race, class, art, trade, history and economics – in short, the various aspects of culture in the Southeast. The Project is meant to be "indiscriminately inclusive," to provide a clear frame of reference and safe environment in which such discussions can occur without fear of backlash or misunderstanding. By fostering open and informed dialogue, and by exposing participants to the many aspects and interconnections of Lowcountry culture, the project hopes to confront differences of opinion directly, resolve conflict, stimulate the local economy and find common ground on which whites, blacks, Native Americans, immigrants and others can express mutual respect, dampen false debates and celebrate a common heritage. Website: www.LowcountryRiceCulture.org. Facebook: Lowcountry Rice Project.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens was established in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of America unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. Magnolia is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870. The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, South Carolina's only statewide partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awarded Magnolia the 2010 Heritage Tourism Award for their interpretive program at the slave cabins. Past winners of the award include Drayton Hall, the Preservation Society of Charleston and the South Carolina Heritage Corridor. Magnolia was also named in 2011 an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society. www.MagnoliaPlantation.com. Facebook: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Middleton Place was founded in 1741 by Henry Middleton, a president of the First Continental Congress. The Middleton Place National Historic Landmark invites visitors to step back in time into the world of four generations of rice planters. The formal gardens offer a variety of breathtaking views, while the House Museum documents 272 years of Middleton history through family portraiture, silver, furniture and documents. In the Plantation Stableyards, visitors can interact with interpretive craftspeople in period costumes and learn about the history of Low Country rice culture and the enslaved people who made it possible. www.middletonplace.org. Facebook: Middleton Place.
The Noisette Family developed America's first repeat blooming rose named the Noisette roses. The rose can be traced to a gift Charleston rice farmer John Champneys received from his neighbor Philippe Noisette. The gift, "Old Blush," also known as "Parsons' Pink China," is a rose that had been growing in China and Asia for more than a thousand years. Champneys crossed "Old Blush" with "Rosa moschata," a 1540 species rose from the Himalayas. This resulted in "Champneys' Pink Cluster" (before 1810), a major contribution from an American grower to the rose family. Champneys then gave Noisette seedlings of "Champneys' Pink Cluster." Noisette sowed the seeds and produced "Blush Noisette," which he sent in 1814 to his brother Louis in France. Philippe Noisette, who had 15 siblings in France, is a descendant of distinguished French horticulturists. In 1794, he arrived in Charleston from France through Haiti. Noisette became superintendent of the South Carolina Medical Society's Botanical Garden. A large tract of land was purchased on the outskirts of Charleston where there was room for gardens and a nursery. It became known as the Noisette Farm. Website: www.NoisetteAncestors.com.
The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon is considered to be one of the three most historically significant Colonial buildings in the United States. The Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon, a must see when visiting Charleston, is a historic museum open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is available for evening weddings and wedding receptions. During Charles Town's Golden Age in the 1760s and 1770s, when the city was the most prosperous port in the south, the British built the Paladin-style Exchange and Customs House. In 1774, Josiah Quincy of Boston wrote of his arrival: "..the new Exchange which fronts the place of my landing made a most notable appearance." The Exchange and Customs House was the commercial, political and social center of Charles Town and the site of many historical gatherings instrumental in leading America's independence. Website: www.oldexchange.org. Facebook: The Official Old Exchange and Dungeon Provost Page.
The Old Slave Mart Museum is located at 6 Chalmers St. The 1808 ban on the United States' participation in the international slave trade led to a renewed demand for slave labor, which was satisfied, in part, by the creation of a domestic slave-trading system in which Charleston functioned as a major slave collecting and reselling center. The Old Slave Mart Museum recounts the story of Charleston's role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building and site and the slave sales that occurred there. Website: www.oldslavemart.org.
Philip Simmons Foundation was established in 1991 to develop and maintain a commemorative garden from design to completion and to preserve the legacy and craft of Mr. Simmons, (1912-2009), the most celebrated Charleston ironworker of the 20th century. Moving into the specialized field of ornamental iron in 1938, Mr. Simmons fashioned more than 500 decorative pieces of ornamental wrought iron gates, fences, balconies and window grills. In 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him the National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor the United States can bestow on a traditional artist. This recognition was followed by a similar award from the South Carolina Legislature for lifetime achievement and commissions for public sculptures by the South Carolina State Museum and the City of Charleston. Mr. Simmons was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 31, 1994. The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest award, was presented to him on Aug. 11, 1998. In 2001, Mr. Simmons received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. And on May 12, 2006, he was the recipient of the honorary doctorate of fine arts by S.C. State University in Orangeburg. Website: www.philipsimmons.us. Facebook: Philip Simmons Foundation Inc.
The Philip Simmons Artist-Blacksmith Guild of South Carolina, named in honor of Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons, was organized in January 1994 with 21 members. Today, the guild has more than 100 members from South Carolina and other states. The guild was organized exclusively for educational purposes. Its objectives are to encourage and facilitate training for aspiring smiths, provide information about sources of material and equipment, expose the art of blacksmithing to the public and serve as a center of information about blacksmithing for architects, interior designers and the public. Website: www.philipsimmonsartistblacksmithguild.com.
