After a day of rain storms, it was time to get out and explore some more. We spent the next two days exploring Sullivan’s Island, Mr. Pleasant and Fort Sumter.
We started the day off Friday with a nice lunch at the Maybank Public House then headed to Sullivan’s Island where we enjoyed a walk on the beach and checking out the ruins of Ft. Moultrie. South Carolina was the hot bed of the early civil war and we have really been enjoying relearning all our country’s early history.
On the way back we stopped by two great seafood places off Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant. These places are quintessential low country seafood docks. The boats actually come into both these places daily which fresh shrimp and seafood.
Our friends Drake and Wanda have been spoiling us … Saturday, we started the morning at their place on the screened in porch, sipping mimosa’s and then brunching on Eggs Benedict. After a relaxing brunch, off to see more of Charleston we went.
First stop was the Angel Oak on James Island. This lowcountry treasure is a Southern Live Oak Tree which is thought to be the largest Live Oak Tree east of the Mississippi estimating to be 300 to 400 years old. This ginormous tree is 65 feet high with a circumference of over 25 feet, shading an area of 17,000 square feet. The oak derives its name from the estate of Justus Angel and his wife, Martha Waight Tucker Angel. Local folklore tells stories of ghosts of former enslaved people appearing as angels around the tree.
Next stop was a ferry ride across Charleston Bay to Fort Sumter where the first shots in the Civil War were fired. The National Park Service does an excellent job of getting people over to the fort and recreating the epic battles that were fought in Charleston Bay. The tour and museum at Fort Sumter are very well done.
The city of Charleston was strategic in both the revolutionary and civil wars. During the Revolutionary War, the 1780 siege of Charleston was a decisive success for the British during the War of the American Revolution as they shifted their strategy to focus on the southern theater. Capture of the city and its harbor gave them a vital base from which to conduct operations in their attempt to rally the support of American Loyalists and reconquer the southern states. Conversely, the loss of Charleston was a painful blow to the American cause, made even worse by the capture of over 2,500 Continentals and numerous vital weapons and supplies.
During the civil war, many Southern port cities had been closed off by the Union blockade, Charleston became an important center for blockade running. Repeated attempts by the Union Navy to take Charleston and/or batter its defenses into the ground proved fruitless, including the Stone Fleet.
We saw all kinds of boat traffic in busy Charleston Bay. While cotton and rice exporting are a thing of the past now, the South Charleston Port is a busy place and throughout the last three decades, automotive has become one of the largest commodity groups for the SCPA. Today, the SCPA contracts with three original equipment manufacturers: BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, who all call on the Columbus Street Terminal. BMW, however, is at the core of the state’s automotive sector and recently exported its 3 millionth car from the terminal.
We finished the day with “linner” (cause it ain’t quite lunch and it ain’t quite dinner) at the Charleston Harbor Fish House. The view of the city and bay from the open air dining room is beautiful. FYI, linner is a southernism I made up – HAHA!
Sunday was a sleep in day and in the afternoon a few projects on Escapade. Drake treated us to a fun evening at the Club Lounge at the scenic Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Ball Park located in downtown Charleston on the banks of the Ashley River. The Charleston RiverDogs are a Minor League Baseball team and a Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The RiverDogs focus on family-oriented, fan-friendly entertainment and it was really great to see all the family’s there enjoying the game. The food and beverages in the lounge was surprising very good too… a grass fed hot dog and pimento cheese made it on my plate!!