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Christmas in Charleston

Program Number: 21206RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/22/2013 - 12/27/2013; 12/22/2016 - 12/27/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price starting at: $1,465.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays; History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Embark on a holiday learning adventure to experience the distinctive history and delectable flavors of Charleston and the Lowcountry amid customs and traditions of the season. Festive decorations, culinary wonders and delightful holiday rituals abound as you enjoy a cup of cocoa in historic homes decked in holiday finery and hear performances of music from every era of the city’s history. See as well how sweetgrass baskets are made from beginning to end and taste Lowcountry cuisine prepared before your eyes.


• Marvel at historic sites on expert-led walks and interior visits that take you to picturesque downtown and to the City Market Place.
• Explore the gardens and stable yards as you learn about the people who lived at Middleton Plantation more than three centuries ago.
• Experience the unique sounds that define Charleston's rich musical heritage: gospel, Gershwin, music of the Civil War, light classics, & jazz.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles, some uneven terrain. Periods of standing for on-site lectures.

Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.

Charleston (South Carolina)

Founded in 1670, Charleston is an old colonial city brimming with museums and historical attractions. In its early days, it was a cosmopolitan trading center whose wealth is on display today in the well-preserved architecture and cultural institutions. Picturesque tree-lined streets and a lovely coastline make it a tourist Mecca.

Luxury hotel located in the heart of Charleston's historic district.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller, a graduate of Duke University, has lived all over America and journeyed throughout the world. As a Charleston historian and excursion leader, she enjoys tying local history into the American story and worldwide events. Ruth is the author and co-author of numerous books, including “Charleston Charlie — A Family Activity Book for Kids of All Ages,” “Touring the Tombstones,” and “The Angel Oak Story.” She is a member of the South Carolina Historical Society and the National Trust.
Harlan Greene

Harlan Greene is a native of Charleston, an award-winning novelist and author of many nonfiction books on Charleston. His works include “Charleston: City of Memory” and “Mr. Skylark: John Bennett and the Charleston Renaissance,” as well as others. Formerly the assistant director of the South Carolina Historical Society, Harlan is now senior manuscript and reference archivist for the College of Charleston. He also served on the Mayor’s Arts and History Commission.
Darryl Stoneworth

Darryl Stoneworth, along with wife Angela, has been selling home-crafted sweetgrass baskets in the Charleston City Market since May 2009. If you happen by his stand, you'll know Darryl by his omnipresent smile. The couple is also constructing their first roadside basket stand along Highway 17N in Mount Pleasant, N.C. The town has renamed and dedicated this stretch of the highway in tribute to the hamlet's sweetgrass basket makers.
Judi Edgar

