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Beaufort Hurricane of 1893 Photograph Collection

Beaufort Hurricane of 1893

This collection features 20 photographs that record the damage caused by the hurricane that swept through Beaufort County on August 27th, 1893. Images captured include wrecked and stranded ships and steamers, including the "City of Savannah," damaged buildings and wharves and a debris covered Bay Street.

For more information, please see the companion publication, The Storm Swept Coast of South Carolina.

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Camp St. Mary Records, 1931-1997

Camp St. Mary Scrapbook

Camp St. Mary, a catechetical summer camp for Catholic children, was founded near the Okatee River in Beaufort, South Carolina, by the Diocese of Charleston in 1928. Father James Linehan organized the religious vocation camp for children of Beaufort missions who were in need of catechetical instruction. The priests of the diocese and the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy provided religious teaching to the area children.

The original camp was located at the plantation house of William Pinckney. William Eustace Pinckney was born in Walterboro, South Carolina, to Eustace Bellinger Pinckney and Mary Martha Porcher in 1863. In the late 1860s, Eustace Pinckney moved his family to Okatie near Bluffton. As the only Catholics living in the area, the Pinckneys relied on visiting priests to perform religious rites. Sometime before 1916, the family built a simple wooden structure known as St. Mary's in the Woods as a place of worship. In 1922, the Pinckney family deeded the church to the Diocese of Charleston, and Bishop William Russell dedicated it as the Church of St. Mary.

In 1931, Bishop Emmett Walsh chose to prioritize the camp as a diocesan project. After obtaining funds, he purchased property across the river from the original campsite in Okatie, for an enlarged camp with permanent buildings. Two barracks for sleeping, a dining hall and a kitchen, a sisters’ convent, and a chapel were erected, as well as a boat dock with a diving platform, which was built on the river. Once the permanent buildings were erected, Bishop Walsh officially designated the camp as Camp St. Mary.

This digital collection contains three scrapbooks made by camp staff and campers from the 1930s to the 1960s.

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Photograph Survey of the “Charleston Center” Site

Photograph Survey of the “Charleston Center” Site

“The proposal to build a hotel and convention center complex in the heart of Charleston ignited a fierce debate in Charleston in the late 1970s and early 1980s that divided public opinion locally and attracted considerable attention nationally.” While Historic Charleston Foundation expressed neither support nor opposition for the development of the block, it played a significant role in advocating for appropriate height, scale, and mass, and in voicing concern for the anticipated dramatic increase in tourists. After years of controversy, legal wrangling, negotiations, and design reviews and revisions, the ground-breaking for the hotel occurred in early 1985. Charleston Place opened in the fall of 1986.1

As it did with several other rehabilitation and revitalization projects over the years, Historic Charleston Foundation photographed the site of the proposed development and its environs, comprising the entire block bounded by Meeting, Market, King, and Hasell Streets. This photographic survey consists of 110 black-and-white photographs of buildings, streets, and sites that would be impacted by the construction project that was initially called the Charleston Center, now known as Charleston Place.

1Historic Preservation for a Living City by Robert Weyeneth (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2000).

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Scenes in Charleston, Georgetown, and Flat Rock, Late 19th Century

Scenes in Charleston, Georgetown, and Flat Rock, Late 19th Century

Thirty-five late-19th century photographs of scenes in Charleston, South Carolina; Georgetown, South Carolina; and (likely) Flat Rock, North Carolina, affixed to pages removed from a photograph album, five to six photos on each side. Many depict leisure activities and rice cultivation at what is likely a Georgetown County plantation. The collection also includes river and beach scenes.

Note: It is possible that these photographs document some of the travels of designer, artist, Newcomb potter, and Charleston native Sabina Elliott Wells, as there are two photographs in which she may be featured. Her travels to Georgetown and western North Carolina in the late 1890s are documented in journals at the South Carolina Historical Society. This likelihood is the basis for the location descriptions and date of the collection.

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1920s Charleston Scenes

1920s Charleston Scenes

Sixteen ca. 1920s photographs of scenes in Charleston, South Carolina, affixed to pages removed from a photograph album, four photos on each side. Includes views of the Charleston waterfront, the Ashley River Bridge, Hampton Park, and aerial views across the Charleston peninsula.

Note: Zoom in on the photographs to see the landscapes! The landmark buildings seen in both the waterfront and aerial views were identified this way and are provided in the descriptions to better convey the location of the views. Boundaries, where noted, are approximate.

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Walter Pantovic Slavery and African American History Collection

Slave Bill of Sale

The Walter Pantovic Slavery and African American History Collection contains documents and images that reflect African American history primarily in the United States. Walter Pantovic was a Yugoslavian immigrant with an interest in Black history, in particular the history of Slavery and the Civil War. Highlights from this collection include slave bills of sale, glass slides, abolitionist memorabilia, and printed materials from the 18th century to the 20th century.

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Avery Normal Institute

Avery Normal Institute Class of 1911

Founded in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute provided education and advocacy for the growing Charleston African American community and trained blacks for professional careers and leadership roles. Although the Institute closed its doors in 1954, it graduates preserved the legacy of their alma mater by establishing the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture.  This collection includes photographs of classes, extra-curricular activities, and reunions.  Also, included are documents regarding activities presented and sponsored by the Avery Normal Institute.

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Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project Photograph Survey

Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project Photograph Survey

Since its founding, Historic Charleston Foundation had been nursing its interest in the rehabilitation of an entire neighborhood.  However, a formal plan had not been devised until the late 1950s, a time when the historic Ansonborough neighborhood was in a state of decline, with many formerly grand houses in a state of severe disrepair and vacant.  By 1958, HCF initiated a plan to rehabilitate several blocks in Ansonborough by developing the nation’s first revolving fund as a preservation strategy.  Thus began the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project, an extraordinary effort to save the neighborhood within an area bordered by Calhoun, East Bay, Market, and Meeting Streets.  Through the Revolving Fund, HCF purchased, stabilized, and then resold historic properties to preservation-minded buyers with protective covenants attached to the deeds.  Almost sixty structures were rehabilitated over a twelve-year period.  The accomplishments of the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project were hailed nationwide, and other preservation programs across the United States modeled local initiatives on the Charleston program.  

This collection is photographic survey of Ansonborough properties, consisting of 228 black-and-white photographs of houses and buildings on Anson, East Bay, George, Hasell, Laurens, Meeting, Society, and Wentworth Streets.  The survey documents the neighborhood prior to the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project, and shows the condition of each structure before rehabilitation, before demolition, and, in some cases, before relocation.

Related collections also include: Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project

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Rice Harvest at Mulberry Plantation (Berkeley County, SC)

Rice Harvest at Mulberry Plantation

Mulberry Plantation is believed to have received its name because of an early interest in raising silk, as worms that spin silk generally feed on Mulberry leaves. However, the plantation was more successful as a rice plantation. Rice was cultivated at Mulberry Plantation from colonial days until 1918. Rice cultivation was difficult and dangerous work completed by slave labor. Slaves would clear the land, chopping down all trees and stumps. They would then excavate canals to bring tidal waters into the field. Trunks, or dams, were constructed to drain the water from the field for sowing and flood it for cultivation. Rice seeds would be coated with clay before they were planted so they would not float away when the fields were flooded. After the rice was harvested, the grain was beaten from the stalk with flailing sticks. The rice was then milled and winnowed to separate the grain from the chaff.

This collection consists of thirty-four photographs of Mulberry Plantation field workers performing various rice cultivation activities including preparing the field, planting, and winnowing. They are dated 1916-1918, and document the final rice harvest done at Mulberry.

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