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Charleston: Recreation

Charleston: Recreation

Sightseeing

Visitors to Charleston are greeted with a delightful array of sights and activities all year around. The colonial port city is famous for its horse-drawn carriage tours that take visitors over cobblestone streets through quaint colonial neighborhoods. The historic district consists of more than 2,000 preserved and restored buildings, 73 of which are pre-Revolutionary, 136 date from the 1700s, and 600 from the early 1800s.

Using guide services, boat and motorized trolley tours, or walking or bicycling with directions on audio cassettes, visitors can view Charleston's historic and stately buildings and churches. Opened in 1736, the Dock Street Theatre was one of the nation's first theaters. Later, the Planters Hotel, built around the ruins of the theater, was a gathering spot where "Planters Punch" is said to have originated; the hotel was remodeled into the Dock Street Theatre in the mid-1930s. Performances are currently given in the theater and its foyer. Completed in 1772 by Daniel Heyward, the Heyward-Washington House was the property of Thomas Heyward, delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence; the house is furnished with period furnishings, and visitors may tour the only restored eighteenth-century kitchen open to the public in Charleston. The Aiken-Rhett House, built in 1817, contains some of the finest rooms of the Greek Revival and rococo styles in the city. Built between 1767 and 1771, the Old Exchange was the site of the election of South Carolina's delegates to the first Continental Congress in 1774. Although its Provost Dungeon was used by the British to confine prisoners during the Revolution, the U.S. Constitution was ratified at the Old Exchange in 1787; the building was later used as a customs house and post office and is now open to the public. The Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture in the beautifully restored former Avery School preserves and makes public the historical and cultural heritage of South Carolina low country African Americans. The Cabbage Row section of Church St. was the inspirational setting for Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" opera.

The oldest church in the city is St. Michael's Episcopal Church, which was completed in 1761. The edifice was designed after St. Martin's-in-the-Field in London; richly ornamented, the church includes a clock and bells operating since 1764. The mother church of the province, St. Philip's Episcopal Church originally stood on the site where St. Michael's Episcopal Church stands today; the present edifice was constructed between 1835 and 1838. St. Philip's churchyard contains the graves of John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War and Vice President of the United States; Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Charles Pinckney, signer of the U.S. Constitution; and DuBose Heyward, author of the novel Porgy. Construction for the Unitarian Church was begun in 1772, but work was stopped during the Revolution and not completed until 1787; remodeled in 1852, the church is noted for its fan-tracery ceiling and striking stained-glass windows. The Circular Congregational Church was designed by Robert Mills, built in 1806, and destroyed by fire in 1861; 30 years later the original brick was used to erect the present building on the site. The First Baptist Church, also designed by Robert Mills, was completed in 1821; its original congregation founded the Anabaptist Church in 1682 in Kittery, Maine, and, fleeing persecution from the Puritans, settled in colonial Charles Towne. Congregation Beth Elohim, an imposing Greek Revival building dating from 1841, is the oldest synagogue in the United States in continuous use; this synagogue introduced a liberalized ritual using instrumental music during the service for the first time and is recognized as the birthplace of Reform Judaism in the nation.

Built before 1760, the perfectly scaled miniature of a Charleston "single house" known as the Thomas Elfe Workshop features cypress woodwork, collections of cabinetmaking tools, and excavated artifacts in a privately restored setting. The first Adam-style house in Charleston, the Joseph Manigault House, was designed by Charleston architect Gabriel Manigault; completed in 1803, the house is a parallelogram with half-moon bows at either end and features French, English, and Charleston-made furniture, as well as a restored garden. The Nathaniel Russell House, built in 1808, is noted for its astonishing flying staircase spirals, oval drawing rooms, and extensive interior detailing, as well as for its fine china, silver, and furniture. St. John's Lutheran Church, the mother church of the South Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, is noted for its wrought iron gates and fence; the first church on the site was built in 1759, and the present building dates from 1817. The French Huguenot Church was built in the 1840s; each spring a French liturgy service is held to commemorate the French Huguenots who fled religious persecution and settled in Charleston.

Visitors to Charleston will also enjoy the numerous gardens, parks, and plantations. Rainbow Row, north of the Battery along East Bay Street, is one of Charleston's most famous sections. Throughout the district are walled gardens, noted for their lavish floral displays and lacy ironwork. Charles Towne Landing is the original site of South Carolina's first permanent English settlement; this extensive park features the original colony's history at an interpretive center and reconstructed earthworks and palisade, as well as a replica of a seventeenth-century trading vessel moored in Old Towne Creek. Animals indigenous to South Carolina in 1670 roam in the Animal Forest behind concealed barriers, while the Settlers' Life Area invites visitors to participate in activities typical of early colonists' lives. Fort Sumter, where the Civil War's armed conflict began, is on a man-made island; visitors reach the island, now a National Monument, by boat from the Municipal Marina and Patriots Point. Snee Farm is a remnant of the plantation home of Charles Pinckney, a principal architect and signer of the U.S. Constitution. Boone Hall Plantation, McLeod Plantation on James Island, Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place rice plantation are other area plantations not to be missed.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center is a 643-acre park highlighting Charleston's historical, natural and cultural heritage, especially the practice of rice cultivation brought to the country by Africans. Its eight miles of trails and boardwalks meander through marshland, swamp and oak forest. A famous landmark in Charleston is the Angel Oak; estimated to be about 1,400 years old, this giant tree has a circumference of 23 feet and a limb spread of 151 feet. James Island County Park allows crabbing and fishing from floating docks along tidal creeks and lagoons, and offers bike paths, pedal boats, kayaks, picnicking, and 50-foot climbing wall. Its Splash Zone water-park is open seasonally. North Charleston Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston features family fun and a Whirlin' Waters waterpark. Other Charleston-area parks include Cypress Gardens and the Audubon Swamp Garden.

Among the tours offered to Charleston visitors is a "Ghosts of Charleston" guided walking tour of haunted sites. Other tours feature a history of the pirates of the area and the story of Charleston. Drayton Hall conducts daily walking tours of Charleston's preservation movement, architecture, and history departing from Marion Square. Carriage tours, van tours and water and harbor tours are also popular.

Arts and Culture

In 1735 Charleston's Dock Street Theatre opened as the first building in the American colonies to be used for theatrical productions. In that same year Charleston audiences saw the first opera performed in the New World, and by the 1790s the city supported a symphony orchestra. Jenny Lind, Sarah Bernhardt, Adelina Patti and other internationally known performers brought their talents to Charleston theaters in the nineteenth century. Local playwright and novelist DuBose Heyward collaborated with composer George Gershwin in the 1930s to produce the musical drama "Porgy and Bess," based on Heyward's novel Porgy.

Today the vitality of the arts in Charleston can be deduced from the tremendous success of the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., recognized as the world's most comprehensive arts festival. A version of an annual festival held in Spoleto, Italy, Charleston's Spoleto was brought to the city by Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti in 1977. For three weeks in late spring, Charleston, draped in banners and showered with fireworks, becomes a showplace for music, dance, opera, theater, and the visual arts. Internationally known performers entertain audiences in Charleston's historic churches, theaters, and plantations. Established works and performers are showcased; however, Spoleto is also an exciting opportunity for new artists and new works, and the festival generates a wide variety of activity. An imaginative spinoff to the Spoleto Festival is Piccolo Spoleto (piccolo is Italian for "small"), a festival that runs concurrently with Spoleto and features a full spectrum of artistic events, many of which are free to the public. Children and adults alike enjoy face-painting, jazz concerts, street musicians, organ and chamber music recitals, and street fairs.

Charleston is also home to two ballet companies. The Charleston Ballet Theatre presents numerous public performances each season plus matinees for school children, and the Robert Ivey Ballet is the company-in-residence at the College of Charleston. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra performs a September-through-May season and also performs masterworks, pops and children's concerts. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra, as a nonprofit organization, receives funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the city of Charleston. World-famous musicians are brought to Charleston each year by the Charleston Concert Association. Broadway shows, Shakespeare, and eighteenth-century classics are all part of the repertoire of the Footlight Players, who offer six or more plays a season at the Footlight Players Theatre. The Charleston Stage Company is the company-in-residence at the Dock Street Theatre.

Museums and galleries in the region display a wide range of art and artifacts. The Charleston Museum, founded in 1773, is the country's oldest municipal museum; it focuses on South Carolina and the Southeast with displays on history, the arts, archaeology, and natural history, and houses a full-scale replica of the Confederate submarine Hunley. The Citadel Memorial Museum, located at the entrance to The Citadel, displays items pertaining to the history of the college and its graduates, including two of the largest flags from the Civil War; each Friday at 3:45 p.m. the Citadel Corps of Cadets conducts a dress parade. The American Military Museum displays uniforms and artifacts of soldiers from all the American wars. The Confederate Museum, housed in Market Hall, contains flags, uniforms, swords, and other Confederate memorabilia. Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, two miles east of Charleston, is one of the world's largest naval and maritime museums; featured is the USS Yorktown, a retired aircraft carrier that saw service in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as the nuclear merchant ship Savannah, the World War II submarine Clamagore, and the destroyer Laffey, and displays of missiles, guns, mines, and aircraft. Built in 1713, the Old Powder Magazine, Charleston's oldest public building, was used during the Revolutionary War as a powder storehouse; it now serves as a historical museum. The Karpeles Manuscript Museum showcases the world's largest private collection of historically significant manuscripts. One of four sites that comprise the African-American National Heritage Museum, the Slave Mart Museum showcases the contributions of African Americans from 1670 to the civil rights movement. The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry has hands-on exhibits appealing to children through 12 years of age.

The South Carolina Aquarium on Charleston Harbor is Charleston's most visited attraction. Opened in May 2000, its more than 60 exhibits showcase aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles. Special traveling exhibits are changed annually. Next door to the aquarium on Aquarium Wharf is the Charleston IMAX Theatre. Also for kids of all ages is the Edisto Island Serpentarium, a reptile park open in the summer months.

Featuring a fine collection of American paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, and sculpture, the Gibbes Museum of Art also offers an excellent collection of miniature portraits. The portrait gallery in the Council Chamber of the City Hall contains portraits of important leaders, including John Trumbull's portrait of George Washington and Samuel F. B. Morse's portrait of James Monroe. The City Gallery at the Dock Street Theatre exhibits the work of Charleston area artists, especially experimental and contemporary work.