Judi Edgar grew up near Cincinnati, Ohio, and after a successful career in medicine, followed her passion for history and began recounting stories about the individual exploits of Americans. As an educational excursion leader in Charleston, S.C., she has the opportunity to describe the historical accounts of the people that shaped the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Judi also shares stories of the USS Yorktown. She enjoys traveling with her husband who is a U.S. Air Force veteran, and has lived in the Netherlands and Hawaii.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
  Charleston, SC 5 nights
 The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel is a gem among historic Charleston hotels. Blending opulent accommodations, historic ambiance and modern convenience, our luxury Charleston hotel treats you to true southern hospitality, the same hospitality we showed our first guest over 150 years ago. With our recent multi-million dollar restoration, our historic Charleston hotel has recaptured its original splendor, and we're eager to share it with you. Located in the heart of Charleston, The Mills House is the only hotel included in the city's prestigious Museum Mile, and there's no shortage of lively Charleston attractions nearby: Dock Street Theatre (0.0 mile) King Street Antique District (0.0 mile) The Market Place (0.0 mile) Waterfront Park (0.0 mile) College of Charleston (0.5 mile) South Carolina Aquarium (0.5 mile) The Battery/Historic District (0.5 mile) After a day amidst the storied sights of downtown, return to the Mills House where we stand apart from other Charleston, SC luxury hotels by combining a lush, Victorian atmosphere with modern appeal. From our thoughtfully-appointed Charleston, SC accommodations to state-of-the-art meeting space and exquisite service, we continue to exceed our legendary reputation. History and luxury await! Join us at The Mills House Hotel, a Conde' Nast Traveler Gold List Hotel, and stroll the halls once walked by General Robert E. Lee and President Theodore Roosevelt.
  Contact info: 115 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401 USA
phone: 843-577-2400
  Room amenities: 2 phones with voicemail Bathtub Cable/Satellite color TV Coffee and tea makers Connecting rooms Crib upon request Free morning newspaper delivered to room Hair dryers High-speed Internet access In-room pay-per-view movies Iron/board Nightly turndown service Private bathroom Rollaway bed/cot Work desk with lamp
  Facility amenities: Housekeeping & Laundry Services Daily Housekeeping Dry Cleaning Pickup/Laundry Same Day Dry Cleaning Concierge Desk to help w/tour plans Entertainment & Recreation Outdoor Pool Hotel Shops Newsstand Gift Shop Business Services Copying E-mail & Internet Facsimile PC available Printer High Speed Internet Access Public Space Data Services Wireless Data Connection Miscellaneous Concierge Services Ice Machine Safety Deposit Box available at Front Desk A/C Public Areas Dedicated Lounge (or 24 Hour Lounge) Porter/Bellman Fitness Center Outdoor Pool Parking Daily Self Parking Fee: $20.00 (USD) Valet Parking Available: $22.00 (USD) County operated garage adjacent to the hotel self parking $20.00 per night There is a 6 feet 7 inch vehicle height limitation in all garages
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call hotel for rate Group rates are not available during times outside of the Road Scholar program week. For early arrival or late stayovers, call the hotel directly.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call hotel for rate Group rates are not available during times outside of the Road Scholar program week. For early arrival or late stayovers, call the hotel directly.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in begins at 3:00 pm. Road Scholar Orientation is 5:00 pm followed by dinner at 6:30 pm. You will be staying at The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Hotel check-out is 11:00 am. You will be staying at The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the hotel for a cost of $20-$23 per day. The parking deck is owned by the city of Charleston and is the only parking available for this hotel. This is not included in your program cost.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Charleston, SC
  Nearest city or town:  Mt. Pleasant and Beaufort, SC
  Nearest highway: I-26
  Nearest airport:  Charleston, SC
  From End of Program
  Location: Charleston, SC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Charleston, SC


From Airport




Charleston Green Taxi
phone: 843-819-0846
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approximate rate from airport to hotel is $45 for taxi for two people
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes 




12 miles




From Train Station




Public Transportation
phone: 800-872-7245
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Call Amtrak for pricing
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approximately 20 minutes 




10 miles


Charleston, SC


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Taxi/Shuttle Service - Charleston International Airport
phone: 843-767-7007


Per Person/One Way:


Approximate rate from airport to hotel is $30 for two people
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes 




12 miles


Option 1: The meter fare for taxi departure from the Airport is $2.15 per loaded mile with no additional charge for the first two passengers. For each passenger in excess of two, a fee of $12.00 per passenger per trip will be charged. Option 2:The shuttle rate for Downtown Charleston is $12.00 per passenger and departs within 15 minutes. The shuttle is a shared ride and makes multiple stops. Option 3: Fixed rate for Airport vicinity is $9.00/passenger, not to exceed $27.00 per trip.

