Mount Pleasant's Historical Markers
If you enjoy learning about local history, reading the local historical markers adds a depth of understanding you may appreciate.
Below is a reproduction of the writings on local Mount Pleasant historical markers located across the Mount Pleasant area.
ALHAMBRA HALL - In 1847, Charles Jugnot and Oliver Hillard, owners of Mount Pleasant Ferry Company, developed a picnic ground in a grove of live oaks, called Hort’s Grove. They built the first Alhambra as a summer retreat and dance hall overlooking Charleston Harbor. The present building was constructed in 1937 and is maintained by the town as a multipurpose recreational facility.
ARTHUR RAVENEL, JR. /BRIDGE - ARTHUR RAVENEL, JR. BRIDGE Named by an Act of the General Assembly in honor of State Senate Arthur Ravenel, Jr., who enthusiastically spearheaded a broad-based effort to secure the funds for its construction. See Reverse (Reverse) ARTHUR RAVENEL, JR. Born 1927, Native of Charleston, US Marine, graduate of the College of Charleston, successful businessman, environmentalist, SC House of Representatives 1953-1958, SC Senate 1981-1986,US Congress 1987-1994, SC Senate 1999- 2004. Erected in 2005
BOONE HALL PLANTATION - Boone Hall Plantation, established in 1681 by a grant to Major John Boone, remained in the family for 130 years. The plantation, purchased by the Horlbeck family in 1817, produced primarily Sea Island cotton. A cotton gin, smokehouse, and 9 slave cabins, all built of brick made here, survive from the antebellum period. The present main house at Boone Hall was built for Thomas A. Stone in 1936.
BRICKYARD PLANTATION - Brickyard Plantation is a portion of the vast Boone Hall Plantation. The soils that cover much of the tract contain dense red clay and sand making it suitable for brick production. In 1817, “a plantation with a Brick Yard established thereon called Boon Hall” was purchased by John and Henry Horlbeck. The brothers were partners in the construction industry having built several notable structures in Charleston such as the St John’s Lutheran Church and St. Stephen’s Chapel. The Horlbecks developed the brick yard into a major enterprise. From 1850 to 1860, twenty five million bricks were produced at a profit of $170,000. The brick yard operated throughout the nineteenth century and was later known as the Horlbeck Brick and Tile Company. The facility consisted of several kilns, workshops, drying areas, a brick lined cistern, a commissary, and a steam boiler. The boiler’s brick chimney stands today.
BRITISH ATTACK AT BREACH INLET/BATTERY MARSHALL - BRITISH ATTACK AT BREACH INLET In 1776, a force of British Army regulars attempted to cross Breach Inlet in an effort to capture Fort Sullivan (Fort Moultrie). Their advance was thwarted and many British lives lost when their boats were caught intreacherous currents while under fire from Colonel Thomson’s Eutawville sharpshooters who had erected a temporary fort near this spot overlooking Breach Inlet. (Reverse)
BATTERY MARSHALL In 1864, the Confederate submarine, H.L. Hunley departed from Battery Marshall near this spot on Sullivan’s Island. It passed through Breach Inlet on assignment to sink the U.S.S. Housatonic. The Hunley crew signaled Battery Marshall that their mission was successful, but the submarine sank. The wreck of the H.L. Hunley and crew were recovered in 2000.
CHANNEL 2 & SUZIE Q - On September 25, 1954, WUSN, the second television station in Charleston, signed onto the airwaves as a NBC affiliate. The call letters stood for U.S. Navy in an effort to gain a loyal following among Charleston Navy Yard personnel. Early local programs included The Lucky 2 Ranch, Time for Teens, and Afloat & Afield. In 1975, the call letters were changed to WCBD, a reference to the tri-county. (Reverse) In 1954, Drayton Hastie, owner of WUSN, purchased Suzie Q, an Asian elephant, for $2,700 from a New York importer. A gimmick to lure viewers from WCSC, Suzie Q became WUSN’s mascot in residence sharing the grounds with an alligator, kangaroo, donkey, exotic birds, and other animals. This pachyderm packed pleasure and adventure in her trunk and imprinted indelible memories on the Lowcountry.
CENTER STREET WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT- WATERWORKS - In 1933 this land was the property of Clovis Goblet. Yonge Simmons purchased it by auction in 1934. Mr. Simmons’ descendant sold the property to the Town of Mount Pleasant and Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Sewer Commission in 1968. In the early 1960s the Commission began design of a wastewater collection system. Construction began on a primary treatment facility capable of processing 1.4 million gallons per day (MGD). The Department of the Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit to fill in the marsh and construct an 18” outfall line. Plant operations for this contact stabilization, secondary treatment plant began in June 1970: Mount Pleasant’s first form of wastewater treatment. Under the Federal Grants Program the facility was expanded in 1980 from 1.4 MGD to 3.7 MGD with the addition of flow equalization and conversion to the conventional activated sludge treatment process. (Reverse) Simultaneously, small package plants were taken out of service and flow from these plants was diverted to Center Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. A new outfall line was constructed in 1989, with a capacity of 17 MGD. All treated wastewater is discharged through the outfall line 4,700 feet into Charleston Harbor, in the Rebellion Reach Channel. From 2012-2015 $27.2 million was invested in the Center Street Wastewater Treatment Capacity Enhancement Project. Increased treatment capacity sustains economic development, which in turn facilitates job growth to benefit the Town, region and State. Energy efficiency enhancements reduced annual treatment costs and the positive impact on water quality
The Church Act of 1706 created Christ Church Parish. The first church, a wooden structure built in 1707, accidentally burned in 1725. A brick church was erected in 1726, and although the British burned it in 1782 and the interior was destroyed by Union Troops in 1865, the original walls still stand. In 1874, the church was restored and consecrated.