Festivals and Holidays

In addition to the celebrated Spoleto Festival U.S.A., held in Charleston for three weeks in May and June (described above in Arts and Culture), the city hosts many other events throughout the year. Begun in 1984, the Moja Arts Festival is held for two weeks each October; Moja, the Swahili word meaning "the first" or "one," aptly describes this festival, which features the rich heritage of the African continent presented through dance, theater, films, lectures, and music. Charleston's International Film Festival runs each year for 10 days at the end of October and the beginning of November; at this world-class film festival, international film makers exhibit their work in restored eighteenth-century theaters and other historic buildings. For one week each mid-February Charleston hosts the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition; the largest show of its kind, the exposition brings more than 500 wildlife artists and artisans to a show of crafts, wildlife arts, and collectibles in Charleston's historic buildings. Also in February is the Bonterra Lowcountry Blues Bash, a 10-day festival featuring authentic blues music in selected clubs, hotels and restaurants.

The city's architectural heritage is showcased at various times throughout the year. Each March and April the Historic Charleston Foundation sponsors the Festival of Houses and Gardens, a series of walking tours of private homes and gardens in Charleston's historic district; in October the Preservation Society of Charleston sponsors the Fall Candlelight Tour of Homes and Gardens, 16 different walking tours featuring private houses and gardens in the historic district. Tickets for these tours, which are considered the best way to get an intimate view of the city, are highly sought after.

Other Charleston-area festivals include the Lowcountry Oyster Festival in early February; September's Scottish Games and Highland Gathering; and the Christmas in Charleston Festival, with its parade of boats, held every mid-November through mid-January. In April visitors can enjoy a little taste of Louisiana at the Charleston Lowcountry Cajun Festival at James Island County Park, featuring live Zydeco and Cajun music, authentic food, crafts, and activities for children. Also in April is the World Grits Festival in St. George. The Charleston Maritime Festival in May features tours of tall ships, shipyard tours, model ships, and family boatbuilding. Holiday Magic is a month-long celebration of the holidays downtown including special shopping days, a Christmas parade, entertainment, a parade of boats and a Taste of Charleston, celebrating the city's culinary delights. First Night Charleston features activities and entertainment throughout the city including music, dance, children's activities, and a parade, all on New Year's Eve.

Sports for the Spectator

Baseball fans can watch the Charleston RiverDogs, the San Diego Padres' minor league team, face opponents at Joe Riley Stadium. Fans of professional ice hockey enjoy the South Carolina Stingrays, while professional soccer action is the forte of the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. Collegiate action is provided by teams fielded by the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Charleston Southern University. Plantation Polo matches are held each Saturday in April, October, and November at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant.

Sports for the Participant

Almost any sport that can be enjoyed under the sun is found in the Charleston area with its warm sun and sea breezes. Golf, tennis, horseback riding, swimming, sailing, water skiing, snorkeling, clamming, crabbing, fishing, hunting, bird watchingall are available within minutes of the city. Many visitors to the area are attracted by the challenge of its world-famous golf courses, some of which have been designed by celebrated course designers such as Tom Fazio, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Robert Trent Jones. The area's breathtaking coastal terrain and lowcountry woodlands offer great golfing. Many of the area's courses are on Isle of Palms, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. Charleston's Department of Recreation operates the Tennis Center, which offers lessons, drills, clinics, and league play, as well as sanctioned tournaments. Most of the numerous public and private tennis courts in and around Charleston employ resident professionals. Young people may participate in soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, and tennis. Softball and soccer leagues are also popular for adults, as is running. The challenging 10K Cooper River Bridge Run is held each year in April and attracts nearly 17,000 runners. For those who prefer the less strenuous activity of walking, several lovely parks invite strolling. Many of the parks have biking trails, and bicycles may be rented at several locations.

Charleston affords ample opportunity to pursue sports near, in, or on the water. The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department operates Beachwalker Park at the south end of Kiawah Island, Palmetto Island County Park, Folly Beach County Park, and James Island County Park, for the enjoyment of swimming, as well as bicycling and other sports. The six barrier island beaches have been called the finest in the world. The Santee-Cooper Lake beaches near Moncks Corner and St. Stephen, and the network of inlets, coves, and tidal creeks provide water skiers with seemingly endless waterways. The public has access to 20 boat landings in the area. Sailing is the most popular summer sport in Charleston. Regattas are held throughout the season, drawing sailors from the entire southeast coast. Charleston Race Week in the Charleston Harbor in April draws 100 sailboats and crews of 500 sailors to the city each year. Private marinas along the coast provide facilities for both large and small boats. Surf and pier fishing are popular pastimes, and boats heading for deep water are a common sight in Charleston Harbor. Freshwater fishing for the famous land-locked striped bass in the freshwater lakes of the Santee-Cooper is a challenge few anglers can resist, and in season crabbing and shrimping attract even novices.

The opportunity to bag quail, duck, and deer lures hunters to local hunting clubs. For those who hunt with binoculars and cameras, Bulls Island, part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, is a wintering ground for many species of migratory birds and a nesting area for sea turtles. Drum Island shelters the largest wading bird rookery in the eastern United States.

Shopping and Dining

Two of the focal points for shopping in Charleston are the Old City Market area and King Street area, home to a number of antique shops. Antiques shoppers in Charleston can choose from more than a dozen shops with items ranging from crystal, china, and English mahogany furniture to oriental rugs. Charleston Place offers 50,000 square feet of elegant shops. Specialty shops abound, stocked with imported sportswear, resort wear, perfume, fine jewelry, lingerie, housewares, candies, and other items. The Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square, open Saturdays from March through December, brims with fresh vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Juried arts and crafts are also available as are a variety of activities and amusements for children. The major malls are Citadel Mall, which contains three major anchors and more than 90 specialty shops, and Northwoods Mall, with more than 130 stores. Fountain Walk, Charleston's newest waterfront destination located at Aquarium Wharf, also has many shops and restaurants.

Eating well has long been a Southern tradition; in Charleston, however, that tradition was honored in homes, not in restaurants. The growth of tourism in the area has spurred development of new, first-rate eating establishments, and now visitors and locals alike reap the benefits: American, Southern, Chinese, Italian, French, Indian, Japanese, German, Greek, and Mexican cuisine are available. In historic Charleston the atmosphere lends a special touch to dining. Along Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant, several seafood restaurants afford patrons a view of the shrimp boats moving over the water, while another establishment south of the city is actually built on piers above the ocean. Almost all restaurants, regardless of ambience, feature seafood, a South Carolina staple. The nearby waters provide millions of pounds of seafood in a harvest that includes shrimp, crabs, oysters, mussels, clams, whiting, spot, mullet, red snapper, grouper, king mackerel, flounder, and catfish. Visitors to Charleston can sample the famous she-crab soup and other low country specialties such as soft shell crab, shrimp and grits, and red rice.

Visitor Information: Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 975, Charleston, SC 29402; telephone (843)853-8000

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Charleston: Economy

Charleston: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The economy in the Charleston region rests upon several sturdy bases. The military has traditionally been the major industry in the area since 1901 when the Charleston Naval Shipyard was founded. Even after the Naval Base and Shipyard closed in 1996, the military has remained the largest single employer in the Charleston region. The Department of Defense has remained at installations such as the Charleston Naval Weapons Station, Naval Hospital and the SPAWAR Systems Center Charleston. The Department of the Navy employed more than 12,500 active duty and civilian personnel in the region in 2003. At the same time, Charleston Air Force Base employs more than 5,000 personnel as the home for the U.S. Air Force's 437th Airlift Wing, adding substantially to the region's economic foundation.

Oil, electronics, computers, mining, and health care are also major industries in the Charleston area. Three of the region's largest employers are in the health care industry. They are Medical University of South Carolina, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and Trident Health System, and HCA division headquarters.

Tourism is another significant factor in the area's economy. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the nation's oldest chamber of commerce, has long been interested in promoting Charleston as a place to visit, and despite wars, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes, Charleston has preserved and restored hundreds of historic buildings that draw some four and a half million tourists per year. Visitors enjoy shopping and dining, as well as touring historic plantations, landmarks, and churches. According to research from the Chamber's Center for Business Research, Charleston visitors surveyed say that the area's greatest assets are its historic charm, historic sites and attractions, restaurants and climate. While most visitors to Charleston come from the nearby states of North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee, as well as their home state of South Carolina, about four percent of visitors are from outside the U.S. Charleston's world-famous barrier islands feature outstanding resort facilities in a semi-tropical climate, serving as powerful elements in the area's allure for tourists. The number of visitors to the Charleston region has grown steadily since 1997 when 2.5 million people visited to 4.6 million visitors in 2003. The number of accommodations in the area has also increased to keep pace with the growing demand. Tourism contributes $5.1 billion to the local economy annually.

Items and goods produced: marine products, fertilizer, rubber products, textiles, aircraft parts, paper, textiles, food products, lumber, metal components, heavy machinery, transportation equipment, furniture, instruments and chemicals

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Both the State of South Carolina and the Charleston community offer a number of business incentives designed to provide measurable economic advantages and reduce the cost of start-up operations.

Local programs

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments operates a revolving loan fund offering financing for projects meeting certain criteria. Charleston County may negotiate a fee in lieu of property taxes with prospects or existing industries that commit to large new capital investment in the state. Five-year property tax abatements for new manufacturing facilities locating in the tri-county area and an exemption from the county portion of ordinary property taxes for five years on all additions to existing facilities are available under certain circumstances. The Charleston Citywide Local Development Corporation (LDC) offers financial assistance through six different loan programs for small businesses.

State programs

The following incentives and financing sources may be available to qualifying companies: Job Tax Credit for corporate income tax for job creation; displaced worker jobs tax credit; corporate headquarters tax credit; credit for hiring Family Independence Recipients; employer child care credit; job development credit; income tax credits for infrastructure construction; tax credit for the construction of water resources; income tax credit for investments in the Palmetto Seed Capital Corporation; property tax abatements; and sales tax exemptions for certain business expenditures. South Carolina's Jobs-Economic Development Authority provides funding assistance through Community Development Block Grants and through Carolina capital investment loans. South Carolina also offers Enterprise Zone incentives. There is no local tax on corporate income as well as no tax on worldwide profits.