Driving Directions
  Charleston: Interstate 26 to Mills House Hotel Travel on Interstate 26 until you reach the Meeting Street Exit, 221 B. Continue on Meeting Street for 2 miles until you reach the corner of Meeting Street and Queen Street. The Mills House will be on your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in, Registration & Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, December 22)
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in begins at 3:00 pm. If rooms are ready, the hotel will be happy to do early check-in. We ask that you be patient about early check-in because the Mills House is a popular hotel with many guests. PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby area to pick up your arrival packet with your name badge and the up-to-date schedule we’ll review during orientation. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thanks for your understanding. ORIENTATION: At 5:00 pm, we’ll gather in the designated meeting room for an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to greet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the schedule, answer any questions you may have, and discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.) You are about to embark on a holiday learning adventure planned to present the distinctive history, heritage, and delectable flavors of Charleston and the Lowcountry amid customs and traditions of the season. What better place to ring in the New Year!
 Dinner: Dinner will be served in the private dining room reserved for Road Scholar.
 Evening: Take the remainder of the evening to begin getting to know one another or just relax and prepare for tomorrow’s full day of activities. If you choose to go for a walk on your own, the Mills House is ideally located for exploring the city’s renowned historic attractions.
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Overview of Charleston and Carolina Lowcountry, Historic District Field Trip, Seasonal Offerings
(Monday, December 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Barbados Room is an extravaganza of tasty delights, from local specialties such as shrimp and grits to a variety of eggs and omelettes, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, cereal, and fresh fruit. The delectable assortment will be offered either as a buffet or you may order off the menu. Dining is in the Barbados Room or the beautiful courtyard (weather permitting).
 Morning: PRESENTATION: History & Holiday Traditions. Festive decorations, culinary wonders, and delightful holiday customs lead to Christmas when Charleston joins the rest of the world in this holiday celebration. An expert local historian — co-author of “Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon” — will provide an overview of Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry, emphasizing the craftsmanship and architecture of the homes decked in holiday finery.
 Lunch: Lunch will be out at a popular restaurant in the City Market Place area called AW Shucks. The Market Area of the historic old peninsula has always been the scene of activity for Charlestonians. Years ago, the local residents shopped here for fresh produce, meats, and seafood that were transformed into delicious meals, gracing the dining rooms of many an old Charleston mansion. (From these recipes and traditions have sprung some of the delights that you will enjoy at A. W. Shuck's.) The building in which the restaurant is located has an illustrious history as well. This remodeled warehouse was built about 75 years ago by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco). It transcended its use as a cracker repository when it became the home of a Blind Tiger establishment. For those too young to recall, "Blind Tiger" was a slang expression for the kind of illegal saloon that proponents of the grape felt compelled to open during Prohibition. It has gone through many different changes since this time to become the restaurant of today called AW Shucks. It is a favorite of the City Market Place area.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Charleston Historic District by motor coach. See the neighborhood dressed in holiday finery and go behind the scenes at an historic house to meet the family and enjoy a cup of cocoa. The Palmer Home on the Battery is one of Charleston's most famous houses, built in 1848 by John Ravenel. This private home is now operated as a bed-and-breakfast by third-generation owner, Ms. Frances Palmer. The house is furnished and decorated with antiques dating back two hundred years. As you walk along the historic streets of the Battery, you’ll learn about architectural wonders and local holiday traditions. Discover the Four Corners of Law, City Hall and the Battery. Visit The Citadel of the 21st Century where cadets remain true to the vision which includes the core values of integrity, honesty, and responsibility. Summerall Chapel is a place of sanctuary, a safe haven away from the constraints and stresses of cadet life. Secondly, it is of course a place of worship. We will sit in the chapel for the history depending on availability.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: We will research possible seasonal offerings in the Charleston historic district that we may attend.
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Middleton Place and House Museum, Low Country Buffet, Christmas Eve Stroll With Historian
(Tuesday, December 24)
 Breakfast: Another breakfast extravaganza in the Barbados Room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Middleton Place. This National Historic Landmark situated on the Ashley River will be decorated for the holidays much as it would have been in earlier eras. Middleton Place is a wonderfully preserved, 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. During our field trip, you'll learn that it was the home of four generations of the distinguished Middleton family. We'll explore the house museum, the gardens, and the plantation stableyards as you learn about the people who lived here for more than three centuries.
 Lunch: Lunch will be a special Lowcountry buffet at Middleton Place featuring hearty holiday foods served during the plantation era.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP continues: Amid festive period decorations, the House Museum presents an extraordinary collection of original portraits, furniture, silver, china, documents and other objects that belonged to and were used by Middleton family members which reflect their interests, tastes and resources. The collection includes portraits by Benjamin West and Thomas Sully; fine Charleston and London-made silver; a pre-revolutionary breakfast table made by Thomas Elfe, Charleston's most celebrated cabinetmaker; a rare facsimile copy on silk of the Declaration of Independence, and first edition works by Mark Catesby, John James Audubon and other significant artists and authors. EXCURSIION: We will walk north on King St, along the south side of Broad Street, through the lobby of Charleston Place and along Waterfront Park taking in the glowing lights and decorations. We will return to the hotel and celebrate with hot chocolate or libations of your choice. Pay for alcoholic beverages on your problem.
 Dinner: We will enjoy dining together Christmas Eve at the hotel with a special meal prepared just for you.
 Evening: In this Holy City of Charleston there will be many church and candlelight services near our hotel. If you would like to attend service at one of the churches, they welcome visitors. Holiday finery and festive lights decorate the homes on the battery.
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Magnolia Plantation, Free Afternoon, Holiday Festival of Lights
(Wednesday, December 25)
 Breakfast: A bountiful repast is provided again in the Barbados Room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Magnolia Plantation Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of only five gardens in the United States and only 30 gardens in the world that has received the prestigious International Camellia Garden of Excellence award from the International Camellia Society. Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens. Nature Tram Field Trip: Experience history and wildlife on this action-packed tram tour of the plantation’s wetlands, lakes, forests, and marshes. Naturalist guides help you spot alligators, turtles, egrets, and herons in native habitats. The House Field Trip: Step back in time with a half-hour guided tour of the Drayton family home, the third to grace the site in more than three centuries of Drayton family occupation. The current main House – the core of which was built prior to the Revolutionary War near Summerville, South Carolina and floated down the Ashley River to Magnolia after the Civil War — gives a glimpse of plantation life in the 19th century and beyond. Ten rooms are open to the public, furnished with early-American antiques, porcelain, quilts, and other Drayton family heirlooms.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the hotel or at a selected restaurant in the historic district of Charleston.
