Palmetto Carriage Works Blog

A Brief History of Charleston

First established in 1670 as Charles Town, the city began as a colonial seaport and developed into a wealthy city by the mid-eighteenth century. Until the start of the civil war, Charles Town’s economy prospered, steadily importing goods through its busy seaport and producing rice, cotton, and indigo. The historical city is home to the first established public library, museum, and college on American soil.

Eventually becoming the state capital around the start of the Revolutionary War, Charles Town would be attacked twice by British forces. Eventually surrendering, the city would remain occupied for two years. Once the occupation ended, the city was chartered and renamed Charleston.

Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina became the first state to declare as an independent commonwealth. In 1861, Confederate soldiers fired on Ft. Sumter in Charleston Harbor, which was occupied by Union Soldiers. This act signaled the beginning of the civil war, and Charleston began on a downward spiral. Amidst a slow recovery from the economic havoc the war managed to rage on the once great city, Charleston retained one great asset: a vast inventory of historically significant architecture. Because the city was short on funds, the community was forced to repair existing buildings rather than starting from scratch.

Following the war, the city began to rely on trade and industry to rebuild its economy, rather than agricultural goods. And, following construction of the naval yard in 1904, Charleston began to concentrate on the industrial port industry. Eventually, the Naval Base, surrounding medical industry and tourism began to produce large amounts of revenue. Today, more than 4 million people visit Charleston annually, generating an estimated economic impact of $3.22 billion.

Because of Charleston’s heavy emphasis on history, taking a horse-drawn tour of the city will bring you even closer to how the locals lived hundreds of years ago. At Palmetto Carriage, we offer group and private tours – both of which will allow you to see our beautiful city from a new perspective. Call now or book your tour on Zerve!