COLEMAN BLVD/KING’S HIGHWAY In the 1700s, the King’s Highway began in Virginia and wound down the coast through the Carolinas. The section of road that passed through Mount Pleasant became one of the first coastal roadways serving as a colonial post road for the delivery of mail. President George Washington traveled this route in 1791 during his Southern tour. The road was later designated S.C. 40, then U.S. 17. (Reverse) COLEMAN BOULEVARD In 1958, the section of U.S. 17 that passed through Mount Pleasant, also known as Old Georgetown Road, was named in honor of Mayor Francis F. Coleman (1946-1960). During his term in office, the road was widened, town limits extended, and the population grew from 1500 to 5000. He was also known for his dedication to improving the standard of living for all citizens of Mount Pleasant.
CONFEDERATE LINES The earthworks nearby are remains of the 1861 fortification built to defend Mount Pleasant. They extended east 2.5 miles from Butler’s Creek at Boone Hall Plantation to Fort Palmetto on Hamlin Sound. Supporting this line were Battery Gary and those at Hobcaw Point, Hog Island, Hibben Street, and Venning’s and Kinloch’s landings. Federal troops occupied the town 18 February 1865.
COOK’S OLD FIELD CEMETERY/COPAHEE PLANTATION AND HAMLIN BEACH - COOK’S OLD FIELD CEMETERY This plantation cemetery predates the American Revolution. It was established by early members of the Hamlin, Hibben and Leland families. James Hibben (d. 1835), one of the founders of Mount Pleasant, is buried here. Generations of both white and black families are interred here. In 2003 this cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. (Reverse) COPAHEE PLANTATION AND HAMLIN BEACH Thomas Hamlin established Copahee Plantation here in 1696. Later divided into Copahee and Contentment Cottage, it is now known as Hamlin Farms. In 1881 African American farmers bought 31 ten-acre lots from the Hamlins and founded the Hamlin Beach community. White and black descendants still live here today.
COVE INLET Before the Revolutionary War, a plank bridge built on barrels was constructed across the inlet separating Mount Pleasant from Sullivan's Island. In 1864, the H.L.Hunley crew crossed the footbridge on the way to Breach Inlet to test dive the submarine. A trolley bridge spanned the cove in 1898 and was replaced by a vehicle bridge in 1927 known as Pitt Street Bridge.
DARBY BUILDING This building was constructed in 1884 as the Berkeley County Courthouse. Mount Pleasant served as the Berkeley County seat from 1883 to 1895, when the town rejoined Charleston County. The old courthouse, named in 1991 for former Mayor G. Magrath Darby Jr., has been used for newspaper offices, a school, seminary, Baptist church and Town Hall.
EDMUND JENKINS/OCEAN GROVE CEMETERY Edmund Jenkins, an African-American veteran of the Civil War, was elected as a Town Marshal in Mount Pleasant and served from the 1890s until the late 1920s. He died on December 26, 1930. His gravestone is directly to the left of this marker. The public housing facility located two blocks north was built in 1952 and named the Edmund Jenkins Homes in (Reverse) building was dedicated on March 15, 1964. The school opened that fall with kindergarten and first grade students. A new grade level was added each year until the school reached the eighth grade. The Christian Life Center was dedicated when the church celebrated its 70th anniversary on October 25, 1987. The center provided shelter as Hurricane Hugo raged on the night of September 21, 1989, and then served as a storage area for clothes, food, and staples. Out-of-town volunteers who aided in clean-up and home repairs were housed there. First Baptist Church sponsored missions that became independent churches in Awendaw and McClellanville. The church anticipated town population growth and purchased 34 acres on U.S. Highway 17 North in 1979. With the opening of The Church at LifePark on this property in 2010, First Baptist Church became a two-campus ministry in Mount Pleasant.
THE FERRY TRACT In 1779, Andrew Hibben bought land on the south side of Shem Creek from Jacob Motte, which became known as the Ferry Tract. Until the opening of the Grace Memorial Bridge in August 1929, ferries connected Mount Pleasant to Charleston. Hibben’s Ferry operated until 1847, followed by others on Hog Island, Ferry Street, and Hort’s Grove. (Reverse) The Ferry Tract was bordered by Shem Creek and Hibben, Bennett, and Beach streets. From colonial days until the 1980s, small shipyards operated on Shem Creek. A bucket factory was also on the creek leading to the name Factory Street, now Live OakDrive. Restaurants and shrimp boats line the creek, while private homes occupy the boatyard lands.
FRIENDSHIP AME CHURCH This church, founded during Reconstruction, has been at the same site since 1890. The first sanctuary serving this congregation was located on Hibben Street and built on a lot leased by the Town of Mount Pleasant in 1877. After moving here and building a new church under pastorate Rev. F.E. Rivers in 1890, the congregation grew so quickly that it built its third sanctuary, a large frame church, by 1895. (Reverse) A 1911 storm during the pastorate of Rev. Frank Woodbury nearly destroyed the sanctuary, which was essentially rebuilt. Later renovations, including the application of a brick veneer in 1961 during the pastorate of Rev. J.A. Sabb, Jr. gave the church its present appearance. Friendship AME church also hosted the graduation exercises of nearby Laing School for many years until the school closed in 1953.
