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So Charleston

Today, two magnificent lighthouses mark the entrance to Charleston Harbor: the 1876 Morris Island Lighthouse—decommissioned in 1962—and its Sullivan’s Island replacement, which is still in operation today. Yet they are far from the first structures to illuminate the Holy City’s waters over the years. Learn about the fascinating forms of beacons, and the early technology behind them, that have helped guide mariners ashore over the centuries

Brought to the Carolina shores 400 years ago by Spanish explorers and traders, these sure-footed animals are esteemed for their hardiness as well as their gentle, easygoing nature. Once the standard farm horse for the Sea Island Gullah people, they were nearly extinct by the 1990s. Today, though still critically endangered (less than 400 are known to be alive), they are making a steady comeback through the efforts of organizations such as the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association, Daufuskie Marsh Tacky Society, and Equus Survival Trust. Here, get more familiar with this intriguing creature—the official State Heritage Horse of South Carolina

As a whole, South Carolinians (and plenty of vacationers who fall in love with this place) adore our state flag. We wear renderings of it on clothing and accessories, stick it to car bumpers, and incorporate it into company logos. For some, it’s merely about that pretty palmetto tree and its crescent ”moon,” but many love it for its history. They know that in 1775, Colonel (later General) William Moultrie designed a flag for his American patriots consisting of a white crescent on a solid blue background—the color of his men’s uniforms. That banner was waving over tiny Fort Sullivan on June 28, 1776, when Moultrie’s troops defeated the British at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, with a good deal of help from the native palmettos. In honor of Carolina Day, here’s more about our fascinating flag

A novelist from off (but not too far off) visits the Holy City to soak in its character and creative culture

Think you know the Holy City inside and out?

This mildly potent punch is credited to South Carolina’s oldest and most exclusive social institution, the St. Cecilia Society. The recipe, first published in 1950 in the Junior League’s inimitable Charleston Receipts, is similar to that of other rum and fruit punches that were staples at Holy City galas, fêtes, and balls in centuries gone by. Served ice-cold in a large punch bowl, the libation was often a ladies’ preference since, despite the spirituous ingredients of brandy, rum, and champagne, it usually contained less alcohol than a typical cocktail

More than 700 guests joined us on October 15 at the Gaillard Center to celebrate our big 4-0 and raise money for the campaign for MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital

Lowcountry anglers will tell you that fall’s the best time to cast for Sciaenops ocellatus, the state’s most popular saltwater game fish. Esteemed for its fresh, clean taste and renowned for its fight, this coveted creature goes by many names, including spottail bass, channel bass, redfish, red drum, and puppy drum. No matter what you call it, you’re sure to thrill at the sight of its reddish-bronze rear-end ”tailing” in creeks, rivers, and surf as it feeds, showing off a distinctive spot on the base of its caudal fin

Read the very first issue of Charleston

Few would argue that the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is among the most charming members of the Lowcountry animal kingdom, what with its graceful moves, perma-smile, and playful personality. Some of the creature’s magic must also come from the fact that as a warm-blooded mammal, it surfaces regularly for air, offering humans a glimpse of life below the waves. Often, you’ll see several together, as these highly intelligent swimmers form fluid pods of up to 25 members. Below, find more facts about this charismatic character, which isn’t to be confused with its blunter-nosed cousin, the porpoise, or with the dolphinfish, aka mahi-mahi

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Of all the stinging, biting, buzzing insects inhabiting the Lowcountry, mosquitoes may bug us most. Some 3,200 species of these two-winged devils of the order Diptera—called ”true flies”—exist worldwide, and South Carolina has the dubious distinction of welcoming 60 of them. The type you’re most likely to see in your backyard (particularly if you allow water to collect in abandoned flower pots or beneath leaky spigots) is the Asian tiger (Aedes albopictus), shown here. They say you should know your enemy, right? Read on for the deets on the blood-thirsty, prolifically breeding mosquito

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As his sharpshooting in-laws look on, a local cook/curator/designer embarks on his first deer hunt and finds a new connection to the cycles of life