Job training programs

The Center for Acccelerated Technology Training (CATT), a division of the State Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education, provides new and expanding companies with fully trained and productive employees. The program may include trainee recruitment and testing, instructor recruitment and training, provision of training sites, development of instructional materials, and complete program management. South Carolina administers the Job Training Partnership Program, which provides both training for new and expanding businesses, as well as customized skill training for specific employer needs. Finally, funds for retraining employees in existing industries are available from the Coordinating Council for Economic Development.

Development Projects

Major corridors in the city are getting a boost from the City's Streetscape program. Scheduled for completion by 2007, improvements include reconstruction of sidewalks, curbing, lighting, handicap ramps, the addition of street trees, brick crosswalks, and burial of overhead wires to the King Street commercial area and other downtown areas of the city. The South Carolina legislature has mandated additional expansion to the Port of Charleston, and by 2004 the South Carolina State Ports Authority had begun the permitting process for a sixth container terminal located at the former Charleston Naval Complex. This terminal will accommodate the expanding international container trade and the increasingly larger container ships that arrive in the port. In 2004, the Ports Authority also completed a $24 million project to deepen the Charleston channel and widen the harbor to improve navigation and accommodate larger vessels. The 2005 planned completion of a $635 million new bridge across the Port of Charleston's shipping channel will feature eight traffic lanes and improved clearance over the channel. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River and Town Creek replaces two aging truss bridges. The city has initiated work on the renovation of the Camden Tower Sheds, an historic railway property, into a cultural Arts District and Children's Museum. The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry opened to the public in 2003.

Economic Development Information: Charleston Regional Development Alliance, 5300 International Blvd., Suite 103A, North Charleston, SC 29418; telephone (843)767-9300; fax (834)760-4535

Commercial Shipping

International trade is a growing sector of the regional economy and the Port of Charleston is making strides to accommodate that growth. Known as one of the most efficient ports in the world, it handles one quarter of all containers from Norfolk to Miami. The port is also ranked sixth in the country by value of cargo moved through its terminals. Containerized shipments such as textiles, chemicals, and rubber are the main commodities handled by the port. The Port of Charleston contributes greatly to the economic impact of the city in areas of employment, personal income, and tax revenues. Adding to the efficiency of shipping into and out of Charleston is the Charleston International Airport. Its air cargo facilities include a 21,000 square yard facility and a separate cargo/freight area on the airport's east side. In addition, about 100 motor freight carriers, three railroad systems, and an expansive system of interstates and U.S. highways move cargo through the region.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Charleston boasts a plentiful supply of skilled labor; its civilian labor force has grown 4.3 percent from 1998 to 2003. Most Charleston residents are employed in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and government sector. High school graduates account for 81.1 percent of the city's labor force and 16 percent are college graduates. Most employment opportunities can be found in the tourism industry, transportation services, health care, military installations, and manufacturing.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Charleston metropolitan area labor force, annual averages 2003.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 260,300

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 19,900

manufacturing: 20,900

trade, transportation and utilities: 53,600

information: 3,700

financial activities: 10,800

professional and business services: 33,600

educational and health services: 27,400

leisure and hospitality: 32,100

other services: 7,600

government: 50,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: Not reported

Unemployment rate: 4.6% (December 2004)

Largest employers Number of employees
U.S. Navy 12,543
Medical University of South Carolina 8,200
Charleston Air Force Base 5,000
Charleston County School District 5,000
Roper St. Francis Health Care 4,000
Berkeley County School District 3,457
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. 2,447
Charleston County 2,243
HCA Carolinas division headquarters & medical centers 2,082
Robert Bosch Corp. (fuel injection & braking systems) 2,062
MeadWestvaco 1,755

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Charleston area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $229,315

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 97.3 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.5% to 7.0%

State sales tax rate: 5.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 1.5% (Charleston County)

Property tax rate: Millage rates set annually by local government tax authorities and applied to 4.0% of fair market value. In 2003 the city's combined millage rate was 337 (tax credit factor was .000365).

Economic Information: Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 81 Mary Street, PO Box 975; Charleston, SC 29402-0975; telephone (843)577-2510; fax (843)723-4853

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Charleston: Recreation

Charleston: Recreation

Sightseeing

Charleston's parks, museums, and music and cultural activities provide a variety of enjoyable and stimulating experiences. The state's Cultural Center at the Capitol Complex has a museum, performing arts, film and music festivals, and The Shop, which sells only West Virginia native crafts. The Capitol Complex also offers tours of the Governor's Mansion two days a week. On the State Capitol grounds is a memorial honoring Malden, West Virginia, native Booker T. Washington. Glass factories in the area provide tours to groups, and the museums at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences are a favorite of visitors. The Haddad Riverfront Park invites residents and visitors with its river views, evening concerts, and plays. The park offers paved paths for runners, walkers, and cyclists, as well as plenty of areas for picnicking, sunbathing, and relaxing.

A variety of historic homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s can be toured in Charleston. The Craik-Patton House, built in 1834 in the Greek Revival style of architecture, is open mid-April through mid-October for tours. The East End Historical District features homes in a variety of architectural styles, including Queen Anne, Victorian, Richardson Romanesque, Georgian, Italianate, and others, mainly built between 1895 and 1925. Victorian Block on Capitol Street features some of the oldest structures on Capitol Street, with homes dating back to 1887. Shrewsbury Street acknowledges sites and buildings that are prominent in West Virginia's African American history.

Formerly the Daniel Boone Hotel, 405 Capitol Street was built in 1929 at a then-extravagant cost of more than $1.2 million. Renovated in the 1990s, the building now houses business offices and is known for its unique 10-story atrium. Also afforded new life in the city is the C & O Railroad Depot, built in 1905. Refurbished in 1987, the Beaux Arts-style brick and terra cotta trimmed depot houses offices and a restaurant.

Charleston is home port to the P. A. Denny, a beautiful excursion sternwheeler available for scenic rides on the Kanawha or for rental trips for private groups. In addition, many of the forests, parks and resorts in West Virginia's excellent park system are within a half-day's drive of Kanawha Valley.

Arts and Culture

A well-respected symphony orchestra, a resident chamber-music string quartet, a youth orchestra and visiting chamber-music ensembles ensure a steady diet of live classical music in the Charleston area. The new Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences is home to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, which performs monthly concerts featuring guest artists from around the world. Municipal Auditorium hosts the Charleston Chamber Music Association, Broadway touring shows, and national recording artists. The West Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra is one of Charleston's special cultural assets, and the group performs extensively in the Kanawha County school system and in schools throughout the state. The Charleston Light Opera Guild provides musical comedy and drama each season. Many community singers, actors, and actresses, such as the Charleston Civic Chorus, have formed a close-knit group of talented performers who act, sing, and dance their way through Broadway musicals each year.

The Civic Center in Charleston contains a 13,500-seat coliseum as well as the 750-seat Little Theatre, home for most of Charleston's community theater groups. Children's Theatre of Charleston introduces many youngsters to the stage. The group produces four plays annually and conducts a performing arts school for its aspiring young actors and actresses. The Kanawha Playersthe oldest continuous community theater group in West Virginiahosts a season of drama and comedy performances each year. From experimental drama and dinner theater settings to more traditional offerings, the Kanawha Players has performed in Charleston since the 1920s and the group has been designated the official state theater of West Virginia. Using community directors and actors, the group plays to full houses season after season and performs at the workshops in Kanawha City and the Civic Center Little Theatre. Mountain Stage, a West Virginia Public Radio presentation that brings jazz, folk, blues, rock, and classical musicians from around the world to the city is broadcasted live to a national audience from the Cultural Center at the Capitol. Tickets to Sunday performances are available to the public.

Charleston is also home to the Charleston Ballet, which performs three to five ballets each season, and the West Virginia Dance theater and the Appalachian Youth Jazz Ballet.

For those with a penchant for the visual arts, the Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences has a breathtaking gallery and provides art activities, programs, and workshops throughout the year.

Arts and Culture Information: Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV 25301; telephone (304)344-5075; fax (304)344-1241.

Festivals and Holidays

For sheer spectacle, few festivals match Charleston's Annual Sternwheel Regatta Festival. The festival began as a small Labor Day race for sternwheel boats operating on the Kanawha River. From that modest beginning, the event expanded to an entire weekend, then a week, and finally to its current 10 days, which are scheduled each year during the days leading up to and including Labor Day. While the Regatta Festival's concerts draw the most impressive crowds, its other events are just as exciting. The Grand Feature Parade kicks off the festival and features balloon figures similar to those in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Olympia Brass Band visits each year to highlight the traditional New Orleans-style Funeral Parade, where the unusual and inventive take to the streets for a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed. The Regatta Festival's Taste of Charleston is a major gourmet food event that brings a number of Charleston restaurants together under one roof to offer house specialties and other tasty dishes to regatta-goers. Other festival events include arts and craft shows, river cruises, film festivals, street fairs, and an antique car show.

"Symphony Sunday," held each year in the spring, features an outdoor concert on the campus of the University of Charleston. Another annual event that has become a favorite of West Virginians and thousands of out-of-state visitors is May's Vandalia Festival. For this event, crowds flock to the Cultural Center and its grounds to see magnificent quilts, traditional folk dancers, and demonstrations of blacksmithing and toy making and to taste treats like corn roasted over open fires. But it is the traditional music that lures most spectators. Banjo pickers, fiddlers, and dulcimer players compete in good-natured contests, and "jam sessions" seem to be going on everywhere. The first Sunday of June the State Capital Complex features artisans, food, and music at the Rhododendron Art & Craft Show. The Capital City Art and Craft Show at the Civic Center, held the week prior to Thanksgiving, brings together craftspeople and music and craft events for an exhibition with a holiday theme.

Sports for the Spectator

Charleston has the West Virginia Power, a single A South Atlantic League farm team of the Milwaukee Brewers, who play baseball at Appalachian Power Park. For fans of dog racing, the Tri-State Greyhound Park in Cross Lanes operates six days a week all year long.

Sports for the Participant

In Charleston, recreation can be as simple as a riverside stroll down Kanawha Boulevard when the dogwoods are in bloom or chipping a golf ball around one of the four private or five public golf courses in the area. Cyclists, hikers, and runners appreciate the miles of wooded trails and paved paths available in nearby parks, and the paved riverfront path at Kanawha Boulevard downtown. The city and county support numerous recreational centers, parks, ballfields, and golf and tennis facilities. Thesealong with a number of private country clubs and sports and fitness facilitiescan accommodate many recreational interests.