GREENHILL COMMUNITY/GREENHILL FARMING- GREENHILL COMMUNITY In 1870, freedman Hardy Green purchased 30 acres of land along Mathis Ferry Road. The area was called Spark Hill, but was later named Greenhill by the Moultrie School District. Children walked several miles to Laing School, then in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant. Greenhill received electricity in 1942, paved roads in 1951, and was annexed into Mount Pleasant in 1983. (Reverse) GREENHILL FARMING Farming was the major source of income in Greenhill. People, produce, and livestock were carried aboard boats from a dock behind Somerset Point to the Charleston City Market. In the 1920s and ‘30s, mules and wagons transported goods to a ferry at Shem Creek. The LOOP Bus became a major source of transportation in the 1940s. Greenhill continues to thrive as a residential community.
HADDRELL’S POINT extended along the waterfront from Shem Creek to Cove Inlet and was named for George Haddrell, an early settler. The land bordering Shem Creek became home to important industries including factories, canneries, and rice and saw mills. The mills drew their power from the tides of Shem Creek. (Reverse) In early 1776, a battery was erected at Haddrell’s Point and placed under the command of Brigadier General John Armstrong. The strategic location of the battery was vital in safeguarding Charleston from British attacks. With ceremonial fanfare, President George Washington embarked from Haddrell’s Point to Charleston, during his Southern tour in 1791.
HIBBEN HOUSE/BRITISH OCCUPATION - HIBBEN HOUSE A 1777 map shows a house on this property owned by Jacob Motte, Charleston City Treasurer. His 67 acre plantation called Mount Pleasant provided the name for the present town. James Hibben purchased the land in 1803. The home now known as the Hibben House is one of the oldest in the area. It has been extensively renovated and modified. (Reverse) BRITISH OCCUPATION Following the surrender of Charleston to the British in May 1780, General William Moultrie and other patriots were held captive near here. His memoirs recount a June 1780 meeting in the upstairs drawing room of Jacob Motte’s home with British officers, Lord Cornwallis and General Patterson.
HOBCAW POINT POWDER MAGAZINE- in 1770, the South Carolina colonial government authorized construction of a powder magazine near the Wando River plantations and Hobcaw Point shipyards. A four-sided earthen embankment with a brick powder magazine and guardhouse stood near here from 1772 to 1783, on the land of Capt. Clement Lempriere. A detachment of colonial militia was assigned to protect the magazine.
HOBCAW SHIPYARDS - Shipyards built on Hobcaw Creek included Pritchard’s Shipyard, the largest in colonial South Carolina. Notable ships launched there were the 180 ton Heart of Oak (1776) and the 200 ton Magna Carta (1770). The South Carolina Navy built and maintained naval vessels at Prichard’s during the Revolutionary War. The shipyard industry closed in 1831, after 78 years of operation.
HOG ISLAND - Now called Patriots Point, Hog Island played a crucial role in the defense of the Charleston Harbor. In 1775, Patriot forces were sinking old ships in the deep Hog Island Channel to block British access to the Wando and Cooper Rivers. They were fired upon by British ships in the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War in SC. This hostile act served to promote the Patriot cause. (Reverse) During the Civil War, mines were placed in the Hog Island Channel by the Confederates as a defense against Union ships. A Confederate gun battery on the tip of Hog Island also protected the channel. The island was gradually connected to the mainland by dredge spoil. The area was annexed by Mount Pleasant in 1975 and was later developed and renamed Patriots Point.
JACOB BOND I’ON - Jacob Bond I’On (1782-1859), planter, US Army and militia officer, and state legislator is buried in the family cemetery ½ mi. north. I’On a contemporary of John C. Calhoun at Yale University, represented Saint James Santee Parish in S.C. House 1810-1812, then resigned to become captain in the second U.S. Artillery, serving with distinction during the War of 1812. (Reverse) I’On described at his death in 1859 as “a representative of a true Carolina gentleman,” was elected to the S.C. Senate in 1816, serving until 1837 and representing first Saint James Santee Parish, then Christ Church Parish; he was president of the Senate 1822- 1828. He was also intendant, or mayor, of Sullivan’s Island in 1823 and a delegate to the Nullification Convention of 1832-1833.
JASPER GREEN/ SERGEANT WILLIAM JASPER - JASPER GREEN Jasper Green, a grassy field, became part of Moultrie High School’s campus and was named for Sergeant William Jasper. Jasper Green was home to the Moultrie High School Generals, now the Moultrie Middle School Patriots. The Green continues to be used for band, physical education, multi-purpose athletic fields, playground, and other events. (Reverse) SERGEANT WILLIAM JASPER (c. 1750-1779) A Revolutionary War hero, Jasper distinguished himself by an act of reckless bravery in the 1776 Battle of Fort Sullivan. A British cannonball hit the flagstaff causing the flag to fall outside the fort. Facing enemy fire, Jasper leapt through an embrasure, gathered, raised, and held the flag on a temporary staff. He was killed during the 1779 Siege of Savannah, GA.
LAING SCHOOL - Laing School located here from 1868 to 1953 was founded in 1866 by Cornelia Hancock, a Quaker who had served as a nurse with the Union Army during the Civil War. First housed in Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Laing Industrial School was named for Henry M. Laing of the Friends Association for the Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen. The 1868 school destroyed by the Charleston Earthquake of 1886 was replaced by a school which stood here until 1954. (Reverse) Early instruction at Laing with its motto “Try to Excel” combined academics with instruction in industrial, farming and homemaking skills. A new Laing Elementary opened at King and Greenwich Streets in 1945; the high school remained here until a new Laing Highopened on U.S. Hwy. 17 North in 1953. Laing High closed in 1970 with the desegregation of county schools. That building later housed Laing Middle School when it opened in 1974.
LAUREL HILL PLANTATION - John Boone owned this land by 1694, and the plantation that developed here passed in 1864 to Dr. Peter Bonneau, Confederate army surgeon and signer of the Ordinance of Secession. John D. Muller, Jr., a later owner, died in 1984 and set up a trust specifying that Laurel Hill be made available to benefit religious, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational groups.
