Now that my youngest is 5 years old, exploring Charleston by foot has become more of a possiblity.
Not having to lug around a stroller and plan for naps and diaper changes will allow us to explore the city in ways we haven’t before.
We recently found a book from 1932 called Landmarks of Charleston by Thomas Petigru Lesesne. We decided to start using it to learn more about our city.
We headed to downtown Charleston to take the 3-block walking tour known as, Gateway Walk. (six blocks if you have to get back to your parking garage; we parked at Majesty Parking on the corner of King and Queen)
We started at Archdale; the gate was locked so we headed down King Street and backtracked a little bit.
The sign above marks the courtyard entrance of the Charleston Library Society on King. There are eleven ‘gates’ on the Gateway Walk, which i s how it gets its name.
The Gateway Walk opened in 1930 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Charleston. It connects the historic churches along Archdale; St. Philips Episcopal Church, the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street and the neighboring Unitarian Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The pathway ambles through The Gibbes Museum of Art.
The ghost of Annabel Lee (the subject of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem of the same name) is said to haunt the Unitarian Church graveyard. In the poem, Annabel Lee would meet her secret love; a sailor from Virginia stationed in Charleston.
Her father forbid the relationship and when he realized she was secretly seeing him he locked her in her room for months.
The sailor eventually went back to Virginia and Annabel Lee died of yellow fever. He found out she died and returned to Charleston to properly mourn her but her father had her buried six feet deep in the cemetery instead of the regular three feet in the family plot.
The sailor returned but could never find her actual grave.
People say they’ve seen her walking the cemetery looking for her forbidden love.
We didn’t see Annabel Lee this time, but we’ll head back on Halloween to try to catch a glimpse of her.
Have you been to Charleston? What’s your favorite thing about the Holy City?