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Overview

Introduction to Charleston, South Carolina

The second-largest city in the state of South Carolina is the city of Charleston, which serves as the county seat of Charleston County. Founded in 1670 by English settlers, the city was originally named Charles Towne after King Charles II of England. The original capital of the Carolina colony, Charleston marked the southernmost point of English settlement during the late 1600s. Although its earliest settlers primarily came from England, colonial Charleston also became home to a combination of ethnic and religious groups, owing to its prominence as a developing seaport town. Incorporated as a city in 1783, Charleston was to play an active role in the Civil War almost a century later, when it was more or less under siege by Union naval and land forces for three years. Twenty years after the war, Charleston was nearly destroyed by an 1886 earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale. Despite these setbacks, Charleston survived and prospered and many of Charleston's historic buildings remain intact to this day. Present-day Charleston has become the largest business and financial center for the southeastern section of South Carolina and an important South Atlantic seaport.

Charleston is served by two interstate highways (Interstates 26 and 526), four major U.S. Highways, and seven major South Carolina state highways. The city is home to the College of Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Citadel, among other institutions of higher education.

Attractions in Charleston

Throughout its history, Charleston has served as a cultural capital of the South. Visual arts are well represented here with the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston's premier art museum, in addition to numerous art galleries. Each spring, Charleston is host to Spoleto Festival U.S.A., a 17-day art festival featuring a variety of artistic performances. Other annual events include the Moja African-American Arts Festival, the Worldfest Charleston International Film Festival, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, the Christmas Parade of Boats, and the Christmas in Charleston Celebration.

As an early colonial city, Charleston is replete with museums and historical attractions. The Old Exchange and Customs House in downtown Charleston ranks with Boston's Faneuil Hall and Philadelphia's Independence Hall as one of the three most important Colonial buildings in the country. Charleston is also home to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and Fort Moultrie, the site of a critical British defeat in the Revolutionary War. Patriot's Point, located across the river in nearby Mount Pleasant, is home to the USS Yorktown and several other naval vessels. Other museums and historical sites include:

  • The Charleston Museum: The oldest museum in the nation.
  • American Military Museum
  • Children's Museum of the Lowcountry
  • Edisto Island Museum
  • Karpeles Manuscript Museum
  • Postal Museum
  • Shem Creek Maritime Museum
  • Summerville Dorchester Museum
  • The Citadel Museum
  • The Confederate Museum

Typical of coastal cities, recreation in Charleston focuses on water. The city's eight-acre Waterfront Park attracts many visitors annually and is a popular destination for residents as well. Charleston is home to numerous parks, including Beachwalker Park, Folly Beach County Park, Isle of Palms County Park, James Island County Park, North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, Old Santee Canal Park, and Palmetto Islands County Park, just to name a few. Charleston's mild climate makes tennis and golf year-round sports, and the city is home to 40 tennis courts and a municipal golf course. Nature lovers can visit Charleston's South Carolina Aquarium, the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, or Angel Oak, a 65-foot tall 1,400-year old oak tree which provides a 17,000 square foot area of shade.

Although there are currently no major league professional sports teams in the city of Charleston, the city has several minor league teams. The Charleston RiverDogs are a Minor League Baseball Club playing in the South Atlantic League. The RiverDogs are the single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The South Carolina Stingrays, who play in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), are an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals. The Charleston Battery is a pro soccer team playing in the United Soccer League (USL). They play their games at Blackbaud Stadium, the first privately-funded stadium in the United States devoted specifically to soccer. The newest addition to the Charleston pro sports scene is the Charleston Sandsharks, formerly of the National Indoor Football League, who will be playing their 2007 season as members of the World Indoor Football League.

Demographics

People

Total Population129,888
Male Share of the Population47.7%
Female Share of the Population52.3%
Senior Citizens13.6%
Employed Population 16+68,838
Age of the Population34

Families

% of people married39.8%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher50.2%
Median Earnings25+$40,089
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$16,559
Median Earnings With High School Degree$25,812

Wealth

Median Family Income$83,962
% Above Poverty Level83.7%
% Below Poverty Level16.3%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time22 minutes
% Working from Home5.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work9.1%
% Using Public Transportation1.7%

Housing

People Living Alone35.1%
Median Gross Rent$1,052
Median House Value$269,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)28.4%
German11.1%
Irish10.9%
English10.4%
Italian4.2%
Scottish3.1%
French Except Basque2.4%
Polish1.7%
Welsh0.9%
Arab0.8%
Swedish0.7%
Dutch0.7%
Greek0.6%
Norwegian0.5%
Russian0.5%
African0.4%
West Indian0.4%
Swiss0.4%
Hungarian0.4%
Lebanese0.4%
Canadian0.4%
Danishn0.4%
Egyptian0.3%
Austrian0.2%
Ukrainian0.2%
Portuguese0.2%
Czech0.2%
Jamaican0.1%
Albanian0.1%
Haitian0.1%
Barbadian0.1%
US/American0.1%
Trinidad Tobago0.1%
Slovak0.1%
Croatian0.1%
Lithuanian0.1%
Iranian0.1%
Romanian0.1%
Belgian0.1%
Australian0.1%
Finnish0.1%
Ghanaian0.1%
+ Show More