MAYBANK GREEN/ HOBCAW PLANTATION - MAYBANK GREEN In 1697 David Maybank II (1660-1713) acquired 200 acres along Hobcaw Creek from the Lords Proprietors. Maybank, a carpenter, built a house on this site which he named Hobcaw Plantation. The plantation passed to his daughter Susannah (1700-1746) and her husband Capt. Jacob Bond (1695-1766), planter and member of the Commons House of Assembly. After Bond’s death the plantation was owned by his daughter Rebecca Bond Read (1730-1786). (Reverse) HOBCAW PLANTATION Rebecca and James Read’s son Dr. William Read (1754- 1845) was a deputy surgeon general in the Continental Army, serving under both George Washington and Nathanael Greene. This was one of Read’s several lowcountry plantations; his principal residence was in Charleston. In 1819 Read’s cousin Jacob Bond I’On (1782- 1859), planter, army office, and legislator, hosted President James Monroe and Secretary of State John C. Calhoun at Hobcaw Plantation.
MILTON’S FERRY TAVERN - By 1832, Milton’s Ferry offered a ferry service to and from Charleston by way of a canal dug through the marsh. The ferry tavern was a two-sided house with stables and carriage houses to serve travelers. A Bi-weekly stage ran from the tavern to Georgetown. The first ferry operator was William Mathewes, locally pronounced “Mathis,” as in Mathis Ferry Road.
MOULTRIE SCHOOLS/ GENERAL WILLIAM MOULTRIE - MOULTRIE SCHOOLS General William Moultrie High School, originally on Pitt Street, relocated here in 1944. In 1973, students moved into the new Wando High School on Whipple Road. The old high school became Moultrie Middle School. This facility was demolished in 2007 and the new building completed in 2009. This is the third Moultrie School to be built on this site. (Reverse) GENERAL WILLIAM MOULTRIE The Moultrie Schools were named in honor of General William Moultrie, the highest ranking S.C. officer during the Revolutionary War and hero of the 1776 Battle of Fort Sullivan, which was renamed Fort Moultrie. He fought in the S.C. Militia during the 1761 Cherokee Wars, and served in the Royal Assembly and first Provincial Congress. He was elected Lieutenant Governor and was Governor twice. While Governor, he relocated the capital from Charleston to Columbia and established the county system and county court system. Moultrie designed the first S.C. state flag during the American Revolution.
MOUNT PLEASANT ACADEMY - In 1809, the SC General Assembly incorporated Mount Pleasant Academy to educate the children of Christ Church Parish. Funded by a legacy and a lottery, a schoolhouse was built, but its site is uncertain. At times, classes were held in private homes, the village church, and the courthouse. In 1860, the academy, at 140 Hibben Street, offered foreign languages and the classics. (Reverse) In 1908, the academy was built at the corner of Pitt and Venning Streets. In 1938, a modern two-story public school building was constructed on Boundary Street and Hwy. 40 (now Simmons and Coleman). The old academy building on Pitt Street later became the first Moultrie High School. The present academy, on Center Street, was completed in the 1960s.
MOUNT PLEASANT HOME FOR DESTITUTE CHILDREN - At this site in 1881, Abby Munro, a Quaker from Philadelphia, established a home for orphans, neglected, and destitute children. Funds to purchase and operate the home were solicited locally and from friends in the North. It was incorporated in 1883 and is believed to have been the first orphanage for colored children in the State. (Reverse) Room and board cost approximately one dollar a week per child. The children were taught to cook, wash, iron, knit, sew, mend clothes, and all the duties of a household. The older children attended school regularly and made commendable progress in their studies. The orphanage operated here until the building was destroyed by fire in 1920.
MOUNT PLEASANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - Erected in 1854 and originally a Congregational Church affiliated with Old Wappetaw Church, founded about 1699. Served as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, then briefly housed the Laing School for freedmen during Reconstruction. Was accepted into Charleston Presbytery as a mission church and renamed Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church in 1870.
MOUNT PLEASANT WATERWORKS - In the early 20th century, Mount Pleasant’s leaders and citizens believed that the town’s rural locale and lack of a quality water supply hindered residential growth and prosperity. The situation changed when the Cooper River Bridge opened as the new northsouth gateway, placing the town on the shortest New York to Miami route. Leaders sought to capture the hearts of passersby with modernization that upheld the attractive charms of the past. In 1933, Mayor T. G. McCants initiated plans to build a waterworks system for public convenience and municipal advancement. The project was completed by his successor Mayor W. L. Erckmann. Citizens voted 102 to 0 in favor of securing a Public Works Administration loan for the essential water plant. After navigating a difficult course, a distribution system of wells, mains, storage tanks, fire hydrants, 175 water meters and a pumping station provided (Reverse) 160,000 gallons of water per day. On October 17, 1935, a dedication was held at Alhambra Park with a dance at the Mount Pleasant Yacht Club. Four years later, waterworks operated at a profit with over 240 customers. A wastewater system was added in 1942 and later, two treatment plants. Captain S. A. Guilds provided astute leadership for over a decade as commission chairman. The first superintendent, C. B. Venning, devoted 34 years to creating an efficient, profitable utility. The office started at Guilds Inn on Pitt Street and later moved to the facility on Center Street. In 1990, the commission acquired Bulls Bay Rural Community Water District. Mount Pleasant set an example for coastal communities by building a water system and was the state’s first city to use reverse osmosis treatment. The Operations Center opened in 1997 on Rifle Range Road. This marker commemorates the 75 th anniversary of Mount Pleasant Waterworks.
