Dorothy Haskell Porcher Legge was a pioneer of historic preservation in Charleston. In this interview, Legge discusses her early efforts to restore homes on the peninsula and describes the restoration of her family’s residence at number 99 – 101 East Bay Street beginning in 1931. Legge worked privately and effectively to inspire the revitalization of this block of deteriorated eighteenth-century mercantile structures on East Bay Street which eventually came to be known as “Rainbow Row.” In the interview Legge also discusses growing up on Mulberry (on the Cooper River) and Bonny Hill (on the Combahee River) rice plantations and family history including the life of her mother’s grandfather, Rev. John Bachman. Audio with transcript and tape log.
Longtime Charleston preservationist, Elizabeth Jenkins “Liz” Young, was born April 7, 1919 on Edisto Island. In this interview she conveys her love for Charleston and emphasizes the importance of its preservation, gives a brief lesson on the Gullah dialect, and discusses St. Michaels Church. Young also talks about Federal Memorial Day versus Confederate Memorial Day, a holiday designated to memorialize the soldiers lost in the Civil War, which she calls the “War Of Northern Aggression.” Audio with transcript and tape log.
Harold Stone Reeves, a native Charlestonian and lifelong performer, discusses the many aspects of his life since his birth in 1892, including his longtime interest in Gullah, attending the University of South Carolina, his commission with the Charleston Light Dragoons during World War I, his involvement with the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals, and his role as the first manager of the of the Charleston Social Security Office. Audio with transcript and tape log.
John Laurens graduated from the Citadel in 1910. During World War I Laurens was stationed with the Charleston Light Dragoons in El Paso, Texas and later in France. In the interview, Laurens enumerates his siblings and discusses various occurrences in his life and in Charleston including family vacations on the Southern Railroad, a bath house that was once located at the end of Tradd Street, the Charleston Exposition of 1901, a tornado that took off the steeple of St. Philips Church and a fire at the Anderson Lumber Company once located on Broad Street. Audio with transcript.
First elected in 1970, Lonnie Hamilton was the first African American to serve on the Charleston County Council. In this interview Hamilton discusses teaching at Bonds Wilson High School in North Charleston, his decision to run for Charleston County Council, subsequent elections, and his daughter. Audio with transcript.
Rebecca Bryan discusses memories of her life in Charleston. She mentions a contest between the fire departments, the Womens Exchange on King Street, Dixie Antique Shop, transportation as a young girl, several significant earthquakes and hurricanes, the history of her house at 110 Broad Street, the Battery as a child, her childhood schooling, the Charleston Exposition of 1901, and a story about the Charleston Light Dragoons. Audio with transcript and tape log.
Tom Waring discusses the history of Charleston, particularly the population growth in surrounding cities such as North Charleston in the first part of the twentieth century, its designation as the “Holy City,” poverty following the Civil War, the increase in employment during World War I, and the subsequent influx of newcomers to Charleston during World War II. Waring concludes the interview with a local Gullah Story. Hermina Waring discusses the legend behind her family’s silver service. Audio with transcript and tape log.
Throughout the interview, world renowned painter and sculptor, William Halsey shares his views on art and the difficulties of being a contemporary artist in historic cities like Savannah and Charleston. He mentions studying under Elizabeth O’Neil Verner, attending the University of South Carolina, graduating from the Boston Museum School, living and painting in Mexico for two years on a fellowship from the Boston Museum School, as well as teaching at Telfair Academy and the College of Charleston. His wife, Mrs. Corrie Halsey, discusses her attendance at the University of South Carolina where she studied medical illustrating, her attendance at the Boston Museum School, and shares her experiences with juggling duties as both a mother and an artist. Audio with transcript and tape log.