Charleston Almanac

CategoryValue
County Charleston County, Berkeley County, Dorchester County
Standard Zip Codes29401, 29403, 29407, 29412, 29414, 29406, 29492, 29405, 29418, 29420, 29410, 29404
P.O. Box Zip Codes29402, 29413, 29416, 29417, 29422, 29423, 29415, 29419
Company Zip Codes29424, 29425, 29409
Phone Area Codes843
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude32.78
Approximate Longitude-79.93

Charleston Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationCHARLESTON CITY
Distance0.5 miles
Jan Temp42 to 57 F
Apr Temp59 to 73 F
Jul Temp77 to 89 F
Oct Temp62 to 75 F
Annual Precip46.3 inches
StationSULLIVANS ISLAND
Distance4.8 miles
Jan Temp38 to 57 F
Apr Temp54 to 72 F
Jul Temp74 to 89 F
Oct Temp58 to 76 F
Annual Precip49.3 inches
StationPINOPOLIS DAM
Distance32.9 miles
Jan Temp34 to 59 F
Apr Temp49 to 77 F
Jul Temp69 to 93 F
Oct Temp52 to 77 F
Annual Precip51 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Folly Beach2,732$104,288
Goose Creek40,553$67,822
Isle of Palms4,320$111,920
Kiawah Island1,543$160,313
Mount Pleasant77,907$109,313
North Charleston106,113$47,940

Charleston Public Libraries

Charleston County Public Library System
68 CALHOUN STREET
Charleston, South Carolina
(843) 805-6801

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Charleston Hospitals

Mary Bennett Murray Infirmary - The Citadel
(Government - State)
171 Moultrie St
(843) 953-6847
Ralph H Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center
(Government - District/authority)
109 Bee St
(843) 577-5011
Musc Medical Center
(Government - State)
169 Ashley Ave
(843) 792-3232
Roper Hospital
(Non-profit)
316 Calhoun St
(843) 724-2901
Bon Secours-st Francis Xavier Hospital
(Non-profit)
2095 Henry Tecklenburg Dr
(843) 402-1000

Charleston Public Schools

Buist Academy
103 Calhoun Street
ZIP: 29401
(843) 724-7750
Primary
Total Enrollment 464
Memminger Elementary
20 Beaufain Street
ZIP: 29401
(843) 724-7778
Primary
Total Enrollment 329
Burke High
244 President Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 579-4815
High
Total Enrollment 452
Carolina Voyager Charter
30 Race Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 203-3891
Primary
Total Enrollment 69
Charleston Charter School For Math And Science
1002 King Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 720-3085
Other
Total Enrollment 532
Charleston Development Academy
233 Line Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 722-2689
Primary
Total Enrollment 207
Charleston Progressive
382 Meeting Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 720-2967
Primary
Total Enrollment 390
James Simons Elementary
741 King Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 724-7763
Primary
Total Enrollment 270
Mitchell Elementary
2 Perry Street
ZIP: 29403
(843) 724-7261
Primary
Total Enrollment 358
Sanders-clyde Elementary
805 Morrison Drive
ZIP: 29403
(843) 724-7783
Primary
Total Enrollment 511
Gregg Mathis Charter High (youthbuild)
2872 Azalea Drive
ZIP: 29405
(843) 557-1611
High
Total Enrollment 73
Ashley River Creative Arts
1871 Wallace School Road
ZIP: 29407
(843) 763-1555
Primary
Total Enrollment 587
Orange Grove Elementary Charter
1225 Orange Branch Road
ZIP: 29407
(843) 763-1520
Primary
Total Enrollment 809
St. Andrews Middle
721 Wappoo Road
ZIP: 29407
(843) 763-1533
Stono Park Elementary
1699 Garden Street
ZIP: 29407
(843) 763-1507
Primary
Total Enrollment 308
West Ashley Middle
1776 Kennerty Drive
ZIP: 29407
(843) 763-1546
Middle
Total Enrollment 637
Apple Charter School
1101 Camp Road
ZIP: 29412
(843) 795-6877
Fort Johnson Middle
1825 Camp Road
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-2740
Middle
Total Enrollment 507
Harbor View Elementary
1576 Harborview Drive
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-2749
Primary
Total Enrollment 630
James Island Charter High
1000 Ft. Johnson Road
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-2754
High
Total Enrollment 1577
James Island Elementary
1872 Grimball Road
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-8240
Primary
Total Enrollment 506
James Island Middle
1484 Camp Road
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-2784
Middle
Total Enrollment 345
Murray Lasaine Elementary
891 Mikell Drive
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-2765
Primary
Total Enrollment 232
Stiles Point Elementary
883-a Mikell Drive
ZIP: 29412
(843) 762-2767
Primary
Total Enrollment 647
C. E. Williams Middle School For Creative & Scientific Arts
640 Butte Street
ZIP: 29414
(843) 763-1529
Middle
Total Enrollment 650
Drayton Hall Elementary
3138 Ashley River Road
ZIP: 29414
(843) 852-0678
Primary
Total Enrollment 763
Montessori Community School
2122 Wood Avenue
ZIP: 29414
(843) 769-0346
Primary
Total Enrollment 232
Oakland Elementary
505-a Arlington Drive
ZIP: 29414
(843) 763-1510
Primary
Total Enrollment 540
Pattison's Academy For Comprehensive Education
2014 Bees Ferry Road
ZIP: 29414
(843) 556-1070
Other
Total Enrollment 31
Springfield Elementary
2741 Clover Street
ZIP: 29414
(843) 763-1538
Primary
Total Enrollment 657
St. Andrew's School Of Math And Science
505-b Arlington Drive
ZIP: 29414
(843) 763-1503
Primary
Total Enrollment 721
West Ashley High
4060 West Wildcat Boulevard
ZIP: 29414
(843) 573-1201
High
Total Enrollment 1680
Daniel Island School
2365 Daniel Island Drive
ZIP: 29492
(843) 471-2301
Primary
Total Enrollment 1390

