Bet You Didn’t Know These 7 Facts About Historic Broad Street
Lace up your walking shoes! Join Bulldog Tours for a stroll down Charleston’s historic Broad Street and be instantly transported back in time. We teamed up with native Charlestonian and Bulldog Tours Owner John LaVerne to share 7 facts about one of our favorite storied streets in the Holy City. Scroll on to check them out, then click here schedule your walking tour and dive deep into more Charleston history.
- Originally named “Cooper Street,” this historic street was renamed after Charlestonians began boasting of their new 72-foot wide, “broad” street.
- John Rutledge House Inn, located at 116 Broad Street, holds a second floor drawing room where several drafts of the United States Constitution were written. John Rutledge was not only a signer of the Constitution, but also the first, and only, President of South Carolina.
- The bells of Broad Street’s St. Michael’s Church were imported from England in 1764 and have crossed the Atlantic seven times! They traveled across to be placed in the church tower, were taken by the British in 1780s as spoils of war, then found at auction by a Londoner and sent back to Charleston. Later on, the bells were sent to Columbia during the Civil War and cracked in a fire. The remnants were sent to the original foundry in England to be recast and then returned to the city. Following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the bells were damaged and sent back once again to the original foundry, before being returned to Charleston to be rehung in the steeple.
- The intersection of Meeting and Broad Streets marks the location of a drawbridge that allowed folks to enter the walled city of Charles Towne. The wall was built to protect residents from the Spanish traveling up from St. Augustine.
- General Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard traveled from New Orleans to take charge of Charleston during the Civil War. He was quite the ladies man and, upon his death, donated his sword to the ladies of Charleston. It is now on display at 80 Broad Street, at the Charleston Council Chamber.
- One of the smallest museums in Charleston is located at 83 Broad Street, inside the oldest continuously operated Post Office in the Carolinas. The Postal Museum is a fun, free exhibit!
- South State Bank, located at 46 Broad Street, sits on the site of Shepherd’s Tavern, originally built in 1720. The Sons of Liberty met here during the Revolutionary War and it was here that a gentleman could come to hear news of the day.
Ready for more? Discover 8 iconic streets to explore in Charleston.