 Afternoon: Most everything in the Holy City of Charleston will be closed on Christmas afternoon. It is a time to relax and socialize with newfound friends.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Mill’s House or local restaurant.
 Evening: SPECIAL EVENT EXCURSION: Holiday Festival of Lights More than two million enchanting lights adorn James Island County Park. Come experience the three-mile driving tour and see a wide array of dazzling designs for the holidays. The Festival of Lights was ranked on the 2006 Top 10 list. We will have dinner at your hotel after our trip to the Festival of Lights.
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cooking Demonstration, Lunch With The Chef, Free Afternoon, Sound of Charleston Performance
(Thursday, December 26)
 Breakfast: Enjoy the extravagant breakfast in the Barbados Room.
 Morning: COOKING DEMONSTRATION: You’ll love this holiday cooking demonstration culminating with the enjoyment of a lunch meal and a glass of wine. Learn more about Lowcountry cuisine, the kinds of food served during the holidays, what types of food were plentiful and available, how the food was prepared and how it was kept hot.
 Lunch: Enjoy the meal prepared especially for you by the chef at Charleston Cooks.
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: Enjoy some quiet time or continue your personal independent explorations of Charleston. There are many venues open this day. Among them are: The Nathaniel Russell home, Charleston Museum, Heyward-Washington House and Joseph Manigault House, as well as Fort Sumter.
 Dinner: We will have an early dinner at the hotel in order to confirm early seating at the Circular Church for the Sound of Charleston, which begins at 7 pm. Dinner will be around 5:30 pm.
 Evening: EXTRACURRICULAR ENTERTAINMENT: The Sound of Charleston, presented at the historic Circular Congregational Church (founded circa 1681, current building completed 1892). Enjoy professional performers bringing to life authentic music from throughout the city’s history, ranging from the classical era and the founding of one of America’s first musical organizations, the St. Cecilia Society (1766), through Civil War songs, spirituals, gospel, jazz, some Gullah, and Gershwin. You’ll hear commentary that illuminates the context, words, and meanings of the music. Clap and sing along during this special and memorable journey through Charleston's rich musical heritage.
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Charleston Preservation And Future, Departures
(Friday, December 27)
 Breakfast: We'll gather for breakfast one last time in the Barbados Room. Time to say farewell to Charleston -- at least for now -- and "until we meet again" to your new friends. Hotel check-out and departures by 11:00 am. We hope you have enjoyed this special holiday learning adventure and will join us for other delightful and rewarding Road Scholar programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys..and Happy New Year!
 Morning: Charleston's unique environment, people, and circumstances contributed to a tradition of preserving and protecting the physical evidence of past generations. Over the past century, Charlestonians have moved from saving individual buildings to entire neighborhoods to maintain the city's unique sense of place. Hear from a representative of the Charleston Preservation Society. Then it’s time for fond farewells. We’ll conclude at approximately 10:00 am to facilitate your travel needs. Hotel check-out is 11:00 am. We hope you have enjoyed this exciting holiday program and will join us for other rewarding Road Scholar learning adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Charleston, SC 23rd Annual Holiday Festival of Lights
James Island County Park The perfect place for families to celebrate the New Year, At 9 pm, ring in 2013 with a bang with the spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks show! Outside alcohol and coolers are prohibited. Celebrate a Lowcountry tradition at Charleston’s most beloved nighttime event - the Holiday Festival of Lights! With over two million shimmering lights, this three-mile driving tour delivers more light displays year after year, with more than 700 shining displays this season. Remember, the Holiday Festival of Lights is much more than just a driving tour! Park the car and experience exciting attractions custom-designed for holiday cheer. Beginning November 9, 2012 and continuing through December 31, 2012, gather family and friends to capture the magic of the holiday season at James Island County Park. 6.1 miles or 12 minutes from the Mills House For additional information, visit
  Holiday Exhibits at the Nathaniel Russell House and Aiken-Rhett House Museums
Historic Charleston Foundation invites guests to enjoy the holidays at the Nathaniel Russell House Museum, 51 Meeting Street, and the Aiken-Rhett House Museum, 48 Elizabeth Street. At the Nathaniel Russell House Museum, guests will learn about early 19th century holiday gatherings, and for the Russell family, in 1808, that meant religious observances and holiday feasts with friends and relatives. Just as if the family were gathered for a holiday meal, the dining room table will be laden with delightful sugared fruits, syllabubs, cakes, and sweetmeats. Continue on to the Aiken-Rhett House Museum where you will see the dazzling trimmings of a Victorian Christmas in the Lowcountry. Holiday celebrations at the Aiken-Rhett House date back to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the budding popularity of decorated trees in America. Christmas was a joyous time for members of the enslaved community as well, and interpretive material will be exhibited in the Aiken-Rhett House outbuildings, where these African Americans both lived and worked. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. with the last tour at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, 2 - 5 p.m. Admission is $10 and a combination ticket to both houses is $16 For additional information, visit
  Santa Sleigh Ride
This is the special time of year where our carriages are transformed into Santa's Charleston sleigh. Ride along with Santa and enjoy some hot cocoa and marshmallow roasting. Learn a little about Christmas through the years in Charleston and enjoy telling Santa all your Holiday wishes. All to the music of hoof beats and a possible carol or two. Located .4 miles from the Mills House, approximately 4 blocks from hotel. Call to reserve your spot. 843-478-1386 or 843-735-3580. For additional information, visit
  South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium, located in Charleston, South Carolina, opened on May 19, 2000 on the historic Charleston Harbor. It is home to more than ten thousand plants and animals including river otters, loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, great blue herons, hawks, owls, sea horses, jellyfish, pufferfish, moray eels, horseshoe crabs, sea stars, pythons, and sharks. The largest exhibit in the Aquarium is the Great Ocean Tank, which extends from the first to the third floor of the Aquarium; it holds more thanr 385,000 US gallons (1,460,000 l) of water and contains more than three hundred animals. Located 1.2 miles from Mills House. For additional information, visit
  Spirit Line New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise
Celebrate the New Year with style aboard the SpiritLine Dinner Cruise. Our chef will prepare an exquisite four course dinner that is sure to delight, served by an attentive wait staff, eager to make your experience exceptional. 1.2 miles from Mills House Full details available early winter Online reservations will be available 45 days prior For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Short History of Charleston

