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Then: Charleston, South Carolina

Originally named Charles Towne, after King Charles II, Charleston was founded in 1670. It became a trading centre of rice and indigo, an incredibly valuable blue dye. A prominent southern city, it became a focal point during the American Revolution and again during the Civil War. On 11 December 1861, a fire devastated 540 acres of the town, destroying around 1,000 buildings. With so many homes lost, many residents had deserted the area by the time General Sherman and his troops started shelling the city in 1863. This photo, taken in 1865, shows Charleston in ruins. Fire and fighting destroyed the Circular Church (centre), but St Michael’s (centre right), built in 1761, still stands today.

Now: Charleston, South Carolina

Fast forward to the 21st century and Charleston is unrecognisable. Despite its tumultuous past, many examples of 18th and 19th-century architecture still stand in the city’s historic district (including St Michael’s, centre). Since then, a variety of modern additions have sprung up around them. Following the defeat of the Confederacy, the city rebuilt and became a powerful port once again. Today, its industry includes paper mills, metalworking, manufacturing and tourism. The charming city is home to just 154,000 inhabitants, but it pulls in over 7 million out-of-town visitors each year.
#history #historia #histoire #historical #historylovers

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