A December 1998 trip
to Charleston by stevewall
Quote: A trip to this wonderful, preserved city that included a Gullah tour.
Restaurant | "Jestin's"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 22, 2004
251 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Coffee Gallery of Contemporary Art
Charleston, South Carolina
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 22, 2004
82 Queen St
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
+1 843 723 7591
Restaurant | "Middleton Plantation"
Middleton Place Restaurant
4300 Ashley River Road
Charleston, South Carolina 29414
Sunny, as all the previous days have been, with perfect temperatures in the high 60's and 70's with no humidity to speak of.
This morning we toured the Joseph Manigault House at 350 Meeting Street, built in 1803. It is a wonderful example of the graceful Adam style. It was designed by the gentleman-architect Gabriel Manigault for his brother, Joseph. Among the intriguing features of the restored house are a cantilevered stairway in the entrance hall and a Gate Temple in the garden. The collection of American, English and French period furniture was outstanding.
At 1pm, we met Mr. Brown, who gave us a Gullah tour. 843/556-0664. Gullah is the African-American language and culture in this area and close to some African language. The tour included a general overview with lots of the normal spots we would get in any tour, but much of it was given from the perspective of the slaves of that era. It included the "real" old Loud Plantation just over the Ashton River, with the old big house and a line of slave quarters/cabins, which were occupied by blacks and migrant farm workers up until 1990! Mr. Loud was 112 when he died a few years later. Much of the plantation had been sold off and developed.
The guide’s opening talk inside his van was a real revalidation about the Gullah culture and history, along with much fun attempting to understand the language, which is actually English, but in unique idioms which are the essence of the situation described.
Later we toured the Nathaniel Russell House at 51 Meeting Street, built in 1808.
Walked south down Meeting, then over to Church and south down it past St. Peter's and the French Huguenot church, cemeteries. Saw many examples of "simple" houses, rectories, etc. Later we walked the same area with the Tea Tour guide.
We then met our tour guide a block a way in the garden atrium of a B&B on King and covered every street that we had just walked!
We have been so impressed with all the floral decorations on iron fences, stair railings, doors and inside on tables, fireplace mantels and elsewhere. Most all of the gardens have red ribbons and restrained tasteful strings of mini-lights.
Our tour guide was originally from England. She got us into a few buildings and gardens we would not been able to have access to. She explained the three different periods of history and different styles of architecture. A woman from our B&B accompanied us.
The red tile roofed pink townhouse at 17 Chalmers Street, at one time called Mullato Street, was wide open in the 1800's to sailors. It still has the original curved tile roof. Almost all of these have been blown off in frequent hurricanes that come up the eastern coast. It is being used as a "fine art" gallery displaying local realistic art. It still has the original swamp cypress paneling. It also had a nice side/backyard garden.
The tour ended in the garden of guide's small home. By this time it was about 4:15pm and we enjoyed the hot Christmas Walsel served in an in a tureen.
Afterwards we three went shopping on King Street. Susan got a elegant silver English antique inkwell stand at George C. Birlant Co. at 191 King St., 29401; 888-BIRLANT. (9a-5:30p)
The National Trust, a private organization that we joined, owns it. This surely was one of the highlights of the trip. The guide we had was marvelous. A French family was along on our tour. The building was never modernized, and occupied until 1960.
We then went to Middleton Plantation, which was destroyed by the Northern troops on February 22, 1865, so there was no "big house" to see. The Middletons had restored one of the side buildings in 1869, and we toured that as well as the stable buildings. The main house is now in ruins.
We had a wonderful lunch there. South of here is the only American Tea Plantation and we had "American Classic Tea." Stef had shrimp gumbo with andolia sausage, lima beans, okra, with carrots along with corn in a red sauce on a bed of rice plus collard greens and cornbread. Susan had fried chicken, corn pudding and collard greens and cornbread. [$22]