OAKLAND PLANTATION - Oakland Plantation, one of Mount Pleasant’s oldest plantations, is associated with some of the town’s prominent early founders. The land that became Oakland Plantation was part of 1,300 acres granted to Captain George Dearsley in 1696. In 1704, Antiguan planter John Perrie acquired 982 acres of the original grant and hired John Abraham Motte to settle this land he never visited. Motte established Oakland Plantation, then called Youghal Plantation after Perrie’s hometown in Ireland. Motte managed the property and was paid half the annual profits. Perrie left his estate to his daughter Mary, who sold the plantation to Captain George Benison in 1740. Benison built the house that stands at Oakland today. The house has its original crushed shell and sand fireplace and mahogany floors. Many of the window panes are etched with the names or thoughts of past visitors. An emissary of John Wesley etched “Exalt we O our God” in 1773. (Reverse) In 1755, Oakland Plantation became the property of Thomas Barksdale who immediately conveyed it to his son Charles. The plantation remained in the Barksdale family for nearly 100 years. Charles’ son Thomas Barksdale inherited the property in 1757 and lived there until his death in 1806. During his life Thomas Barksdale represented Christ Church Parish in the 16th General Assembly and served as a captain in the 30th Regiment of the state militia. In 1852, Youghal Plantation was conveyed to Thomas Barksdale’s granddaughter Mary and her husband James McBeth. Historians believe McBeth added the beautiful oak allee and changed the plantation’s name to Oakland. McBeth sold Oakland Plantation to Philip Porcher in 1859. Oakland Plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes the main plantation house, kitchen, dairy, smokehouse, family cemetery, and slave cemetery. Erected 2012
OLD SUNKEN HULL/BG JAMES ESTCOURT SAWYER - OLD SUNKEN HULL Commissioned on Oct 18, 1919, the Army Quartermaster River Steamer Col. J. E. Sawyer was the first concrete passenger vessel made in America. The 700- ton, 128.5-foot ship, able to carry 500 people, was one of nine built from 1919-1920 by the Newport Shipbuilding Corp. of New Bern, N.C. Made of steel and ferrocement, these vessels were named after esteemed deceased army quartermasters. In 1923, Joseph Sable brought the decommissioned Sawyer and an identical ship the Maj. Archibald Butt to Charleston for commercial use. In 1926, the Sawyer sank near Adger’s Wharf creating long-term problems for port authorities who dubbed her the “old sunken hull.” As thousands cheered, the Sawyer was raised on June 22, 1929, after weeks of frustrating yet amusing attempts. The old hull was towed to this site and remains an iconic fixture. Local lore named this steamer the Archibald Butt; however, that vessel was relocated to Miami in 1925.(Reverse) BG JAMES ESTCOURT SAWYER Brigadier General James Estcourt Sawyer, born in New York in 1846, was of distinguished military lineage. His ancestors served at Ticonderoga in 1758 and Bunker Hill in 1775. Sawyer entered the military at age 19. By 1884, he was Acting Judge Advocate of the Division of the Atlantic and Department of the East. Sawyer served as Aide de Camp to Gen. Schofield who commanded the Department of the Atlantic. Sawyer transferred to the Quartermaster Department in 1893. During the Spanish-American War, he was Chief Quartermaster at Camp Wyckoff, N.Y., Camp Meade, P.A., and Augusta, G.A. Sawyer served as Special Disbursing Officer to the Philippine Commission and as a member of the Spanish War Claims Board in Washington, D.C. Promoted quickly, and he retired as Brigadier General and Chief Quartermaster at the Department of Dakota in 1910. He died on May 29, 1914, in New York and is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington, V.T. Erected 2012
OLD WAPPETAW CHURCH - Congregationalists from New England built a church near here around 1700. Troops from both sides camped on the grounds during the American Revolution. Burned by the British in 1782, it was rebuilt in 1786. The building was abandoned during the Civil War and its members organized Presbyterian churches in Mount Pleasant and McClellanville.
PATJENS POST OFFICE - In 1899, the Patjens family built this small office adjacent to their store on Church Street, to serve as the post office in Mount Pleasant. The Patjens family served as postmasters until 1917. Patjens Post Office has been owned and maintained by the Alhambra Garden Club since 1971, when it was moved to Edwards Park. The club restored the building in 2001.
PATRIOTS POINT NAVAL & MARITIME MUSEUM/ MEDAL OF HONOR PATRIOTS POINT NAVAL & MARITIME MUSEUM The South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in 1973 enabling the establishment of the Patriots Point Authority to develop a portion of Hog Island as a national naval museum. The museum opened on October 13, 1975, the 200th birthday of the United States Navy. Displayed are ships and aircraft honoring the crews who valiantly served in the defense of our country. (Reverse) MEDAL OF HONOR The Medal of Honor is the highest award bestowed upon an individual for acts of valor in the armed services of the United States. It is generally
PHILLIPS COMMUNITY -This community, settled along Horlbeck Creek in the 1870s by freedmen, was named after the Phillips Plantation. Former slaves of the Laurel Hill, Parker Island, and Boone Hall Plantations purchased the land in ten acre parcels and founded the Phillips Community. The freedmen who settled here were middle class tradesmen and successful businessmen whose descendents still own the land. (Reverse) Dr. John Rutledge was the first owner of Phillips Plantation which was named after his birthplace in Phillips County, Ireland. He was the Father of Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and John Rutledge, signer of the U.S. Constitution. Dr. Rutledge, the first medical doctor in Christ Church Parish, is buried near here in the Phillips Community.