Charleston annually hosts the Charleston Distance Run, one of the oldest and rated one of the 10 best road runs in the United States. This rigorous courseset along 4 miles on the hills and 11 miles on the flatlandshas tested the mettle of world champions.

The Kanawha Parks and Recreation Commission operates seven recreational facilities in Kanawha County. The largest, Coonskin Park, has 1,200 wooded acres near Yeager Airport and offers picnic areas, shelters, tennis, swimming, golf, hiking, a modern amphitheater, soccer stadium, and wedding garden. Sandy Brae Golf Course, 20 minutes north of Charleston off Interstate 79, is an 18-hole championship course. Big Bend is a 6,000-yard golf course along the beautiful Coal River at Tornado.

Kanawha State Forest, adjacent to Charleston, is a sprawling, 9,300 acre unspoiled area ideal for picnicking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking and camping, and cross-country skiing in the winter. Some of the best whitewater rafting in the country is available just a short distance from Charleston on the Gauley and New rivers; the area attracts more than 100,000 rafters and kayakers each year.

Shopping and Dining

Opportunities for pleasant shopping and dining experiences are abundant in Charleston. The Charleston Village District features specialty shops for clothing, books, photography, and other unique items in an architecturally interesting setting. The Village District also offers fine dining experiences. Town Center Mall has more than 130 shops and specialties, in addition to its three main anchor stores. Kanawha Mall, 10 minutes from downtown, features 40 stores and unique eateries. A number of hand production glass factories are in the area, where one may observe skilled craftspersons at work and purchase their wares. Quilts and furniture, handcrafted in West Virginia, are available at local specialty stores. Diners in Charleston will find options for casual and fine dining as well as ethnic flavors of Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Indian, Mediterranean, Italian, and Mexican specialties.

Visitor Information: Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV 25301; telephone (304)344-5075; fax (304)344-1241.

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Charleston: History

Charleston: History

Settlement Named for British King

In April 1670, the first English colonists sailed into Charleston harbor. This band of some 150 men and women soon established themselves on what they called Albemarle Point on the Ashley River. Ten years later, the colony was moved to Oyster Point, a peninsula of land between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, the present site of Charleston. The settlement was named Charles Towne in honor of King Charles II of England, who had granted the land for colonization. The colony began to grow as people arrived first from England and the Caribbean islands. They were followed by Huguenots and Quakers who, along with Scottish, Irish, and Belgian colonists settled the area. The thriving port became known as one of the most religiously tolerant of the colonies. About 5,000 people inhabited the town by 1700, and friendly relations with the area's tribal natives had been established.

City Incorporated Following Revolution

By this time, the town was protected by a formidable wall; situated along the river bluff, it stood five feet thick and was made of brick on a base of palmetto logs and wood planks; on the land side, the wall was made of earth and bordered by a moat. The mere sight of it turned back a frontal attack on the settlement from a combined French-Spanish fleet in 1706. Ships sailed out of the harbor carrying corn, pork, lumber, deerskins, and rice, conveying goods to England and the West Indies. But shipping was threatened when, following a devastating 1713 hurricane and renewed tribal hostility, pirates became bold enough to attack the sea trade. Notable among the pirates was Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard. He seized several ships carrying Charles Towne residents and demanded, and received, ransom. Teach was eventually captured and executed, but residents of Charles Towne had become dissatisfied with the administration of the colony, especially in regard to the protection of the populace. England's Privy Council took over responsibility for the government of South Carolina and appointed the first royal governor in 1720. With the threat of hostile native and pirate attacks effectively quelled by the new administration, Charles Towne residents took down most of the city walls, opened and extended the streets, and built spacious homes with well-tended grounds. The shoreline was developed, and shipping activity was brisk. Left standing was the Battery, a large retaining wall that today overlooks the harbor and Fort Sumter.

Beginning with the Stamp Act of 1765, Charles Towne was seriously torn over conflicts between loyalty to England and resistance to England's imposition of unjust taxes on the colonies. Residents protested the tea tax at a mass meeting held in 1773 and set up the formal governmental structure of South Carolina in July 1774. In September 1775, the last royal governor left the colony and took refuge aboard a British ship in the harbor. Then on June 28, 1776, a British fleet attempted to sail into the harbor at Charles Towne and was repulsed by revolutionary patriots. This victory persuaded the South Carolina delegates to the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. Following the Revolution, Charles Towne remained politically troubled. Violence was directed against suspected British sympathizers, and various factions of the town faced each other with open animosity. Finally, in an attempt to restore order, the city was incorporated under the name of Charleston in 1783. Three years later, the South Carolina General Assembly voted to move the state capital from Charleston to the new city of Columbia.

The Citadel Founded to Quell Uprisings

Several innovations improved Charleston's economy in the 1790s. The invention of the cotton gin made the cotton business profitable. A method of using tidal force to irrigate rice plantings expanded the possibilities for rice cultivation. New and more efficient rice mills were built. Meanwhile, the shipping industry, no longer forced to comply with British mercantile laws, found new markets for American goods; wagon trade expanded, rolling cotton and other produce into Charleston's King Street for sale. When other regions began to draw trade away from Charleston, the city began construction of the South Carolina Railroad. By 1833, rail service began out of Charleston, but while the railroad did improve the economy, Charleston never again regained its dynamic growth pattern.

In 1822, just as Charleston was beginning to feel economic woes, it also experienced an attempted slave rebellion led by a former slave from the West Indies, Denmark Vesey, a dynamic, well-educated leader. Vesey had laid plans for obtaining weapons and had determined which buildings would be attacked when he was betrayed by two house servants and arrested. After a trial during which he engaged counsel and expertly examined witnesses himself, he was condemned to be hanged along with 36 of his co-conspirators. Others involved in the rebellion were deported. Following this attempted uprising, the Old Citadel was built as an arsenal and staffed by federal troops, and stricter laws governing slaves and their activities were adopted. The Citadel was later staffed by state troops, and in 1843 by a 20-man force that became the first Corps of Cadets of The Citadel.

"Cradle of Secession" Surrenders to Yankees

Unresolved economic and philosophical conflicts between northern and southern states reached a crisis on December 20, 1860, when the South Carolina Secession Convention unanimously voted to adopt the Ordinance of Secession, leading other southern states in an attempt to leave the Union and form their own Confederacy. On April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries fired on Union forces occupying Fort Sumter, an installation off Charleston's coast. The Union forces on the island surrendered, Confederate forces occupied the fort, and one week later President Abraham Lincoln ordered all southern ports blockaded. While preparing for Union attack, Charleston was ravaged by a fire that destroyed 540 acres. Blockade runners were able to slip some supplies past the Union's blockade of Charleston harbor, but as the war continued it brought shortages of all vital supplies, including meat, sugar, and salt. Charleston, the "Cradle of Secession," withstood Union attacks until February 17, 1865, when, with the Confederacy crumbling, hundreds of fires swept through the city. After four years of siege, Charleston succumbed to Union forces, and two months later the Confederacy surrendered.

Navy Yard Helps Stabilize Economy

Following the Civil War, Charleston was powerless. The city lay in ruins, railroads were destroyed, banking capital was depleted, and private capital was scarce. An industry eventually developed around phosphate deposits mined from local rivers and land sites and by 1880 was the most profitable industry in the state. Other commercial concerns recovered or developed, such as lumber mills, locomotive engine manufacturing, cotton presses and mills, breweries, and grist and flour mills. Port trade thrived, and the cotton business revived. Charleston recovered from an 1885 hurricane and an 1886 earthquake only to battle political trade obstacles, industrial competition from other regions, and insect destruction of the cotton industry. By the turn of the century, the city had to look to new industries and new developments for new hope.

In a move that proved to be the single most important gesture affecting the city's economy in the twentieth century, the United States Navy Yard was located at Charleston in 1901. Although other industries established themselves in the area, the military facility fueled the city's economy through two world wars and provided the stability that enabled Charleston to solidify its identity. In the 1920s and 1930s, although the rest of the country was mired in the Great Depression, efforts to preserve and capitalize on Charleston's historic buildings began. Leading the way were wealthy people with well-known names like Doubleday, du Pont, and Whitney, who used Charleston's abandoned rice fields as quail- and duck-hunting preserves, and also began the task of restoring the city's beautiful old mansions. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo, one of the most destructive hurricanes to ever have struck the U.S. mainland, inflicted more than $5 billion in property damage on the region. Citizens quickly repaired the damage, restoring the city to the pristine freshness that still beguiles its four and a half million annual visitors. Although the U.S. Naval Base in Charleston closed in 1996, a significant U.S. Naval and Air Force presence remains.

Today's Charleston is considered a "living museum" with a rich, 300 year history. Its blend of history with a diverse economic mix, favorable climate, and true southern charm not only attracts visitors and new residents but businesses as well. Charleston's future, fueled in part by a multi-billion dollar tourism business, is bright.

Historical Information: South Carolina Historical Society Library, Fireproof Building, 100 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC; telephone (803)723-3225. College of Charleston, Avery Research Center for African American History and CultureLibrary, 125 Bull Street, Charleston, SC 29424; telephone (803)727-2009

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Charleston: Economy

Charleston: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The Kanawha Valley owes much of its past and future prosperity to its reputation as a transportation and distribution hub. From river port to interstate hub, the sophisticated transportation routes have lured and kept industry in the region when other parts of West Virginia were troubled with the same economic doldrums that affected much of the nation. Insulated from the boom-or-bust coal industry, the Kanawha Valley has relied on its diversity of natural resources and its importance in the eastern and central states' waterways system, moving goods to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Three interstate highways converging in downtown Charleston provide the extra transportation links that the rivers cannot provide. Moreover, the highways bring Charleston within 500 miles of more than 50 percent of the nation's major market areas and 50 percent of its entire population.

The valley's market proximity and transportation advantages are responsible for the economic diversity and health of the area. Further, the abundance of natural resources and the residents' ingenuity in using them have established the region as the state's center of finance, retail trade, government, industry, arts and culture, and health care. In recent years, growth in health services and the state banking industry has outpaced that of other sectors.

