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Tuesday, 09 July 2019 14:22

1 Meeting Street

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The property at 1 Meeting Street sold in 2014 for $4.2 million; the new owners have spent the past several years in extensive renovation efforts. The photograph shown is taken from the South Battery side of the house because the Meeting Street side with the front door gives little indication to the massive size of this house.  Built in the Italianate style by George Robertson in 1846, 1 Meeting Street is almost 12,000 square feet. The Meeting Street side of the house is elegant and unusual with its large double doors and the bay. On the other side of the bay, the brick is extended as an exterior wall of the house. However, in viewing the house from the South Battery side, we see that the exterior wall is simply the east end of the side piazza floors.

The house was later owned by the Ross family; Mary Jane Ross decorated her home with Victorian furnishings and objects d’art. She planned for 1 Meeting to be turned into a museum after her death, but when she died in 1922, the courts became involved and her plans were overturned in 1944 with her museum collection being auctioned off.

When I was growing up 1 Meeting Street was owned by Dr. John Hawk, a surgeon and his wife, Nancy.  They had nine children, so the house was perfect for them! Everyone in the family was brilliant, but the real star was Nancy.  After each of the nine children grew up and went on to their brilliant careers, Nancy Hawk decided it was time to do some things she’d put on hold to raise the family.  She enrolled and completed her college education, graduating from the College of Charleston.

I imagine after raising nine children, the term “empty nest” means a major amount of free time because Mrs. Hawk didn’t stop with college; she next enrolled in law school. She graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School and passed the South Carolina Bar.  She was a community leader even while raising her family, always finding time for volunteer and public advocacy work. Mrs. Hawk was honored in 1989 as the South Carolina Mother of the Year and, a few months later, as the United States Mother of the Year. She was also awarded South Carolina’s Order of the Palmetto in 1993. Nancy Hawk died in 2008 leaving a grand legacy personally and professionally. 
Next week we will continue to explore Charleston history through her places and people.

Amelia Whaley

Amelia ("Mimi") Whaley

Mimi was born in Charleston and grew up on nearby Edisto Island, one of several sea islands settled by planters due to their close proximity to Charleston. In addition to the Whaleys, Seabrooks, Mikells and Baynards, Mimi is also a direct descendant of Paul Grimball, the recipient of an English land grant of over 1,000 acres on Edisto in 1683; he and his family were the first documented white settlers on Edisto. In Charleston and the Lowcountry, it’s common to hear, "Everyone around here is related; it's just whether or not you claim each other…"

Mimi enjoys sharing the history of Charleston and the Lowcountry. A licensed tour guide, she leads historic Charleston walking tours Wednesdays through Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., leaving from Washington Park in the heart of the old city. Reservations are required for these Charleston walking tours which last approximately 2 hours and end in the vicinity of the Charleston Market. Private tours are also available.

Mimi is also an award-winning Charleston artist working in watercolor, oil, acrylic and mixed media. “I’m so fortunate to live in this area and share this special city through touring, writing, talking and painting – all the things I love to do!”

More in this category: « 28 South Battery 8 South Battery »

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