For me a house and location like this is best done in any B&W or monochrome style.
This house was grand in it’s day. It still is, but time has taken it’s toll. Ownership remained the same after the US Civil War, however the wealth was gone. The building slowly decayed, and the Hurricanes hitting the Charleston peninsula did not help. Today the home is maintained to conserve the house as it is now. Damage and all.
This has a little more contrast than my usual the light needed it.
I don’t think converting the lamp to electricity hurt the beauty at all.
An important part of documenting the old jail prior to renovations was to capture the building, from the outside, and it’s old brick and stucco facade.
The outside must be completely repaired and covered to pass any inspections. The history will be lost.
What you can’t see is the details of the handmade bricks. Some very sad details. Slave labor made much of the bricks used. Children worked the kilns and their small fingers imprints, from touching the hot brick, can still be found.
Old hand wrought bars and fittings may remain in a few places, but modern safety laws will mostly have there removed, and discarded.
I walk around here and still surprised that there actually where people who managed an escape.
When people were placed here, even for a short time, I don’t know how they survived never mind escape.
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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.
This headstone is in Magnolia Cemetery, the Soldiers Field section. I was unable to find any reference to a ‘B. F. Austin’ here.
Members of the CSA (Confederate States Of America) military are buried here. However, the 1st South Carolina Volunteers were a regiment of the northern Union Army, not CSA. This explains why there is no military insignia on the marker.
This unit was composed of escaped slaves from South Carolina and Florida. Harriet Tubman, the famous abolitionist, served with these men as a cook, nurse, spy, and scout. The commander Col. Thomas Higginson was a supporter of John Brown and helped document the Gullah dialect of the men in the regiment.
The old historical Charleston Jail is about to be ‘changed’. Renovated I guess is the technical term. It has been under new ownership for a while, and time has caught up with it.
Ellen and I were honored to be invited to join a group of historians and photographers to see and document the jail as it is before things are removed and construction begins. The collective knowledge gathered for this shoot was absolutely humbling.
As is my own style I choose selective parts of the jail to photograph, and of course throw in some drama as I documented it.
My work will take several articles, I will include links to others contributions (Facebook will be popular with others I’m sure).
The jail has a dark disturbing history with African Americans. Mr. Joseph McGill was with us sharing his knowledge and I strongly recommend you visit his organization (click the link) The Slave Dwelling Project.
For several years (click here) Bulldog Tours has been providing tours and special access to the Old Charleston Jail. It was John D. LaVerne and Randall Johnson that reached out from Bulldog to invite this group of known Charleston historians.
Brandon Coffey, the founder of (click here) The South Carolina Picture Project contacted us and it was greatly appreciated. The ‘Project’ is an on going venture to have local photographers document the historical ‘nooks and crannies’ of South Carolina.
All the new, and past, articles here on this subject can be found by clicking the word Jail ‘tag’ in this web site sidebar.