A Short and Sweet History of Charleston, South Carolina

horse and buggy rides

Charleston, South Carolina is a city with an incredible history. There is no wonder it attracts thousands of visitors each and every year — with its incredible past, awesome activities, and wonderful cuisine, there is everything anyone could ever want in a destination!

Here is a quick history of the dynamic city of Charleston.

A seaport to a city
Founded originally by English colonists in 1670s, the city of Charleston was first a colonial seaport that specialized in fishing. It then was transformed into a bustling city by the mid-eighteenth century simply due to thriving agriculture. The geographical area around Charleston is great farmland known for producing cotton, rice, and beautiful indigo.

The start of the Civil War
Located in the South, Charleston was actually the starting point for the U.S. Civil War. In April 1861, Confederate Troops fired at Union soldiers occupying Fort Sumter, located in Charleston’s harbor. However, during the end of the same year, Union forces started to blockade Charleston and restricting anything from going in or coming out. Despite the restrictions, South Carolinians fought passionately in the Civil War until the war came to an official end in April 1965.

Reconstruction
The city was slow to recover from the devastation of the war, as its prized farmlands were ruined when they were turned into battlefields. However, this slow recovery has actually turned out in Charleston’s favor — since the city was slow at rebuilding itself, it was forced to repair ruined buildings rather than replace them completely. These pre-Civil War buildings are still around today and are perfect for horse and buggy rides, and private carriage tours that will help you explore the city!

The emergence of the Navy
With the construction of the Charleston Navy Yard in 1904, Charleston was thrust into a bustling, twentieth-century harbor city. As the city became bigger and bigger, tourism increased, and the Charleston we have come to know and love today was established.

The best way to see all Charleston has to offer is by horse and buggy rides around the city. You’ll be able to see the city as its patrons did in the past, and feel transported back in time in the process.

If you are looking for the best carriage tours Charleston has to offer, please contact us today!

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The Horse And Buggy: A Brief (But Fascinating) History

buggy toursBelieve it or not, the horse and buggy has a very interesting history. About 2.7% of the United States’ gross domestic product is attributed to travel and tourism, and the horse and buggy has come a long way in its development and is now being used for buggy tours and other attractions in countless cities.

Concorde Buggy
The Concorde Buggy, originally made in Concord, New Hampshire, is known for its low-hanging sides. It also has side-spring suspension to make it more comfortable for riders.

Stanhope Buggy
The Stanhope Buggy, on the other hand, is known for its higher seats and enclosed back. It was originally named after Captain Hon. Henry FitzRoy Stanhope, who was the son of William Stanhope, a renowned athlete in his era.

Horse And Buggy Rides
Horse drawn carriages were among the most popular forms of transportation between the years of 1815 and 1915. During the same time period, horseback riding itself was growing in popularity but required more specialized skills and expertise. It also seemed to be reserved for the more affluent members of society. It’s also important to note that at this time, the automobile hadn’t yet been mass produced, which made it extremely unaffordable for the vast majority of people.That’s why it was mostly the lower and middle class citizens that took advantage of the benefits of the horse and buggy method of transportation.

According to mnn.com, “The automobilizing of America was inevitable, especially because it soon became cheaper to keep a car. In 1900, only 4,192 cars were sold in the U.S.; by 1912, it was 356,000.”

However, an essay titled From Horse Power to Horsepower explained that “The equine was not replaced all at once, but function by function. Freight haulage was the last bastion of horse-drawn transportation; the motorized truck finally supplanted the horse cart in the 1920s.”

Transition From Horse Carriage Rides To Automobiles
Experts cite 1910 as the year that automobiles finally outnumbered horses and buggies. Nowadays, the Amish still use horse and buggy rides to get around. They’re also popular in New York City in addition to a number of different cities all over the world.

Ultimately, horse and buggy tours have a very rich history, and that makes taking a ride all the more enjoyable. For more information about horse and buggy tours, contact Charleston Carriage Works today.

Charleston, SC & The American Revolution

charleston sc american revolution

When it comes to the rich history of Charleston, SC there is much to talk about. We can talk about Fort Sumter and the Civil War. We can talk about the colonial days, in which the roots of Charleston’s architecture and style began to take hold. But Charleston, SC is also a city rich in the history of the American War of Independence, which is one of the reasons so many people come here to learn more about our nation’s founding days. Read on to learn more about Charleston’s role in the American Revolution. Read more

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

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

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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

Fort Moultrie

fort-moultrie

Although Fort Moultrie is part of the Fort Sumter National Monument, the actual location of Fort Moultrie is Sullivan’s Island, across the sound from the sea fort of Fort Sumter. But the difference between the two forts isn’t in location alone. In fact, Fort Moultrie’s history in U.S. military conflicts dating back to 1776 gives it a unique position in our National Parks System. Read more