May102014

Images of Historic Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is a place of history. Mills House Wyndham Grand is in the heart of the historic district.

Mills House is on Meeting Street where many of the other chain hotels are located. The street is called The Museum Mile. Regardless of where you stay, being in the historic district of Charleston means putting down some big bucks in the $200 to $500 range on average. Wyndham Grand at 30,000 points per reward night was a great value.

 

Mills House entry

Wyndham Grand Mills House, Charleston, South Carolina.

My 7th floor room had a great view over the historic district of Charleston.

Mills House view

Soon after my arrival I walked out the door of the Mills House hotel without a map and wandered the streets heading for the waterfront of Charleston Harbor. The next hour was spent gawking at the numerous old mansions and museums. There is extensive early 19th century architecture from the antebellum era of the south displaying Charleston’s old money stature.

Old style

Many of the mansions look like one wealthy southerner was trying to be more extravagant than his neighbor.

Hibernian Society

Hibernian Society A.D. 1840.

Getting a free history tour of the buildings around me was simply a matter of walking and listening since dozens of horse drawn carriages with tour guides were constantly riding past me on the streets describing the buildings. There were so many tourists in town that I felt like I was in a cruise ship day-trip location.

I am amazed to see that I have no photographs of a horse-drawn carriage as that was a dominant feature of Charleston. I had already taken several in Savannah, Georgia and they were a common sight by the time I reached Charleston.

Calhoun Mansion is the largest of the mansions in Charleston at 24,000 square feet of living space. The private residence was built in 1876 as a testament to the south’s rise after the Civil War. The home has been featured on America’s Castles tv show and tours are given daily.

Calhoun Mansion

There are signs commemorating the Civil War all around the city.

Confederate monument

To the Confederate Defenders of Charleston, Fort Sumter 1861-1865.

I did not get the tour cruise to the island of Fort Sumter. South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860 at a meeting held in Charleston at Institute Hall, across the street from The Mills House Hotel. Institute Hall was the largest meeting space in the city, however, the hall burned down in 1861.

Federal troops at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, across the harbor from the peninsula where Charleston is located, knew their position was indefensible and relocated to the more secure Fort Sumter to evade imminent capture. Unable to be resupplied on the  island fortress of Fort Sumter, the Civil War started in April 1861 when Confederate troops fired cannons on the Union troops besieged in Charleston Harbor. The fort was surrendered by Federal forces.

Residents of Charleston along The Battery sat on their balconies cheering the start of the war.

Battery Houses

Houses along the Battery on Charleston’s waterfront have striking multi-tier balconies.

The Battery

Cannon on The Battery, Charleston, South Carolina.

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter seen from The Battery, Charleston.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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