Charleston Private Schools

Charleston Day School
15 Archdale St
ZIP: 29401
Elementary
Total Enrollment 216
First Baptist School
48 Meeting St
ZIP: 29401
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 443
Mason Preparatory School
56 Halsey Blvd
ZIP: 29401
Elementary
Total Enrollment 328
Ashley Hall School
172 Rutledge Ave
ZIP: 29403
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 561
Calvary Episcopal Day School
106 Line St
ZIP: 29403
Elementary
Total Enrollment 3
New Israel Christian School
69 Simons St
ZIP: 29403
Elementary
Total Enrollment 5
The Charleston Catholic School
888-a King St
ZIP: 29403
Elementary
Total Enrollment 172
Owens Christian Academy
3377 Ridgeway St
ZIP: 29405
Elementary
Total Enrollment 12
Addlestone Hebrew Academy
1639 Raoul Wallenberg Blvd
ZIP: 29407
Elementary
Total Enrollment 102
Blessed Sacrament School
7 Saint Teresa Dr
ZIP: 29407
Elementary
Total Enrollment 314
Charles Towne Montessori School
56 Leinbach Dr
ZIP: 29407
Elementary
Total Enrollment 45
Palmetto Academy
913 Wappoo Rd
ZIP: 29407
Secondary
Total Enrollment 14
Porter-gaud School
300 Albemarle Rd
ZIP: 29407
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 903
The Cooper School
723 Saint Andrews Blvd
ZIP: 29407
Elementary
Total Enrollment 65
Trinity Montessori School
1293 Orange Grove Rd
ZIP: 29407
Elementary
Total Enrollment 36
Westminster Presbyterian Preschool
1157 Sam Rittenberg Blvd
ZIP: 29407
Elementary
Total Enrollment 15
James Island Christian School
15 Crosscreek Dr
ZIP: 29412
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 157
Nativity School
1125 Pittsford Cir
ZIP: 29412
Elementary
Total Enrollment 98
The O'quinn School
1567 Harbor View Rd
ZIP: 29412
Elementary
Total Enrollment 75
Capers Preparatory Christian Academy
1941 Bees Ferry Rd
ZIP: 29414
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 64
Charleston Christian School
2234 Plainview Rd
ZIP: 29414
Elementary
Total Enrollment 58
Charleston Sda School
2518 Savannah Hwy
ZIP: 29414
Elementary
Total Enrollment 32
Riverpointe Christian Academy
2508 Ashley River Rd
ZIP: 29414
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 75
Cathedral Academy
3790 Ashley Phosphate Rd
ZIP: 29418
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 298
Sources :
Additional Details
Charleston Colleges
Charleston colleges and trade schools.
Charleston Graduate Schools
Charleston Graduate and Business Schools
Charleston Careers
Charleston career and employment information.
Study Online in Charleston
Historic Charleston

photo

U.S. Custom House c1900.

Select a photo to view (Source):

U.S. Custom House c1900.

St. Philip's Church c1900.

St. Michael's Church. between 1900 and 1910

Additional Resources
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