PIERATES CRUZE - PIERATES CRUZE The Pierates Cruze property, once part of the Hilliardsville tract, was a private residence and garden. The property changed hands several times before it was purchased and named by the Osgood family in 1928. The Osgoods transformed the grounds into a magnificent private garden that contained a variety of flowers, shrubs and trees, including many prize-winning camellias and azaleas. (Reverse) PIERATES CRUZE GARDENS The Osgoods opened Pierates Cruze Gardens to the public in 1943. It became a popular tourist attraction in the 1940s and 50s. In 1947, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society awarded Mrs. Osgood the prestigious “Gold Medal” for her development of new varieties of hybrid camellias. After the Osgood’s deaths, the land was sold and subdivided into 13 lots that initially sold for $10,000 each.
PITT STREET MERCHANTS - By the middle of the 20th Century, the residents of the old village shopped on Pitt Street. This area included grocery, hardware, department stores, a dress shop, doctors’ offices, the pharmacy, barber shop, post office, and Mount Pleasant Academy. A passive control device then referred to as a “dumb policeman” directed traffic at the intersection of Venning, Pitt, and Church streets.
POINT PLANTATION / RICHMOND PLANTATION - POINT PLANTATION In 1715, John Vanderhorst purchased 540 acres known as the Point for ?360. So began a long line of ownership by this well-known Colonial family. By 1740, John’s son Joseph and 29 slaves lived at the Point and operated a successful livestock and timber business. The land remained in the Vanderhorst family until John’s granddaughter Mary married Joshua Toomer in the 1770s. The couple lived in the house at the Point. Joshua Toomer was an unwavering Patriot during the American Revolution. On one occasion, cavalrymen under British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton came to the Point in search of Joshua. When they could not find him, the British soldiers carried off cattle, horses, and provisions. In 1997, archaeologists excavated the ruins of the Point, located at the end of North James Gregarie Road, and recovered hundreds of artifacts associated with the Toomer family. (Reverse) RICHMOND PLANTATION Richmond Plantation on Toomer Creek was owned by William Vanderhorst. After the death of his first wife Mary, Joshua Toomer married William’s daughter Sabina in 1784. Together, they acquired Richmond Plantation which they combined with the Point. In 1796, the property passed to their son Anthony V. Toomer, a wealthy physician and planter. A. V. Toomer owned other Christ Church Parish plantations and homes in Charleston and Rhode Island. Richmond and the Point were working plantations rather than family manors. The plantations produced bricks, oak firewood, rice, and livestock. Richmond and the Point remained in the Toomer family until 1856. In 1997, archaeologists studied the ruins of Richmond Plantation that were located in this park. Artifacts and architectural features provided insight into life at this nineteenth century plantation.
ERECTED IN 2009 RIFLE RANGE ROAD - A U.S. Navy rifle range was built near here during World War I on the site of an old S.C. National Guard firing range. Included were 100 targets. 2 armories, a 600 seat mess hall, 12 barracks, and auxiliary buildings. After 1918 the 100 acres site leased from George E. Goblet, now Harborgate Shores, was used by the National Guard Army Reserves and Citadel cadets until 1937.
RIVERSIDE BEACH/WHITE’S PARADISE - RIVERSIDE BEACH Riverside Beach, developed by the Cooper River Bridge Company, opened in 1930 as the first black beach in the area. It was sold to the County in 1941. The site featured a dance pavilion, boardwalk, bath house, playground and ball fields. Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ivory Joe Hunter, and B.B. King performed here. The County sold the beach to developers in 1975. (Reverse) WHITE’S PARADISE White’s Paradise located on Riverside Beach Road, now 5th Avenue, was the first black motel and nightclub east of the Cooper. The air conditioned motel and club, built by owner Henry White, operated from 1943 to 1975. Soul singer James Brown performed there before his hit “Papa’s got a Brand New Bag.” The buildings were demolished in 1993.
RONKIN’S LONG ROOM/FERRY SERVICE - RONKIN’S LONG ROOM The crew of the Confederate submarine, H.L. Hunley, commanded by Lt. George Dixon, and was temporarily quartered at Ronkin’s Long Room, 205 Ferry Street, in early 1864. The building, previously known as Shell Hall, summer home of Charles Pinckney, was used during the Civil War as an armory and barracks. (Reverse) FERRY SERVICE A ferry service connected Mount Pleasant to Charleston from the wharf at the end of Ferry Street (c. 1847) until the completion of the Cooper River Bridge. Passengers traveled by trolley from Ferry Street east on Pitt Street, across Cove Inlet to Sullivan’s Island and across Breach Inlet to the Isle of Palms resort.
ROSENWALD SCHOOLS - Guided by Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute, Julius Rosenwald, CEO for Sears and Roebuck, began a program in 1912 to build schools and vocational centers to educate African American children in the rural South. The Rosenwald program provided partial funding for the schools, which were administered by local school trustees. (Reverse) Local families raised money and provided land and labor to build the schools, which were also used as community centers. The schools were designed to take advantage of sunlight and some had as many as six teachers. Boys learned a trade, while girls learned homemaking skills. The school on your right was one of several built in the Mount Pleasant area in the late 1920s.
SCANLONVILLE - In 1868, John Scanlon, a freedman, purchased 614 acres of the former Remley Plantation at auction for $6,100. He then founded the Charleston Land Company to provide land ownership to freed slaves. The tract was subdivided into a planned community with lots, numbered streets and avenues, and common areas such as a graveyard, park and a wharf called Remley’s Point.
