The Charleston Earthquake of 1886

charleston earthquake of 1886

On the west coast, minor earthquakes are frequent enough that they’ve become a regular concern for emergency personnel and average Americans alike. But in 1886, an unusual seismic event—one of the most powerful ever to hit the east coast of the U.S.—set its sights on Charleston, South Carolina. The Charleston Earthquake of 1886 was such a remarkable event that the shocks were felt as far away as Boston in the northeast and Milwaukee in the Midwest—even the island of Bermuda noticed. According to Paul Pinckney, the earthquake felt so severe that some people even worried that Florida had broken away from the continent.

In all, the 1886 earthquake is proof that Charleston’s history is not limited to the social, military, and cultural events that happened here. Charleston’s recent history is even rife with remarkable seismological events which have shaped the history of the east coast. Read more

The Great Charleston Fire of 1861

great charleston fire 1861

When you ask the average person to tell the tale of a great fire that occurred in the 1800s, most of them will point to Chicago, Illinois and its Great Fire of 1861. But ask anyone from Charleston the same question and you’ll likely get a different answer that a little closer to home: the Great Charleston Fire of 1861. This famous blaze started from an unknown origin and quickly spread throughout the city impacting many in the area and even endangering the life of General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War.

In all, the Great Charleston Fire burned some 540 acres of land, causing millions of dollars in damage at a time when millions of dollars meant even more than it does today. The severity of the damage can be witnessed today in photographs of the time that show a city near in ruins. Though the event wasn’t a happy one, it was nonetheless an essential chapter in the story of Charleston, SC. Read more


A Brief History of Charleston, SC – From Carriage to Car


You don’t earn a reputation as one of America’s most historic cities by accident. As anyone who’s visited Charleston knows, you can see enough history from the streets and understand that this jewel of South Carolina goes back centuries. But how much do you really know about the founding and history of Charleston, from carriage to car? The history of Charleston is too long to tackle here, but here’s a brief overview of what makes our city so special. Read more

Philadelphia Alley & Other Famous Alleys in Charleston, SC

philadelphia alley charleston sc

There’s a reason that cities like Charleston, South Carolina routinely make lists like The Eleven Most Historic Cities in the United States. It’s not because of any one historic site. It’s because cities like ours have deep history coming out of our ears—or in the case of Charleston, running up and down our alleys and walkways. In this article, we’ll take a look at Philadelphia Alley and other must-visit alleys in Charleston. Read more

Joseph Manigault House: An Architectural Wonder in Charleston, SC


Head over to 350 Meeting Street at the corner of Meeting and John in Charleston, SC, and you’ll see a genuine National Historic Landmark that represents one of the points of pride in one of America’s most historic cities. If you’re planning on visiting Charleston, the Joseph Manigault House is one of the best ways to explore 19th century history. Here are some great things to know about this amazing historical site. Read more

2017 Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) in Charleston, SC


Alligators. World-renowned species of birds taking flight. Dogs performing amazing feats of athleticism. Whatever your favorite animal may be, there’s a good chance you can check it out at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) right here in Charleston, SC. This exposition isn’t just a pretty show—it’s one of the hottest tickets in town every single year. This year, festivities will take place February 17-19 (Fri-Sun). Read more

The Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston, SC


With a wide range of historical buildings representing architecture that dates to the 1800s and earlier, Charleston presents one of the best ways to experience the earliest days of America. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the Aiken-Rhett house—now the Aiken-Rhett House and Museum. While the house may have just been another dot in the landscape in the 1800s, its timeless architecture and unique history have made it one of the best reasons to visit the Holy City’s famous historic district. Read more

Nathaniel Russell House: An Essential Piece of Charleston’s History


If taking a carriage tour through Charleston, SC feels like stepping into history, then you haven’t met the Nathaniel Russel House yet. Built in 1808 and preserved to keep its historical authenticity, visiting this house allows guests to take a trip back in time. Read more

The Powder Magazine: Charleston’s Oldest Public Building

powder magazine charleston sc

If you’ve stuck around this site, you might know a thing or two about Charleston history. But one question remains: what’s the oldest building Charleston has to offer? Which site’s history goes back even further than all the rest? The answer, as you might have guessed from the title, is The Powder Magazine. No, it’s not a publication: a gunpowder magazine was used to store gunpowder in a relatively safe way, keeping it separate from wooden buildings and other explosive elements in the military. And as it happens, Charleston still has one of its gunpowder magazines from the 18th century standing. Read more

Heyward-Washington House: Charleston’s Link to the Founding Fathers


There are few monuments and historical sites in Charleston, SC with such direct ties to the founding of the country. If you’re a history buff, then there may be no site on your “must-see” list while visiting the Holy City like the Heyward-Washington House. Read more