A Journey Through South Carolina’s Historical Sites
There was a lot going on during my recent visit to Greenville in upstate South Carolina. The many pubs and restaurants along Main Street were crowded and exuded a young and inviting charm. While I enjoyed the youthful city vibe, Greenville, like many other places in South Carolina, is imbued with fascinating history that tells the story of South Carolina and the formation of the United States.
War History and Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville
On Greenville’s Main Street, I walked to the American Legion War Museum, which has fascinating displays and actual artifacts from the American Revolutionary War, American Civil War, Spanish/American War, both World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq. Then I headed south to Falls Park on the Reedy. This beautiful park is a tranquil setting right in the heart of Greenville. I walked the Liberty Bridge, which extends over the Reedy River and offers great views of the surrounding waterfalls.
Fascinating History at the Columbia Statehouse
In Columbia, the state capital, I visited the Columbia Statehouse, which houses the government of the State of South Carolina and whose impressive dome can be seen from afar. Construction of this building was launched in 1855, but it was damaged severely during a battle of the American Civil War. So, the building was not completed until 1903. Even today, you can see the damage from cannon ball blasts, marked on the outside with bronze stars. On the inside of the building, the floors are covered in pink and white marble and many historic paintings cover the walls.
American Revolutionary War History in Camden
Camden is one of the oldest cities in South Carolina, dating from 1786. I visited the Kershaw House, originally built in 1777 and reconstructed in 1977. This building is part of the Camden Revolutionary War Site, which commemorates the moving history of American nation. In Camden’s historic downtown, I visited one of the nice antique shops where I rummaged through their great collection of antiques and books.
My next stop was Charleston, a jewel along the coast of South Carolina. At Battery Park, I explored Fort Sumter, the famous place where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. In the historic district, I shopped for souvenirs at the Charleston City Market, before I enjoyed the city’s outstanding culinary scene, something Charleston is rightfully known for.
Just outside Charleston, I had the opportunity to explore one of America’s oldest working plantations and the nation's most photographed, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens. The corridor of live oaks that lead to the plantation house make it one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever had the pleasure of walking along.
Hilton Head Island
My journey through the coastal areas ended on Hilton Head Island where I discovered the more than 100 miles of bike trails. The island is also rich in the cultural influences of the Gullah Geechee people, descendents of the slaves that worked on the former plantations. Today, you can learn about this fascinating history at the Gullah Little House Museum or at the Mitchelville Freedom Park in the north of the island.
South Carolina is a diverse and fascinating state, and I’m already looking forward to my next visit!