I’ve mentioned before how I enjoy walking around Charleston and capturing her stunning visual beauty. This is another example of the type of scene that exists around virtually every corner of the city.
Although the image isn’t technically perfect – the depth of field is a bit shallow so some elements aren’t in tack sharp focus and there may be a bit of blur since I shot it hand-held – I love the textures, colors, and subject matter. Many of the buildings in Charleston are like this one. They were originally faced with brick or stucco, were covered with another layer of brick or stucco, and layers of paint are usually visible. Moisture clings to the walls since it is a humid climate and tinges of mildew hang on some of the surfaces. After a rain, the masonry soaks up some of the rainfall and creates patches of darker colors on the lighter walls. Usually the paint is a vibrant pastel, or in this case red, and the woodwork is adorned with old locks, hooks, mail slots, and other accoutrement. The cherry on the sundae is the name of this establishment and the visibility of old maps and artwork inside the store. It’s an image that is appealing to me on multiple levels.
As you may know, I visit locations and sometimes post the images many months after my visit has concluded. Such is the case with this image. Since my visit in March, my son has grown interested in our family ancestry. As I was helping him with his research I found myself pretty immersed in our heritage as well. As it turns out no one really had tracked the family history of my paternal grandfather. Since I inherited my surname from him and his family, naturally I was curious about his past.
I have met other Hollidays who traced their family heritage to Charleston. So, I assumed that my family would have entered America from there. Much to my surprise, my grandfather’s family hails from Jamesville, North Carolina for as far back as I have been able to trace them so far. However, in doing my research I found that my grandfather and grandmother lived in Charleston for a few years before moving to Tennessee for his work. As it turns out, he lived at 111 Church Street for part of his time in Charleston. That address is less than two blocks from this storefront just south of Broad on Church Street. It’s highly likely since this was in their neighborhood that my grandparents walked past this building often when they lived here in the 1910s and early 1920s!