Since 1929, the chemical industry has been an economic force in the valley, providing a large, stable employment base for many years. Union Carbide Corporation, Monsanto, E. I. du Pont de Nemours, Clearon Corp., and FMC are among the companies with chemical-connected facilities in the Charleston area. Union Carbide also has its headquarters for research and development in the Tech Center complex in South Charleston. Valley residents have been very supportive of the chemical industry, acknowledging that the indus-try's first priority has always been safety. Likewise, local governments have been involved and have participated in safety and emergency planning. Other Kanawha Valley industries include heavy steel fabricating, glass manufacturing, and energy development. Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation, headquartered in Charleston, employs almost one-third of its workforce in the Charleston headquarters.

Today, Charleston enjoys a diverse economy. An abundant and well-educated workforce is employed in thriving chemical, automotive, telecommunications, healthcare, and professional services sectors. Retail trade and tourism are also thriving economic sectors.

Items and goods produced: chemicals, telecommunications products, publishing, mining equipment, fabricated metal products, automobile parts

Incentive Programs New and Existing Companies

Local programs

The Business and Industrial Development Corporation (BIDCO) is a non-profit economic development corporation serving Metropolitan Charleston. BIDCO offers a range of services to companies considering the area for new or expanded operations. Assistance is offered in worker training and education, financing, site selection, and with buildings. Both professional economic development and engineering services are free and confidential.

State programs

Charleston participates in a state-wide program presided over by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) that provides low-interest financing for land, building, and equipment. In addition to its direct loan program, WVEDA offers a Capital Access Program and Loan Insurance Program. West Virginia has one of the nation's most liberal tax incentive programs, permitting significant recapture of principal taxes as well as capital investment. Additional credits are available for corporate headquarters relocation, research and development, and veterans employment.

Job training programs

The Governor's Guaranteed Work Force Program provides companies creating at least 10 new jobs $2,000 per employee, or the actual cost of training, whichever is less. Three vocational-technical schools and one adult career center offer industry and occupation-specific courses and degree programs designed to produce graduates who meet the demands of a global marketplace.

Development Projects

The $80 million, 240,000 square foot Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences opened in 2003 and houses a variety of performing and visual arts and science facilities. The Clay Center's Maier Foundation Performance Hall is a 1,883 seat theater; the Walker Theater seats up to 200 people; the Avampato Discovery Museum offers science, art, and theater; the Juliet Museum of Art presents permanent and visiting collections; the ElectricSky Theater offers planetarium and laser shows; and a café and gift shop round out the center's offerings.

As part of a collaboration among the City of Charleston, the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and several other organizations, Charleston is making itself more visitor friendly with new, colorful signs pointing out specific destinations, sights, and tourist information spots. The $55,000 project was 8 years in development and began in September 2004. Once finished in 2005, there will be 200 signs pointing visitors to malls, parking, visitor info, and area tourist destinations.

Economic Development Information: BIDCO, 1116 Smith Street, Charleston, WV 25301; telephone (304)340-4253; fax (304)340-4275

Commercial Shipping

The Kanawha Valley's transportation systems may be the region's biggest economic asset, since Charleston is the region's hub for air service, river commerce, and highways. The city is an important distribution center because of its extremely sophisticated transportation routes. Charleston was designated a port of entry by the U.S. Customs Office in 1973, and the business and industrial sectors take advantage of direct shipments from foreign countries. The customs office at Yeager Airport inspects air, barge, rail, and other freight shipments received at locations throughout the region. A fixed-base operator with complete maintenance shop and 24-hour service is located at Yeager.

West Virginia's two railway systems transport chemicals, minerals, ores, primary metals, coal, petroleum, stone, or glass. The state has 3,931 miles of track, most of it linking the Atlantic Coast to the Midwest.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a navigation channel 200 feet wide and nine feet deep in the Kanawha Riverfrom the mouth at Point Pleasant on the West Virginia-Ohio border to a point 91 miles east at Deepwater, about 40 miles up river from Charleston. Waterborne commerce has tripled on the Kanawha River since the early 1950s. Charleston is served by more than 40 motor freight carriers.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Due to the strong manufacturing base of Charleston's economy, the city boasts a workforce that is familiar with the machinery, equipment, and processes involved in technologically complex operations. But as the mining and manufacturing sectors shrink in response to national economic trends, services and retail trade are continuing to show significant growth. The area's extensive transportation network, stable workforce, and diverse economy combine to enable companies in the chemical, automotive, healthcare, telecommunications, and professional services sectors to thrive. Charleston and the surrounding region has seen steady economic growth with total employment increasing 21 percent over the past 10 years. Unemployment in the area is similar to the national average.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Charleston metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 133,100

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 8,800

manufacturing: 7,600

trade, transportation and utilities: 26,500

information: 3,400

financial activities: 8,000

professional and business services: 13,500

education and health services: 18,500

leisure and hospitality: 11,600

other services: 10,400

government: 24,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $16.05

Unemployment rate: 4.3% (December 2004)

Largest employers Number of employees
State Government 12,400
Charleston Area Medical Center 5,000
Kanawha County Schools 5,000
Federal Government 2,700
Verizon West Virginia 1,500

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Charleston area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $224,900

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 92.4 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 3.0% to 6.5%

State sales tax rate: 6.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: $8.20 per $1.000 of assessed valuation; (assessed valuation = approximately 60% of market value)

Economic Information: Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Development, 1116 Smith Street, Charleston, WV 25301-2610; telephone (304)340-4253

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Charleston (cities, United States)

Charleston:1 City (1990 pop. 20,398), seat of Coles co., E Ill.; inc. 1835. Charleston is an industrial, rail, and trade center located in an agricultural area; shoes are also made. Eastern Illinois Univ. is there. A Lincoln-Douglas debate was held in Charleston on Sept. 8, 1858. Local attractions include an enormous statue of Lincoln and nearby Lincoln Log Cabin State Park and Fox Ridge State Park.

2 City (1990 pop. 80,414), seat of Charleston co., SE S.C.; founded 1680, inc. 1783. The oldest city in the state and one of the chief ports of entry in the SE United States, Charleston lies on a low, narrow peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers at the head of the bay formed by their confluence. In the bay or bordering it are Patriots Point, with the Yorktown and other warship museums; Sullivans Island, site of Fort Moultrie; James Island; Morris Island, with a lighthouse; Fort Sumter; and Castle Pinckney, on Shutes Folly. Many transportation routes converge at Charleston, and through its almost landlocked harbor extensive coastal and foreign trade is carried on; the city also is a cruise port. Until 1996, Charleston was headquarters for the 6th U.S. naval district and for the U.S. air force defense command. The extensive facilities included a submarine base and a huge navy yard (est. 1901) in North Charleston, which still houses a large naval electronics facility and has been redeveloped for private industry. Among the city's varied manufactures are chemicals, steel, motor vehicle parts, pulp and paper, textiles, and clothing.

The city's old homes and winding streets, historic sites, and charm, together with its mild climate and nearby beaches and gardens (including Middleton Place, Magnolia Gardens, and Cypress Gardens), attract tourists. Many colonial buildings survive, among them St. Michael's Episcopal Church (begun 1752), noted for its chimes, and the Miles Brewton house (1765–69). Also here are the Powder Magazine (c.1713); the Gibbes Museum of Art; the Charleston Museum (1773) and the City Market (1804–41), each among the oldest of their kind in the country; and Fort Sumter National Monument. The waterfront, especially the Battery, and the Grace Memorial Bridge over the Cooper River, are famous Charleston landmarks; the South Carolina Aquarium is on a wharf in the harbor. Cabbage Row surrounds a court that was the "Catfish Row" of DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy. The annual azalea festival is a popular event, and the Spoleto U.S.A. music and arts festival (see Spoleto Festival) has been held in the city since 1977. Charleston is the seat of the Citadel, the Medical Univ. of South Carolina, Charleston Southern Univ., and the College of Charleston (1790), which in 1837 became the first municipal college in the United States. Noted resorts lie east and west of the city.

The English settled (1670) at Albemarle Point, on the western bank of the Ashley River, c.7 mi (11 km) from modern Charleston. They moved in 1680 to Oyster Point, where their capital, Charles Town, had been laid out. The city became the most important seaport, and the center of wealth and culture, in the southern colonies. Non-English immigrants, among whom French Huguenots were prominent, added a cosmopolitan touch. Charleston was an early theatrical center; the Dock Street Theatre (opened 1736) was one of the first established in the country. In the American Revolution, after being successfully defended (1776, 1779) by William Moultrie, Charleston was surrendered (May 12, 1780) by Benjamin Lincoln to the British under Sir Henry Clinton, who held it until Dec. 14, 1782. The capital was moved to Columbia in 1790, but Charleston remained the region's social and economic center.

The South Carolina ordinance of secession (Dec., 1860) was passed in Charleston, and the city was the scene of the act precipitating the Civil War—the firing on Fort Sumter (Apr. 12, 1861). With its harbor blockaded and the city under virtual siege by Union forces (1863–65), Charleston suffered partial destruction but did not fall until Feb., 1865, after it had been isolated by Sherman's army. A violent earthquake on Aug. 31, 1886, with an estimated magnitude of 7.3., took many lives and made thousands homeless; it was the most powerful earthquake on the E coast of the United States in historic times. Periodic storms, such as Hurricane Hugo (1989), have also caused great damage. The city's port experienced signficant growth during the late 20th cent.

See L. Sellers, Charleston Business on the Eve of the American Revolution (1934, repr. 1970); R. N. Rosen, A Short History of Charleston (1982); Q. Bell et al., Charleston (1988); S. R. Wise, Gates of Hell (1994).



3 City (1990 pop. 57,287), state capital and seat of Kanawha co., W central W.Va., on the Kanawha River where it is joined by the Elk River; inc. 1794. Charleston is an important transportation and trading center for the highly industrialized Kanawha valley and a producer of chemicals, fabricated pipe and sheet metal, machinery, food and beverages, concrete, and railroad ties. Salt, coal, natural gas, clay, sand, timber, and oil are found in the region. The city grew around the site of Fort Lee (1788). Daniel Boone lived there from 1788 to 1795. The capital was transferred there from Wheeling in 1870, then back to Wheeling in 1875, and finally to Charleston in 1885. The state capitol (completed 1932) has a dome higher than that of the U.S. capitol, and the cultural center around it contains an art gallery, museum, planetarium, and notable gardens. The city is the seat of the Univ. of Charleston, and West Virginia State College is nearby.

