The harbor is guarded by Fort Sumter set on an island. Now a historic site the memories of the Civil War loom large over parts of the town like the battery where the cannons that fired the first shot on April 12, 1861 remain. Signposts throughout the city remind strollers about the dramatic events that took place in the city. And the military is still a prominent influence with shaven-headed Citadel students marching on the school’s grounds and several military bases on the outskirts of the city.
The sound of horses hooves clomping through the otherwise quiet streets make it easy to believe you have been transported back to ante-bellum times even though the carriages are hauling tourists.
The furniture is original . The music room with its many windows, peach walls, lyre-backed chairs, harp, and blue couch is a place to dream of a past now long gone. But of course that past had another side, slavery kept the household running. Lest we all forget, there is a marvelous photo near the foot of the free-flying elliptical staircase. A household slave complete with white headscarf sits solemnly on a chair facing the camera. On her lap is a young white child dressed in lacy finery. I could no help thinking about their lives – what became of them and others who lived in the lovely old homes during and after the Civil War?