Department of medicine

History of Charleston

Charleston's unique character is anchored in its history and its preservation.  The site of the city's beginnings is located on the Ashley River at a site now preserved as the historical Charles Towne Landing, where English settlers arrived in 1670.  Charleston quickly became an attractive site for settlers due to its tolerance of religious freedom in addition to its lucrative seafaring trade.  By 1742, Charleston was ranked the fourth largest city in America.  Charleston has played a pivotal role in U.S. history, including being the site of the beginning of the Civil War.

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Notable Dates

1743

Thomas Boone plants a number of live oaks along the entrance to his plantation, creating the moss-draped avenue of Boone Hall Plantation. 

1783

The city changes its name from Charlestown to Charleston. 

1785

The General Assembly charters the College of Charleston, making it the oldest municipal college in the country today.

1790

 The State capital moves from Charleston to Columbia. 

1808

The first bridge is built over the Ashley River....large enough for two carriages to pass easily. 

1822

 The first native-born architect in America, Robert Mills, designs the first fireproof building in America, located at the corner of Chalmers and Meeting Streets. 

1823

The Medical Society of South Carolina establishes the Medical College (Now the Medical University of South Carolina). 

1830

The "Best Friend," the first locomotive built in America, becomes operational.  It ran from Charleston, SC to bamburg, SC. 

1851

A native Charlestonian receives a patent for the first ice-making machine. 

1864

The H.L. Hunley, a confederate submarine, sinks the USS Housatonic, becoming the first submarine to sink a vessel.

1920

The Society for Preservation of Old Dwelling Houses, now simply known as the Preservation Society, was founded. 

1929

The first Cooper River Bridge opens. 

1931

Rainbow Row, inspired by citizen Dorothy Legge, began to be established.  Ms. Legge purchased 99 and 101 East Bay, renovating the valuable buildings that had been neglected over time.  Her purchase inspired others to purchase neighboring homes, and today this beautiful array of homes is one of the most famous landmarks of Charleston. 

1977

Spoleto Festival USA begins its first season.  Based on a similar event in Spoleto, Italy, the festival offers dance, opera, plays, chamber music concerts, jazz and much more, attracting tourists from around the world. 

1991

The 29th Ryder Cup takes place at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.

         


 
 
 

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