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Charleston: History

Charleston: History

Fort Leads to Founding of City

Centuries before the first white frontiersmen explored the area that is now Charleston, the Adena, a Native American tribe, inhabited the Kanawha Valley. The Adenas were mound builders, and one of West Virginia's largest examples of their unique earthworks is located in downtown South Charleston.

The influx of traders and land surveyorsmost of whom were Virginiansinto the Kanawha Valley region began in the mid-1760s. In 1773, Colonel Thomas Bullitt and a group of surveyors on their way to Kentucky briefly established a camp there. Bullitt again visited the valley in 1775 and, in return for his military service during the French and Indian War, he was allowed to stake a claim of more than 1,000 acres. Upon his death the claim went to his brother, Cuthbert Bullitt, who in turn sold the land to Colonel George Clendenin in 1787.

Just a few weeks after the deal was finalized, the governor of Virginia instructed Clendenin to organize a company of soldiers to protect the Kanawha Valley from native raiding parties. In 1788, the colonel erected a fort on a portion of his land that ran along the river. The completion of this stockadeknown officially as Fort Lee but often referred to as Clendenin's Settlementand the security it represented attracted a number of pioneers to the area in just a few years. So many people had settled there by 1794 that some of the other Clendenin land holdings were divided into lots, and the Virginia Assembly authorized the creation of a town, named Charles Town in honor of George Clendenin's father. (Common usage eventually shortened this to Charleston, the name of record on January 19, 1818, the day the town was officially established.) Drawn by reports of abundant game in the valley, Daniel Boone and his family were among Charleston's early residents, but the region grew so quickly that they soon left for the Kentucky wilderness.

Economy Grows Around Natural Resources

Salt manufacturing was the first industry to gain a foothold in Charleston. In 1797, a salt furnace was constructed in nearby Malden, and by the mid-1800s Kanawha Valley salt was being shipped from Charleston to all parts of the country. Throughout the first half of the century the city also grew in importance as a transportation center, primarily as a point of transfer for east-west travelers who arrived by wagon or on horseback and continued their journey by boat.

The Civil War divided Charleston. Some citizens fought for the Confederacy, but most sided with the Union. The conflict also hastened the decline of the salt trade (which had already reached its peak around 1856) and forced the development of alternative industries, particularly those involving coal, oil, and gas. The city grew rapidly after the war, aided in part by the relocation of West Virginia's capital from Wheeling to Charleston in 1870. The coming of the railroad in 1873 and improved navigation on the Kanawha River opened up coal mining on an even larger scale, and Charleston prospered as a market and wholesale center.

Between 1885 and the beginning of World War I, Charleston grew slowly but steadily, its economy bolstered by increasing demand for the natural resources it processed and sold throughout the country. Around 1913, however, a new era in the city's development began when the first chemical company was established. Others soon followed and were eventually joined by glass manufacturers. With America's entry into the war, some of these new factories switched over to producing munitions, but coal and chemicals continued to attract the most foreign capital and new residents.

In the years since World War I, Charleston has come to rely more and more on the manufacture of synthetic materials as the basis of its industrial economy; during World War II, for example, the Kanawha Valley was a center for synthetic rubber production. Thus, as has been the case since its earliest days as a frontier town, the fortunes of the city are inextricably linked with the demand for the natural resources it has in such abundance.

Charleston, as well as most of West Virginia, was affected by recession in the early 1980s. Moderate growth followed, and between 1985 and 1990 personal income grew due to Charleston's industrial growth. According to former Mayor Jay Goldman: "The year 2000 marks a period of potential growth and rebirth for Charleston. Downtown revitalization has brought pride and enthusiasm back to those who live and work [in] Charleston while maintaining our small-town ambience." Today's Charleston prides itself on its friendliness to visitors. The city's commitment to revitalization is evident throughout beautification and quality of life projects throughout the early years of the 21st century.

Historical Information: West Virginia (State) Department of Education and the Arts, Division of Culture and History, Archives and History Library, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25305; telephone (304)558-0230

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Charleston: Education and Research

Charleston: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

There are four school districts serving about 87,500 students in the Charleston Metropolitan Area. Berkeley County, Charleston County, Dorchester II, and Dorchester IV collectively operate 134 schools serving grades K-12. Charleston County has the largest enrollment of the four. Charleston County's average SAT score in 2004 for college-bound seniors was 964, compared to a U.S. average of 1,026. The 2004 South Carolina Annual Report Card for the Charleston County schools assigned an Absolute Rating of "good" based on student test scores and an Improvement Rating of " average" which compares student test scores from one year to the next.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Charleston County School District for the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 42,226

Number of facilities elementary schools: 42

middle schools: 13

senior high schools: 8

other: 4

charter schools, 12

magnet schools, and 8

alternative programs

Student/teacher ratio: 21:1

Teacher salaries

average: $40,092

Funding per pupil: $7,661

In addition, about 11,200 students are educated at nearly 75 private and parochial schools in the region, including the exclusive Charleston Day School, where children from Charleston's oldest families matriculate.

Public Schools Information: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 81 Mary Street, PO Box 975, Charleston, SC 29402-0975; telephone (843)805-3042; fax (843)723-4853

Colleges and Universities

Students can choose from among 17 institutions of higher learning in the Charleston region. The Medical University of South Carolina, the South's oldest medical school, has five health-related colleges. The College of Charleston offers 34 undergraduate degree programs; in conjunction with the college, the University of Charleston offers 15 graduate degree programs. The Charleston Air Force Base is home to four academic institutions. Webster University, a St. Louis-based facility granting master's degrees, offers courses in business and management, liberal arts and sciences, and fine arts. City Colleges of Chicago, Southern Illinois University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University also have campuses on the base. Johnson and Wales University at Charleston offers bachelor and associate degrees in the culinary arts and hospitality management. Trident Technical College is a two-year institution that emphasizes training in job skills and offers 150 programs of study. Charleston Southern University enrolls about 2,990 students in its College of Arts and Science, ROTC program, and schools of business, education, and nursing. Southern Wesleyan University offers accelerated learning programs for working adults. Limestone College offers bachelor's and associate's degrees in several disciplines, including art, biology, and computer science. Miller-Motte Technical College offers both certificate and college degree programs in art direction, accounting, design and photography, among others. Springfield College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in 50 majors and programs. In addition, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, a four-year liberal arts school with a strict military structure, is also located in Charleston. Voorhees College is a private, historically African American, coeducational, liberal arts school affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The Charleston School of Law is the city's newest addition to its academic institutions. Opened in August 2004, the law school enrolled 200 students in its first class.

Libraries and Research Centers

The city of Charleston is served by the Charleston County Library, the first public library in the country, with 16 branch libraries and a traveling bookmobile. The library system houses about 2.2 million catalogued items including books, magazine subscriptions, compact discs, records, videotapes, films and film strips, cassettes, as well as an excellent collection of Charleston and South Carolina historical and genealogical materials. It maintains a complete business reference library, as well as legal resources pertaining to federal, state, and local law. Research centers affiliated with area academic institutions conduct activities in such fields as pharmacology and toxicology, marine biomedicine, public affairs and policy studies, and medicine.

Public Library Information: Charleston County Library, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401; (843)805-6801

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Charleston: Education and Research

Charleston: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Public education in Charleston is provided by the Kanawha County Public Schools. The district is administered by a five-member board of education and a superintendent who follow policies established by the State Department of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education. Kanawha County Schools has been awarded the What Parents Want award at least three times from SchoolMatch, a national educational research and consulting firm. The system offers a unique program consisting of several Family Resource Centers (FRCs) and Parent/Educator Resource Centers (PERCs) in the public schools. The centers offer families, students, and educators a variety of services to help support students and families.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Kanawha County Public Schools as of the 20022003 school year.

Total enrollment: 28,417

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 46

junior high/middle schools: 13

senior high schools: 8

Student/teacher ratio: 14:1

Teacher salaries

average: $39,356

Funding per pupil: $7,704

Students in Charleston may also attend one of the valley's more than a dozen private Catholic, Christian, and nondenominational schools.

Public Schools Information: Kanawha County School District, 200 Elizabeth Street, Charleston, WV 25311; telephone (304)348-7732; fax (304)348-1934

Colleges and Universities

In the Kanawha Valley, there are two state-supported colleges, West Virginia State University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology; a state-supported graduate school, the West Virginia Graduate College of Marshall University; and a privately funded institution, the University of Charleston.

West Virginia State University, 8 miles west of Charleston on Interstate 64 in the town of Institute, is the second-largest public four-year college in the state. The college provides a broad spectrum of undergraduate degree programs, both baccalaureate and associate. In 2003, the former West Virginia State College became accredited as a university and began offering MS and MA degrees.

West Virginia University Institute of Technology, a regional campus of West Virginia University, offers engineering and other degree programs; its Center for Applied Business, Engineering and Technology includes a small business development center and an engineering consultant program.

Established in 1969 as the West Virginia Graduate College to aid degree-holders working in the valley in obtaining master's degrees without leaving the community, the West Virginia Graduate College of Marshall University offers graduate study in several degree programs. The 1998 merger of the Graduate College with Marshall University has increased the available resources and course offerings.

The University of Charleston, a privately endowed institution, has a beautiful campus that is situated on the Kanawha River across from the State Capitol. It offers undergraduate degrees as well as graduate programs that include a master of business administration degree program and master's degrees in human services. The Charleston Conservatory of Music offers instruction as part of the University of Charleston.

Libraries and Research Centers

Housed in the former Federal Building in downtown Charleston, the Kanawha County Public Library is the largest public non-university library in West Virginia. In 10 branches in area communities and a bookmobile, the system maintains more than 60,000 volumes and holds special history and oral history collections plus government documents. The Cultural Center in the Capitol Complex houses state archives, a genealogical library, and a general reference library. There are several special libraries in Charleston, including the Columbia Gas Transmission/Law Library, the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston Library, and several law and medical firms holding library collections.

Union Carbide's South Charleston Technical Center provides research and development support for the company's other facilities in Charleston and throughout the world.

