Charleston History

Established on the West bank of the Ashley River, a few miles northwest of the present city, Charles Town was established in 1670 by a group of English settlers from Bermuda. Soon designated to become a “grand port towne” present day Charleston holds incredible American history. Once established, many settlers relocated to the famed city from Barbados, and Virginia, while countless others migrated from England.

Charleston served as the Carolina colony's capital and the southernmost point of the English settlement during the 17th century. As the 18th century approached Charleston was the largest port city south of Philadelphia, a bustling trade center with a population of 11,000 people. Many of the colonies wealth stayed in Charleston during the harsh northern winters. The City became a melting pot of ethnic and religious diversity as settlers from France, Germany, Ireland, and more took up residence in the seacoast town.

As the American Revolution grew, Charleston played a significant role, and was the site of several famed battles. Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island was site to one of the most historic battles. The fort was made of Palmetto logs and inspired the nickname “the Palmetto State.” As the colonies emerged from the revolution Charleston's wealth only grew as it developed a flourishing plantation-dominated economy.

A centerpiece of the Antebellum Southern era, Charleston became a thriving port city, and with the invention of the Cotten Gin the City population soared to 23,000 people by 1820. With the majority of this population being slaves, the port became one of the largest players in the trading and sale of slaves. It was because of this and many other factors that South Carolina became very devoted to the idea of State rights in the first half of the 19th Century. 

Along the early 1800's South Carolina would fight federal laws, taxes and tariffs, and effectively was the first State on December 20, 1860 to secede the Union. The first shots of the war were fired on the Union ship, Star of the West, entering Charleston Harbor and the Union-held Fort Sumter would fall to the confederate forces on land.

The City of Charleston holds some of our country's oldest history and played a major part in much of what transpired during our Nation's early years.

Throughout each of these era's a rich southern culture was developed and to this day South Carolinians cannot wait to share with you their customs and culture. The Cottages on Charleston Harbor seeks to embrace these deep ties and it begins with our Joggling Board, located next to our front door.

The Joggling Board's history can be traced back to the Acton Plantation in Sumter County near Stateburg, South Carolina in the 1800s. Made to help the mistress of the plantation, Mrs Benjamin Kinloch Huger, obtain some comfortable exercise due to her rheumatism. The Kinloch and Huger families received the plans from family in Scotland and quickly constructed the first Joggling Board on the plantation. The model quickly spread through the area and became as “common place as a swing set or hammock.” We invite you to grab a nice glass of lemonade and take a comfortable seat and joggle in a little exercise.

We invite you to discover the rich southern heritage of Charleston, South Carolina.