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co.: Piggly Wiggly, America's first self-service grocery store was founded in Memphis, Tenn., in 1916 by the late Clarence Saunders. Since its founding in 1916, Piggly Wiggly has played a major role in the history and development of grocery merchandising. Piggly Wiggly's introduction of self-service grocery shopping revolutionized the grocery industry; many of the conveniences and services that American shoppers now enjoy were first introduced by Piggly Wiggly. Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., started on the banks of the Cooper River in Charleston, S.C., as the long envisioned dream of founder, Joseph T. Newton Jr. in 1947. Piggly Wiggly Wholesale had a handful of employees. There was one delivery truck and workdays stretched far into the night. Today, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has become the largest employee-owned, privately operated retail company in South Carolina, servicing nearly 100 retail stores with a workforce of nearly 4,000 employee-owners throughout South Carolina and coastal Georgia. In April of 2007, after forty-five years with Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., Buzzy Newton retired as president and became chairman of the board. His years were marked with growth and innovation and before his retirement, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. became 100 percent employee-owned. Upon Newton's retirement, David R. Schools was named president of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. and Greenbax Enterprises. In 2012, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. celebrated its 65th year of business. In those 65 years, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. centered its business on its community supporting local entrepreneurs, local farmers and most importantly - the local economy. A tradition they proudly continue today. When you shop with Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. you are shopping with a truly local business that believes in reinvesting in its local communities!
The S.C. Historical Society was established in 1855, the society is dedicated to expanding, preserving, and making accessible its invaluable collection and encouraging interest and pride in the rich history of South Carolina. SCHS is the state's oldest and largest private repository of books, letters, journals, maps, drawings and photographs about South Carolina history. Its holdings are vast and grow constantly with the addition of materials from South Carolina's 300-year history. The library of the South Carolina Historical Society is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the first and third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Website: www.southcarolinahistoricalsociety.org. Facebook: The South Carolina Historical Society.
Seashore Farmers Lodge
Seashore Farmers Lodge on James Island was an important fraternal order in the cultural life of Lowcountry black families in the early 20th century. The lodge was built about 1915 by local black farmers. Their organization provided insurance, advice and burial assistance to members and the structure was the headquarters for the outfit. In 1953, a new pavilion opened at nearby Mosquito Beach, and the building fell into disuse. In 2007, the vacant building was renovated with funds from the Town of James Island and other donors. Today, the building serves as a museum and meeting place. Outside the building, a plaque pays tribute to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, which camped on the site during the Civil War prior to the Battle of Sol Legare. Facebook: Seashore Farmers Lodge-Museum.
Shaw Community Center
Shaw Community Center in Charleston houses R3 Inc., which operates programs for at-risk teens. The Shaw Community Center building on Mary Street in Charleston was constructed about 1874 to house the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial School. The school began as a tribute to the bravery of Robert G. Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the first all-black fighting units in U.S. military history. Shaw was the commanding officer of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Shaw's family and friends funded the school, which was one of the earliest free schools in the South for black people. Website: www.charleston-sc.gov. Facebook: R3- Real Talk, Real Action, Real Results.
St. Andrew's Parish Church
Old Saint Andrew's Parish Church's grounds and church structure are a beautiful spiritual and aesthetic setting in which to get closer to God. Nestled on a tributary of the Ashley River and containing ten acres of land, Old Saint Andrew's property is comprised of a cemetery, an education building and the main church building dating back to 1706, the oldest surviving church in South Carolina. Saint Andrew's Parish was one of ten parishes created by the Church Act passed by the Colonial Assembly on St. Andrew's Day (November 30th), 1706. Construction of the building began that year. An early rector, the Rev. William Guy, wrote that it was "built of brick, the roof of pine, with five small square windows in it, and not near finished on the inside, with a burying place of seven acres." In 1723, the building was enlarged by the addition of two side transepts and the chancel, thus completing the cruciform or cross-shaped appearance of the floor plan. The brick of the nave is ballast brick, brought over on ships, with that of the addition apparently made on the grounds. The new roof was made of cypress and remains to the present. The Rev. John Grimké Drayton, who opened the gardens at Magnolia to tourists in 1872, served as the church's rector for 40 years before and after the Civil War. Website: www.oldstandrews.org
Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel at Meeting and Queen streets first received guests in 1801 as the St. Mary Hotel. In 1850, Otis Mills commissioned architect John Earle to build a hotel that Mills would be proud to have bear his name. Originally opened in April 1853, the Mills House Hotel was billed as the "finest hotel South of New York City" and was valued at $200,000, exclusive of furnishings. It was the first public building in Charleston to have running water and steam heat on a large scale, and Mills spared no expense in collecting the finest furnishings to compliment the high ceiling parlors and regal interiors. During the Civil War, the Mills House served as headquarters for Confederate forces in the city. Today, the Mills House is the Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel. Website: www.millshouse.com. Facebook: Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel.
YWCA of Greater Charleston
YWCA of Greater Charleston has grown from the work of a group of women of the YWCA Women's Auxiliary who founded the Coming Street YWCA on July 4, 1907. Thirteen years later, the National YWCA guided the Coming Street YWCA into becoming a branch of the Central YWCA on Society Street. The Coming Street YWCA served the black community and the Central YWCA was opened to whites. In 1946, the National YWCA adopted its interracial charter. The National YWCA's devised a two-year plan calling for integration of all YWCAs. Rather than integrate the two branches, the Central YWCA voted to leave the National YWCA in 1966 to maintain segregation. In 1967, the Coming Street YWCA was renamed the YWCA of Greater Charleston, becoming the only YWCA in the tricounty. Today, the YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The YWCA's core programs have included voter registration drives, after-school programs, summer camps, teen clubs at inner-city schools, parenting skills training for teen mothers and community-wide celebrations commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Website: www.ywca-charlestonsc.org. Facebook: YWCA of Greater Charleston.