Some of you may not know this, but when I first graduated college with a teaching degree (in December of 1997), I came to Charleston to teach for the spring semester at a local middle school. The teaching was challenging and rewarding as all first teaching jobs should be, but one of my best memories of my six months here is how I fell in love with Charleston.
Charleston is STEEPED in history. To say it is one of American’s most historical cities would be an understatement. And for a history buff like me, this city really has my heart! I love the architecture of the city, the flora, the food, the hospitality, the art, the people and the action. These are parts of culture and history that are easy to love.
We are staying here for four nights in probably the most historic building I have ever stayed in. We are staying at the Governor’s House Inn, former home to the Laurens Family (think Hamilton in pop culture and a LONG list of other accomplishments) and the Rutledge family (youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, among other honors). This house has entertained George Washington and Gerald Ford!
In fact, we are staying in the Washington Suite; a converted Kitchen House and our home away from home.
During our stay, we will visit Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Rice Plantation, enjoy some fabulous meals, stroll endlessly admiring the historical homes of Charleston, tour mansions and walk miles. And while my romanticism with the south largely revolves around the PLACE, other parts of the south’s history are tougher to admire, but I honor the struggles, the hardships, the rebellions, the perseverance and the spirit that, through the decades, have taught ME a lot about humanity and have shaped my views on humankind and love. We cannot turn our backs on the hard parts of history or pretend they didn’t happen – what a disservice to those who have struggled to enlighten us. Instead, we have to wallow in our failures as a people and as a country in order to understand what we got wrong and what we got right.
Here are some of my favorite photos from strolling around Charleston.