SEASIDE -The earliest documented owner of the property known as Seaside was Thomas Whitesides. A plat shows the property included a main house, a barn, other outbuildings, and a row of four slave cabins. The land was divided among his five sons in the 1790s. There was a succession of owners throughout the nineteenth century. By 1859, Peter P. Bonneau owned the property and produced cotton, corn, sweet potatoes, butter, and wool, typical products grown on Christ Church Parish farms. During the 1890s, owner Theodore Stoney divided the land into small parcels, sold chiefly to African American farmers, which now make up the community of Four Mile. Other portions of the original property are part of the mixed-use development known as Seaside Farms.
SHELL RINGS AND SHELL MIDDENS (31) (Front) Shell rings and shell middens found along the SC coast were made by Native Americans 3000-4000 years ago. Several have been discovered in the East Cooper area. The rings, composed largely of shell, animal bone and pottery were sometimes used as habitation sites. Some middens contain post holes, structural remains and large pits used to steam shellfish. (Reverse) The purpose of the rings remains a mystery. They may have been the gradual accumulation of shell and refuse at the sites, perhaps built for ceremonial purposes or created as public monuments. The nature of the rings suggests that inhabitants successfully harvested natural resources which allowed nomadic bands eventually to settle at permanent locations.
SHEM CREEK - The name of this deepwater tidal creek is derived from the Indian word “Shemee.” The creek has been an important site for shipbuilding, fishing, transportation, and milling industries since the early 1700’s. Shem Creek was also known as Sullivan’s, Dearsley’s, Parris’, and Lempriere’s creek. It is now known for its shrimping trawlers, charter boats and restaurants.
SHIPYARD ROAD/SHELMORE BOULEVARD - SHIPYARD ROAD A close relationship existed between the Jacob Bond family of Hobcaw Plantation and the owners of the nearby colonial shipyards. The plantation’s live oaks and longleaf pines were used to build ships. East and West Shipyard roads follow the route of the original road from Mathis Ferry Road to the shipyard and are still lined with some of the oak trees. (Reverse) SHELMORE BOULEVARD The Shelmore Oyster Products Company bought Hobcaw Plantation in 1938. The company's goal was to "shell more and sell more" oysters. The land became a truck farm that produced vegetables for area markets. The firm also canned locally grown tomatoes and okra. Farming was an important economic source for the area until the mid-twentieth century.
SNEE FARM - The country home of Charles Pinckney (1757-1824), Snee Farm stands about 0.7 M. west of here. One of SC’s signers of the US Constitution, Pinckney also served in the General Assembly and in Congress. He was elected governor of SC four times and was appointed minister to Spain in 1801 by Thomas Jefferson. George Washington visited Snee Farm in 1791 during his presidency.
ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH - Reverend Andrew Fowler was elected rector of Christ Church in 1828. He bought a village home on Whilden Street where he held services for 40 people from June to Advent to avoid the malaria-plagued sickly season. Services were held at Christ Church during the rest of the year. In 1833, the congregation proposed to build a village chapel for summer services. Governed by Christ Church, St. Andrew’s Chapel was consecrated on September 29, 1835. By 1855, the growing congregation needed a larger church. A new Whilden Street lot was purchased for $250. James M. Curtis built the church, designed by distinguished Charleston architect Edward Brickell White. The cornerstone was laid on May 20, 1857, and the church was consecrated one year later. The old building was sold for $500 to the Etiwan Masonic Lodge No. 95. Over the next 130 years, St. Andrew’s overcame many trials. During the Civil War, when Union shelling drove most residents to the (Reverse) Upstate, the chapel was closed from October 1863 until February 1866 when it re-opened as the only place for public worship. The building withstood destructive hurricanes in 1885, 1893, and 1989, and the earthquake in 1886. Earthquake bolts were added to stabilize the church. The congregation grew steadily in the next century as ferries and the Cooper River Bridge that opened in 1929, connected Mount Pleasant to Charleston. St. Andrew’s Chapel gained independence from Christ Church in 1954. The Ministry Center designed to match the historic chapel was completed in 1996. In 2009, as one of the nation’s largest Episcopal churches, St. Andrew’s elected to affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America.
STORM OF THE CENTURY - At midnight on September 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo, a category four storm, blew into Charleston County. Winds in excess of 140 mph, a massive 20 foot storm surge, and extraordinarily high tides ravaged the area. Hugo cut a swath 50 miles wide and 200 miles long across South Carolina, and was one of the strongest storms to hit the East Coast since Hurricane Hazel in 1954. (Reverse) The storm’s 6 foot surge destroyed the town hall/police station located here, and severely damaged nearby Alhambra Hall. After the storm 1,000 truck loads of debris were removed per day at a cost of $4 million for the 2 month cleanup. The debris stockpile stretched almost 1 mile and was 30 feet in height. The depth of the storm surge at this marker was 5 feet.
SWEETGRASS BASKETS - Coil baskets of native sweetgrass and pine needles sewn with strips of palmetto leaf have been displayed for sale on stands along Highway 17 since the 1930s. This craft, handed down in certain families since the 1700s, originally was used on plantations in rice production. Unique to the lowcountry it represents one of the oldest West African art forms in America.
