From the late 1690s to the mid-1780s, Charleston’s waterfront along the Cooper River was protected by a substantial brick “wharf wall” or “curtain line,” stretching nearly 2,600 feet in length. That wall formed the front line of the town’s defenses, and stood longer than any other part of our colonial-era fortifications. After being continuously repaired and partially rebuilt on several occasions during the early eighteenth century, the brick “wharf wall” was razed to street level in the mid-1780s after the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. Remnants of the foundation of this wall still exist along the length of East Bay Street, from the Missroon House to the U.S. Custom House, but little information has yet been gathered about its width, height, and precise location.

As part of its mission, the Mayor’s Walled City Task Force is endeavoring to correct these factual shortcomings. Recent archaeology and documentary research is now giving us a better understanding of the old “wharf wall.” The public is invited to learn more about this topic by attending a free lecture, hosted by Dr. Nic Butler, entitled

“Charleston’s ‘Wharf Wall’: Front Line of our Colonial Defenses.”

Time: Wednesday, October 24th, at 6:30 p.m.

Place: Charleston County Public Library, 2nd Floor Classroom

For more information, contact Dr. Nic Butler at butlern[at]ccpl.org.

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