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charleston history

Ninety years after the untimely death of Edmund Thornton Jenkins, Spoleto Festival USA premieres his unfinished operetta, Afram ou La Belle Swita. Learn more about the son of the world-renowned Jenkins Orphanage Band founder who became one of the first American composers to merge musical nuances of the black South with the concert traditions of Europe and quite possibly helped inspire the music of Porgy and Bess

An enthralling new novel brings the history of a Charleston landmark to life

Towering over 65 feet high, this majestic Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) is said to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River, having survived for some 400 or 500 years, though some claim it’s existed for as many as 1,500. To put that in perspective, the tree’s magnificent branches were likely providing shade on John’s Island before the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth

Berkeley County’s boozy history as a corn-liquor capital during prohibition


For a century, turkey buzzards reigned over the Market. So what finally forced the iconic creatures to flee their favorite streets?

The Waring Historical Library’s portrait project

Nancy Stevenson made South Carolina history as lieutenant governor

This forbidding-looking structure at 21 Magazine Street holds a darker, more haunting side of Charleston history. Surrounded by a high brick wall, with windows grated with double rows of bars, the Charleston District Jail first opened in 1802 and remained operational until 1939. During those years, it housed some of the city’s most nefarious characters, from murderers to 19th-century pirates, along with thousands of unfortunates who were simply debtors, enslaved, or falsely accused. Many died during their incarceration—some from disease or suicide, others put to death for their crimes on the jail’s gallows. Do their ghosts still lurk in the building’s dark halls? Many believe they do