Public Library Information: Kanawha County Public Library, 123 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301-2686; telephone (304)343-4646

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Charleston

CHARLESTON

CHARLESTON, S.C. Located on a peninsula where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean, Charleston was founded in 1680 by English colonists and enslaved Africans from Barbados. In its earliest years, the town was built on the provisioning trade, which sent Carolina livestock to Barbados to feed enslaved sugar workers. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, rice


and indigo had become the principal exports from the town's expanding wharves.

In 1739, after a slave rebellion at nearby Stono, whites became alarmed at the town's growing black majority. In addition to enacting harsher codes to govern the slaves, Charleston made an effort to attract free settlers, eventually becoming home to sizable Huguenot and Jewish communities by the end of the century.

Charlestonians were ambivalent about the prospect of independence in the 1770s. While there had been some protests in response to British trade policies, Charleston's wealth was built largely on the export of rice and indigo to Great Britain. Nevertheless, the city resisted British efforts to capture it until 1780. After the Revolution, Charleston rebounded commercially but had to suffer the removal of South Carolina's capital to the upcountry town of Columbia. By the 1820s, the character of the city's social and commercial elite had begun to change. Merchants had long dominated the city but were increasingly marginalized by Low Country planters.

In the 1790s, the arrival of French refugees from Saint-Domingue (later named Haiti) coupled with an incipient slave rebellion led by a free black carpenter named Denmark Vesey, led to further restrictions on African Americans. These changes produced a social and intellectual climate that gave birth first to the doctrine of nullification in the 1830s and, in the 1860s, to secession.

The first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor in April 1861. A fire that year and near-constant bombardment by Union forces reduced the city to a shadow of its former self by the time it surrendered in February 1865. The city struggled to recover in the years following the war, but was frustrated in 1886 by a devastating earthquake.

After 1901, the U.S. Navy provided an economic replacement for shrinking shipping activity. In decline for much of the twentieth century, the city's outlook had changed by the 1990s. Led by Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., Charleston rebounded economically and demographically. In 1990 the city had 80,414 residents, scarcely ten thousand more than twenty years before. By 2000 the city held 96,650.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Coclanis, Peter A. The Shadow of a Dream: Economic Life and Death in the South Carolina Low Country, 1670–1920. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Pease, Jane H., and William H. Pease. The Web of Progress: Private Values and Public Styles in Boston and Charleston, 1828–1843. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991.

J. FredSaddler

See alsoSumter, Fort ; Vesey Rebellion .

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Charleston

CHARLESTON

CHARLESTON. Founded by Englishmen from Barbados, Charleston was a port, a center of religious toleration, and a slave society, all from the very beginning. A part of the English colony of "Carolina," which included what is today South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, Charleston was first established (in 1670) on a swampy site several miles from its current location. In 1690 residents relocated to the current city, which is located on a peninsula between two rivers.

Charleston's inhabitants were slave-owning planters intent on cultivating a staple crop. Although rates of disease were high and the land was initially difficult to cultivate, Charlestonians relied on the expertise of African slaves, whose labor built substantial trade in meat, rice, and (later) the dyeproducing plant, indigo.

Included in John Locke's 1669 charter for the colony was freedom of worship, noticeably absent in Boston and Virginia. Charleston had a small population of Jews, and in 1685, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, numerous Huguenot families migrated to Charleston. In the eighteenth century, Scottish immigrants added to the diversity of the city and surrounding counties.

By 1742, Charleston was the fourth largest city in British North America. Although somewhat distant from other centers of colonial resistance, it furnished numerous Revolutionary leaders, including the president of the first Continental Congress and several signers of the Declaration of Independence. With a population of 12,000 in 1775, Charleston was an appealing target for the British Navy during the War of American Independence. While an attack on Fort Moultrie failed in June of 1776, the city succumbed to a siege in May of 1780 and remained occupied until hostilities ended in 1782.

Charlestonians were ardent supporters of the Revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality, but their economic and cultural differences from the other new states, especially slavery, strained the unity forged in war. As the eighteenth century ended, sectional tensions emerged, foreshadowing the divide that would separate Charleston from other major cities in the nineteenth century.

See also American Independence, War of (1775–1783) ; Boston ; British Colonies: North America ; Huguenots ; New York ; Philadelphia ; Slavery and the Slave Trade .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Edgar, Walter. South Carolina: A History. Columbia, S.C., 1998.

Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion. New York, 1975.

Fiona Deans Halloran

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HALLORAN, FIONA DEANS. "Charleston." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

HALLORAN, FIONA DEANS. "Charleston." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (July 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404900208.html

HALLORAN, FIONA DEANS. "Charleston." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Retrieved July 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404900208.html

Charleston: Convention Facilities

Charleston: Convention Facilities

The largest meeting facility in Charleston is the Charleston Convention Center Complex. The center boasts a 76,960 square foot exhibition hall, a 25,000 square foot ballroom, 20 meeting rooms, and the attached 2,300-seat Performing Arts Theater. The 14,000-seat North Charleston Coliseum offers an additional 30,000 square feet of exhibition space and is connected by covered walkway to the convention center. Completing the complex is an adjacent 255-room Embassy Suites hotel which services the ballroom and meeting rooms at the Convention Center.

Lodgings in the Charleston area range from small and medium hotels to gleaming full-range hostelries and provide more than 11,300 hotel/motel rooms. That figure was expected to grow by seven percent by the year 2006. Charleston Place hotel boasts a ballroom with a capacity of 1,700 people and 18 other rooms of varying capacities. In the heart of this historic district and adjacent to the Old City Market and King Street shops, Charleston Place also contains a fitness center and a parking garage in addition to its 320 guest rooms. The Riviera at Charleston Place is the hotel's conference center located across the street, featuring 9,000 square feet of space, with an amphitheater, ballroom, and rooftop terrace.

Visitors who value history, luxury, and personal service will not be disappointed in Charleston, where numerous historic buildings have been restored and furnished with reproductions of Charleston antique furniture. These highly individualized accommodations couple old world, international charm with modern, expert, personal attention. For those who prefer to stay in a home when away from home, some 60 rooms are available on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Next to its historic district, Charleston is best known for its nearby pristine barrier islands: Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island, featuring top-rated resort amenities. Along with beachfront meeting facilities and conference rooms, seaside facilities offer opportunities for world-class golf, tennis, sailing, and fishing, plus secluded beach walks, nature safaris, and fine dining.

Convention Information: Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 975, Charleston, SC 29402; telephone (843)853-8000. Charleston Area Convention Center Complex, 5001 Coliseum Drive, Charleston, SC 29418; Ed Riggs, Director of Sales, telephone (843)529-5011; fax (843)529-5040.

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Charleston: Transportation

Charleston: Transportation

Approaching the City

Arriving in Charleston by air, travelers land at Yeager Airporta facility located 10 minutes from downtown that is a remarkable feat of engineering named for an even more remarkable man. First known as the Kanawha Airport, it was built in the late 1940s by shearing off mountaintops and filling in adjacent valleys. In 1986, the terminal facilities were completely renovated, and the airport was renamed after General Charles S. "Chuck" Yeager, World War II flying ace and the first man to break the sound barrier. Yeager happens to be a native of Lincoln County, located about 30 miles southwest of Charleston. Yeager Airport provides service from six commercial air carriers, has private aviation facilities, and is home to the 130th Tactical Airlift Group of the West Virginia Air National Guard. In 2004 Yeager Airport announced the addition of Independence Air, offering low-cost service to Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport.

Arriving by car, visitors approach Charleston via three major interstates, 64, 77, and 79, which intersect near downtown. Charleston is one of 13 cities in the nation where three interstates merge. I-64 links the Midwest through Charleston to Virginia's eastern seaboard. I-77 links the Great Lakes area through Charleston to South Carolina and north to Cleveland. The West Virginia Turnpike, which originates in Charleston and ends at the Virginia border near Princeton, has been incorporated into the I-77 and I-64 systems. Interstate-79 runs from Erie, Pennsylvania, where it connects with the New York throughways, through Pittsburgh, and terminates in Charleston. Amtrak offers rail passenger service.

Traveling in the City

Charleston and the Kanawha Valley have a reputation of being cosmopolitan and compact. For those who live and work in the city, it is 10 minutes to work from most neighborhoods and 15 minutes to the airport. A bus system provided by the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority serves the entire valley from the western end at Nitro to the eastern end as far as Montgomery, 26 miles east of Charleston. Buses in downtown Charleston are designed as replicas of old fashioned trolleys and shuttle passengers between major downtown sites.

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Charleston: Communications

Charleston: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

One major daily (morning) newspaper serves the area: The Post & Courier. Publications for the African American community are the Charleston Black Times, The Charleston Chronicle and Charleston Trident Black Pages. The Charleston City Paper and the Charleston Jewish News are other local papers. Magazines published in Charleston include Commerce Magazine, Good Dog!, South Carolina History Magazine, and Charleston Magazine.

Television and Radio

The four television stations broadcasting from Charleston are network affiliates; additional television viewing is available through cable service. The city's seven radio stations broadcast educational, sports, religious, public, and special interest programming in addition to music ranging from popular and country-western to jazz and classical.

Media Information: The Post & Courier, Evening Post Publishing Company, 134 Columbus Street, Charleston, SC 29403; telephone (843)577-7111

Charleston Online

Charleston: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary. Available www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/charleston

Charleston Area Convention Center Complex. Available www.charlestonconvention.com

Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority. Available www.ridecarta.com

Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.charlestoncvb.com

Charleston County Library. Available www.ccpl.org

Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Available www.charlestonchamber.net

Charleston Regional Development Alliance. Available www.charleston-for-business.com

City of Charleston home page. Available www.ci.charleston.sc.us

The Post & Courier. Available www.charleston.net

Selected Bibliography

Beardsley, John, ed., Roberta Kefalos et al., Art and Landscape in Charleston and the Low Country: A Project of Spoleto Festival USA (Washington, D.C.: James G. Trulove, 1998)

Jakes, John, Charleston: A Novel (New York: Signet Books, 2003)

Straight, Susan, I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots (New York: Hyperion, 1992)

Vlach, John Michael, Charleston Blacksmith: The Work of Philip Simmons (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1992)

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Charleston: Transportation

Charleston: Transportation

Approaching the City

Visitors arriving at the Charleston International Airport will appreciate that the air exits, baggage claim area, and ground transportation facilities are all on one level for speedy accommodation to and from the terminal complex. The airport is located in North Charleston adjacent to the Charleston Air Force Base and uses the airport facilities and runways jointly with the USAF. Six commercial airlines (Continental Airlines, Delta, Northwest Airlines, Independence Air, U.S. Airways and United Express) offer national and international flights daily. Six private airports in the region can accommodate corporate and private aircraft.

