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Monday, 10 December 2018 10:09

74 Rutledge Avenue

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This week we return to the west side of the Charleston peninsula, not far from the Colonial Lake. We will focus on 74 Rutledge Avenue, a fine example of a double house completed around 1783 by Isaac Child Harleston.

Harleston was an officer during the American Revolution and a member of the Continental Congress. He was the son of John Harleston who inherited a great deal of acreage in this area of the peninsula. John Harleston's aunt was Affra Harleston, a young woman and indentured servant who arrived here in 1670 on the first ship from London, the Carolina. Affra fell in love with the first mate of the Carolina, John Coming, who was given a substantial land grant that included this area, now known as "Harleston's Green." John and Affra married, but had no chlidren, so their land and other assets were inherited by their nephews.

Soon after 74 Rutledge was completed, the house sold to Peter Bocquet, another officer in the American Revolution and later member of the South Carolina General Assembly. The property remained in the family until Bocquet's death in 1793, when it was purchased by John Matthews, a member of the Continental Congress and second governor of the State of South Carolina. From 1783 until Governor Matthews' death in 1802, 74 Rutledge was owned by three men who helped shape not only the new United States, but also the new state of South Carolina.

74 Rutledge is located on a large lot. To the south of the house is a lovely English formal garden, the bones of which date back to the house's early days. Built much earlier than any of the other structures nearby, 74 Rutledge with its plantation-house ambiance must have had a commanding presence with just land and creeks in the immediate vicinity before 1800.

Next week we will continue to explore Charleston history through her places and structures.



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!”

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