THOMAS LYNCH AT RIVERTOWNE - Thomas and Sabina Lynch were some of Mount Pleasant’s earliest and wealthiest residents. Their 18th century plantation house was located here in Rivertowne. The Lynch family story begins in 1677 when Jonack Lynch emigrated from Ireland to Charles Towne and was granted land on the Cooper River. He established Blessing Plantation and quickly amassed a fortune. He used his new wealth to expand his holdings and cement the family’s social standing among the planter elite. By 1715, Jonack’s son Thomas had acquired 1,170 acres of land on the east bank of the Wando River and additional property in Berkeley County and along the Santee River. Thomas built a "new dwelling house" called Brick House on his Wando property in 1713. Lynch served in the Commons House of Assembly and was a colonel in the Christ Church Parish militia. When Thomas died in 1738, he left his property to his wife Sabina Vanderhorst and their children. (Reverse) Thomas’s wife, Sabina, lived on the plantation until her death in 1741. Sabina was the last member of the Lynch family to reside on their Wando River property. Their son Thomas amassed his own fortune and resided at his principal home on Hopsewee Plantation near Georgetown. Thomas was a staunch patriot and was elected as a representative to the First Continental Congress. Sadly, he was struck down by a cerebral hemorrhage. His son, Thomas Lynch, Jr., signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of his ailing father in 1776. In the 1990s, archaeologists located the foundation of Thomas Lynch’s Brick House and a small brick kiln used to make bricks for its construction. A variety of household artifacts were found including a silver needle case engraved with Sabina Lynch’s initials. The artifacts confirm that the house was built in the early 1700s. This may be the oldest house excavated in Mount Pleasant.
USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) - The keel for the aircraft carrier BonHomme Richard was laid down December 1, 1941, six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The vessel was renamed USS Yorktown (CV-10) in honor of the original carrier Yorktown (CV-5), the only U.S. carrier lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. The CV-10 conducted numerous air strikes including the Marshall Islands, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Battle of the Philippine Sea, Formosa, and on the Japanese mainland. The ship’s crew numbered 380 officers, 3,088 enlisted personnel and 90 planes. Nicknamed “The Fighting Lady”, she received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned eleven battle stars for World War II service. She was placed in reserve from January 1947, until December 1952. Her deck was cantilevered in 1955 in order to accommodate newer aircraft. (Reverse) In 1957, the vessel was again overhauled and reclassified as an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) carrier and designated CVS-10. During deployment in the Pacific, she qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal on three occasions for her responses to the Communist Chinese shellings of Formosa, Quemoy, and Matsu. From 1965 until 1967, Yorktown’s main activity was in combat operations in Vietnam where she earned an additional five battle stars. In 1968, she recovered NASA’s Apollo 8 capsule from the Pacific Ocean. In the late 1960s, she conducted exercises in the Atlantic Ocean participating in the major fleet exercise Operation Peacekeeper. The carrier was featured in the 1970 Japanese American produced film, Tora, Tora, Tora. Decommissioned that same year, she is now the honored main feature of the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.
WANDO POTTERY - Indians living along the Wando River 1200 years ago made distinctive pottery using limestone and clay from the river banks. This type of pottery is found only in the Wando River Basin and is distinguished by the presence of limestone used to temper the clay during the firing process. Some pottery shards exhibit impressed and stamped designs.
WAR OF 1812 ENCAMPMENT - On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain. One of the first units to be mustered into the service was the Third Regiment of South Carolina Militia, which was stationed at Haddrell’s Point, west of here, to aid in the defense of Charleston harbor. Their barracks stood within the present town limits of Mount Pleasant, and they were equipped with state funds. (Reverse) The 1812 monument in this cemetery originally marked a burial plot of the Third Regiment of State troops. The soldiers who were buried there apparently died from disease while stationed at Haddrell’s Point, nearby. Before the Civil War, the monument is said to have stood at the corner of Pitt and King Streets. It was moved to this Confederate cemetery for protection from vandalism.
WHILDEN HOUSE/ 54th MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT - THE WHILDEN HOUSE Elias Whilden, planter and mayor (1857-1858), built his home c. 1840. Five sons fought for the Confederacy, including John Marshall Whilden. John was Captain of the Citadel cadets who fired on the steamer, The Star of the West. This action on January 9, 1861 prevented Union efforts from supplying the troops at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. It was the first shot of the Civil War. (Reverse) 54TH MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT The Whilden House served as Union headquarters after the fall of Mount Pleasant in February 1865. Among the occupying troops was the first black volunteer 54th Mass. regiment. Under the command of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, this unit was made famous by its assault on Battery Wagner in February 1865. The regiment mustered out in Mount Pleasant in August 1865
WILLIAM HOPTON’S STARVEGUT HALL- Dunes West was part of two proprietary grants that deeded 460 acres to Francis Gracia in 1699 and 620 acres to Thomas Carry in 1704. When the two properties were combined and sold to George Logan in 1708, there was already a sizable plantation with a house, outbuildings, barns, a stable, orchards, and gardens situated along the Wando River. During the early 18th century, the land was owned by a succession of families including the Chalmers, Peronneaus, and Vanderhorsts. William Hopton purchased the land in 1759, and it remained in his extended family until 1853. William Hopton was a successful Charleston merchant, served as Deputy Naval Officer for the colony, and was appointed public registrar in 1748. He named his new Wando plantation Starvegut Hall. Hopton managed his property from his principal residence on Meeting Street in Charleston. The land was known as Hopton throughout the 19th century and as Wando Plantation in the 20th century. (Reverse) William Hopton’s wife, Sarah Ward Clapp, was an avid gardener and corresponded with the famous botanist William Bartram. When Bartram visited Charleston in 1763, William Hopton invited him to visit his Wando plantation. Bartram wrote in his journal, “Set out with Mr. Hopton to his seat which he called starve gut hall on Wando River. He shewed me his rice ground and we walked in his salt swamps.” An interest in botany ran in the Hopton family. William Hopton’s grandson James Gregorie Jr. inherited the Wando lands in 1808. James moved permanently to his residence at Starvegut Hall in 1834 where he developed an everbearing strawberry. In 1996, archaeologists excavated the site of William Hopton’s Starvegut Hall. They found remnants of 10 buildings and thousands of artifacts associated with the everyday lives of the Hopton family, plantation overseer, and enslaved community.
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