1820, A Charleston Grand House

This house was built by Charleston merchant John Robinson who, with the fickleness of early nineteenth century fortunes, lost it soon afterwards. Several trading ships he owned were lost at sea. The house was sold to cover his debts though he was not legally responsible.

1820, A Charleston Grand House
1820, A Charleston Grand House

During the bombardment of Charleston, many of the grand houses were pounded into rubble, but this house escaped due to its placement further up Charleston’s slender peninsula. However, when Charleston fell to Union forces in 1865 the house was looted and William Aiken arrested and taken to Washington for trial. He was later released due to the intervention of northern politicians he’d made friends with during his political heyday.

1820, A Charleston Grand House
1820, A Charleston Grand House

Unlike many of the old houses here there was a large parcel of property. Behind the main house there are stables and quarters for a large number of enslaved people.

1820, A Charleston Grand House
1820, A Charleston Grand House

Prior to the US Civil War William Aiken was not only a wealthy planter/merchant he was also the states governor.

Though their house had been looted, abused, and most of its valuables stolen, the Aiken family managed not to lose their home to federal taxes like so many did. They hung on and stayed on, as did most of the old families in Charleston. Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash, as the saying goes. In the Aiken’s case, this meant wallpaper peeled, and carpets grew threadbare. It meant fabrics and plaster began to disintegrate, and in some places dry rot set in. With little money for wood or coal to heat large spaces, grand rooms were shut up entirely. It meant multiple generations lived together, paying expenses as best they could.  Their descendants occupied it until 1975.

Note; much of the information above was provided by the South Carolina Picture Project.

After Golden Hour, Alligator

This is another shot taken while I was watching the light quickly change for the day. At this time the sun was down below the tree line.

After Golden Hour, Alligator
After Golden Hour, Alligator

Not more than 15 minutes before this everything was sunny and gold, even the gator had a glow.

Now, well he is the typical Alligator with that dull, somewhat dangerous, look.

Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)

Charlestons old jail housed some of the areas most notorious criminals, and many non criminals. Built in 1802 it was not a place meant to rehabilitate, it was to punish or just lock away people as deemed necessary.

Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)
Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)

I’ve been told the truth is people were not kept here for long periods. A solution was determined, permanent or otherwise, as quick as possible.

The first floor was for people of means, death row, or other temporary needs. These images are of the second floor.

Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)
Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)

This was a difficult place, for criminals, debtors, or poor individuals waiting for trail.

Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)
Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)

Above is from inside one of the ‘cells’. Basically a cage that can house 11 – 15 people. Age and sex did not matter. Large rooms looked to hold about 4 cages. A single fire place in the corner could provide some heat.

Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)
Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)

There were windows for air. Also if a prisoner did have any money items could be purchased, and retrieved by rope, from outside the jail.

John and Lavinia Fisher, as well as members of their gang, were imprisoned here. They were famous highwaymen of the era (Lavinia was at one point wrongly accused of being the first female serial killer).  Also Pirates still roamed the seas, once Black Beard the pirate closed the harbor and demanded ransom… or something. That story grows in details almost weekly. However, pirates were caught and executed in this jail.

Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)
Old Charleston Jail, A Finale (5)

Note; The old Charleston Jail is being renovated to be used for commercial purposes. A small group was invited to visit and photograph the historical site before it is gone. This is part of that project.

 

Bugs I Don’t Know

Members of our community I don’t know much about. However, I do know there are thousands around now.

Bugs I Don't Know
Bugs I Don’t Know

I’ve seen Dragonfly in woods before, but hot marshes and swamps is completely different. Get too close to reeds and you must wave your arms to chase them.

Bugs I Don't Know
Bugs I Don’t Know

Another seasonal visitor is the Kite. Mostly Mississippi Kite, raptors that feed on flying insects. A small hawk that catches these and eats on the fly.

Bugs I Don't Know
Bugs I Don’t Know

These photographs were taken as I took a short trail along a river / woods line.

Bugs I Don't Know
Bugs I Don’t Know

As I walked when I spotted an easy shot I grab it.

Bugs I Don't Know
Bugs I Don’t Know

I don’t have any macro lens so I keep my distance and use my 18-400 Tamron (does many things OK, none really well, but huge range and light weight).

Bugs I Don't Know
Bugs I Don’t Know

The only thing missing from yearly insect images are the swamp spiders. But it’s a little early and I have not seen any…and believe me you can’t miss those things, they can blot out the sun.

 

Visiting With The Locals, Alligators

A few photographs from a visit to a wildlife management area.

Visiting With The Locals, Alligators
Visiting With The Locals, Alligators

These guys come in all shapes and sizes out there since they have no natural enemies.

Visiting With The Locals, Alligators
Visiting With The Locals, Alligators

Once grown past around 3 feet (1 meter) they are fairly safe to grow as old as possible.

Visiting With The Locals, Alligators
Visiting With The Locals, Alligators

Based on size 60 years is not uncommon out here.

 

Worn And Weathered (2)

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina.

Worn And Weathered (2)
Worn And Weathered (2)

Of course the land here was first a plantation. This was originally the Magnolia Umbra plantation.

Worn And Weathered (2)
Worn And Weathered (2)

Being a plantation in the Lowcountry means this was marshes. Now the rice fields are back to marsh and slowly reclaiming the land.

TPJ Photography