Author: Robert N. Rosen

Description: A concise small history of Charleston that is easy to read and enjoyable.

A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Author: Ruth Miller and Ann Taylor Andrus

Description: The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the great buildings of Colonial America. Serving as city hall, customs house, post office and prison; as the British Headquarters during the occupation of Charles Towne and then host to a great ball honoring George Washington, the Exchange has been an eyewitness to America’s history. This stoic building-—designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975—-has been described as the best example of the dignity and ornament of the traditional English “exchange-town hall” design of the eighteenth century built in the United States. From within its Great Hall to deep below in the Provost Dungeon, the Exchange has played a vital role in American history. Andrus’ and Miller’s fast-paced and readable survey of the history and significance of the Old Exchange Building will appeal to visitor and serious historian alike.

Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War

Author: David Detzer

Description: An original and deeply human portrait of soldiers and civilians caught in the vortex of war. So vividly does Allegiance re-create the events leading to the firing of the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, that we can feel the fabric of the Union tearing apart. It is a tense and surprising story, filled with indecisive bureaucrats, uninformed leaders, hotheaded politicians, and dedicated and honorable soldiers on both sides. The six-month-long agony that began with Lincoln's election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next until Lincoln's inauguration, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. At the center of this dramatic narrative is the heroic figure of Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy. With little help from Washington, D.C., Anderson almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight. David Detzer's decade-long research illuminates the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and individuals on both sides who changed American history. No other historian has given us a clearer or more intimate picture of the human drama of Fort Sumter.

The Secret Gardens of Charleston

Author: Louisa Cameron

Description: A stunning tour with the owners of many of historic Charleston's most beautiful, but rarely seen, private gardens. Charleston gardeners--some working with noted designers, others relying on their own skills and creativity--are masters of fashioning intricate designs and plant selections to match the architectural beauty of this legendary city. This is a valuable resource for inner-city gardeners and an important tool for those involved in the restoration of older houses and gardens.

Touring the Tombstones

Author: Ruth Miller

Description: A series of guide books to Charleston's 18th century graveyards.

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