For those motoring to Charleston, the major approaches from the north and south are U.S. Highway 17, a favorite coastal route, and I-95. Interstate 26, which terminates at Charleston, approaches from the west and links with Interstate 95 running north-south. U.S. Highway 52, paralleling Interstate 26 west of Charleston, and U.S. Highway 701 both approach Charleston from the north. Interstate 526, the Mark Clark Expressway, is a 19-mile freeway that forms a semicircle across the region from St. John's Island in the west to east of the Cooper River.

Traveling in the City

The peninsular city of Charleston is laid out in a grid pattern; however, city blocks are not uniform in size or shape. The downtown/historic district is bisected by King Street and Meeting Street. In the north, East Bay Street branches off Meeting Street and becomes East Battery Street and Murray Boulevard around the edge of the Battery. Ashley and Rutledge connect with the west end of Murray Boulevard. Major east-west streets are Calhoun, Broad, and Tradd.

Public bus service in Charleston is provided by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). The Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) trolley provides affordable and convenient transportation from the Visitors Center to various points throughout the Historic District. The Mount Pleasant Shuttle provides service from the airport to area hotels. Charleston is easily explored on foot.

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Charleston: Population Profile

Charleston: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 430,000

1990: 506,877

2000: 549,033

Percent change, 19902000: 8.3%

U.S. rank in 1980: 77th

U.S. rank in 1990: 73rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 76th

City Residents

1980: 69,779

1990: 88,256

2000: 96,650

Percent change, 19902000: 6.7%

U.S. rank in 1980: 286th

U.S. rank in 1990: 266th

U.S. rank in 2000: 272nd (State rank: 2nd)

Density: 996.5 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 60,964

Black or African American: 32,864

American Indian and Alaska Native: 145

Asian: 1,197

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 55

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,462

Other: 518

Percent of residents born in state: 58.2% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Poplation under 5 years old: 5,252

Poplation 5 to 9 years old: 5,263

Poplation 10 to 14 years old: 5,572

Poplation 15 to 19 years old: 8,555

Poplation 20 to 24 years old: 11,274

Poplation 25 to 34 years old: 14,725

Poplation 35 to 44 years old: 13,142

Poplation 45 to 54 years old: 11,969

Poplation 55 to 59 years old: 4,397

Poplation 60 to 64 years old: 3,469

Poplation 65 to 74 years old: 6,471

Poplation 75 to 84 years old: 5,005

Population 85 years and older: 1,556

Median age: years 33.2

Births (Charleston County, 2003)

Total number: 4,655

Deaths (Charleston County, 2003)

Total number: 2,724 (of which, 37 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $22,414

Median household income: $35,295

Total households: 40,791 (2000)

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 6,401

$10,000 to $14,999: 2,869

$15,000 to $24,999: 5,586

$25,000 to $34,999: 5,279

$35,000 to $49,999: 5,902

$50,000 to $74,999: 6,724

$75,000 to $99,999: 3,187

$100,000 to $149,999: 2,647

$150,000 to $199,999: 852

$200,000 or more: 1,103

Percent of families below poverty level: 13.3% (59.8% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 6,997

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Charleston: Population Profile

Charleston: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 270,000

1990: 250,454

2000: 251,662

Percent change, 19902000: .5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 118th (MSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 134th (MSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 141st

City Residents

1980: 63,968

1990: 57,287

2000: 53,421

2003 estimate: 51,394

Percent change, 19902000: -7.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 310th U.S. rank in 1990: 415th (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 2000: 662nd

Density: 1,690.4 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 43,072

Black or African American: 8,048

American Indian and Alaska Native: 127

Asian: 979

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 16

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 432

Other: 158

Percent of residents born in state: 74.8% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 2,961

Population 5 to 9 years old: 3,087

Population 10 to 14 years old: 3,145

Population 15 to 19 years old: 3,096

Population 25 to 34 years old: 6,707

Population 35 to 44 years old: 8220

Population 45 to 54 years old: 8,345

Population 55 to 59 years old: 2,791

Population 60 to 64 years old: 2,381

Population 65 to 74 years old: 4,564

Population 75 to 84 years old: 3,545

Population 85 years and older: 1,314

Median age: 40.8 years

Births (2002, Kanawha County) Total number: 2,423

Deaths (2002, Kanawha County)

Total number: 2,510 (of which, 20 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $26,017

Median household income: $34,009

Total households: 24,522

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 3,956

$10,000 to $14,999: 1,883

$15,000 to $24,999: 3,658

$25,000 to $34,999: 3,015

$35,000 to $49,999: 3,457

$50,000 to $74,999: 3,448

$75,000 to $99,999: 1,898

$100,000 to $149,999: 1,720

$150,000 to $199,999: 537

$200,000 or more: 950

Percent of families below poverty level: 12.7% (64% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 4,463

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Charleston: Geography and Climate

Charleston: Geography and Climate

Prior to 1960, Charleston proper was limited to the South Carolina peninsula bounded on the west and south by the Ashley River, on the east by the Cooper River, and on the southeast by an excellent harbor almost completely land-locked from the Atlantic Ocean. The city has expanded to include other areas, but most residents still think of Charleston as the peninsula. In fact, the physical size of Charleston has increased from approximately 17 square miles in 1975 to 97 square miles today. A chain of barrier islands between Charleston's mainland and the Atlantic Ocean adds sandy beaches and marshland to the region's geography.

Charleston's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean provides a temperate climate. During the winter months temperatures on the peninsula can be as much as 15 degrees warmer than inland because of the ocean's influence. In summer, sea breezes cool the city to a temperature about three degrees below higher country. The summer is Charleston's rainiest season with 41 percent of the annual rainfall occurring in the form of thundershowers and occasional tropical storms. Hurricanes threaten in late summer and early fall. It is estimated that Charleston is affected by hurricanes every 4.62 years. In September 1989 Hurricane Hugo inflicted more than $5 billion in property damage to the region. In September 1999 Hurricane Floyd forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate Charleston. More recent hurricanes were Charley and Gaston, both in 2004.

Area: 97 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Sea level to 20 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 47.8° F; August, 80.6° F; annual average, 65.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 51.53 inches

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Charleston: Communications

Charleston: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Charleston's two daily newspapers are the Charleston Daily Mail (evening) and the Charleston Gazette (morning). On Sundays they combine efforts to produce the Sunday Gazette-Mail. Several magazinesmost of them special-interest publications aimed at readers in the fields of business and health careare also published in the city. Wonderful West Virginia is published monthly by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Television and Radio

Cable television is available in Charleston, as are several television stations broadcasting from neighboring towns in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, providing viewers with a full range of options. Ten radio stations offer Charleston listeners a variety of formats, including country/western, talk radio, sports, adult contemporary, and public radio.

Media Information: Charleston Daily Mail and Charleston Gazette; 1001 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301; telephone (304)348-5140

Charleston Online

BIDCO. Available www.charleston-wv.com

Charleston Daily Mail. Available www.dailymail.com

Charleston Gazette. Available www.wvgazette.com

Charleston West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.charlestonwv.com

City of Charleston Home Page. Available www.cityofcharleston.org

Kanawha County Public Library. Available http://kanawha.lib.wv.us/chas.html

Kanawha County Schools. Available http://kcs.kana.k12.wv.us

Selected Bibliography

Bell, Quentin, Virginia Nicholson, and Alen MacWeeney, Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden (London: Francis Lincoln, 1997)

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Charleston: Convention Facilities

Charleston: Convention Facilities

In total, Charleston offers more than 173,300 square feet of meeting space, more than 4,000 hotel rooms, and easy access to shopping, dining, and recreation for visitors. One of the city's main meeting locations, the Charleston Civic Center, has more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space in its Grand Hall, North and South halls, and meeting rooms. Located only one block from the central business district, the modern Charleston Civic Center is available for large gatherings, events, and concerts. Adjacent to the Civic Center is the Coliseum, a multipurpose facility that offers unobstructed-view seating for 13,500 people for events ranging from concerts and circuses to athletic competitions and horse races. A brick walkway links the Charleston Town Center complexwhich consists of the Civic Coliseum, a three-story enclosed mall, the four-star Marriott Hotel, and many restaurants and night clubswith the renovated Village District. Just two blocks away is the Charleston Municipal Auditorium with seating for up to 3,500 people. The Haddad Riverfront Park is available for special events. The University of Charleston also has facilities for groups of varying size, and all downtown hotels have ample meeting space.

Many shops and restaurants are within walking distance of the downtown hotels, and a low crime rate further enhances the appeal of the area for visitors and conventioneers.

Convention Information: Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston, WV 25301; telephone (304)344-5075; fax (304)344-1241

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Charleston

Charleston

Charleston: Introduction
Charleston: Geography and Climate
Charleston: History
Charleston: Population Profile
Charleston: Municipal Government
Charleston: Economy
Charleston: Education and Research
Charleston: Health Care
Charleston: Recreation
Charleston: Convention Facilities
Charleston: Transportation
Charleston: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1794 (incorporated 1818)

Head Official: Mayor Danny Jones (since 2003)

City Population

1980: 63,968

1990: 57,287

2000: 53,421

2003 estimate: 51,394

Percent change, 19902000: -7.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 310th U.S. rank in 1990: 415th (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 2000: 662nd

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 270,000

1990: 250,000

2000: 251,662

Percent change, 19902000: .5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 118th (MSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 134th (MSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 141st (MSA)

Area: 32 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from 601 feet to approximately 1,100 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 56.2° F Average Annual Precipitation: 44.05 inches

Major Economic Sectors: services, trade, government

Unemployment rate: 4.3% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $26,017 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 4,463

Major Colleges and Universities: West Virginia State University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, University of Charleston, Marshall University Graduate College

Daily Newspaper: Charleston Daily Mail; Charleston Gazette

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Charleston

Charleston

Charleston: Introduction
Charleston: Geography and Climate
Charleston: History
Charleston: Population Profile
Charleston: Municipal Government
Charleston: Economy
Charleston: Education and Research
Charleston: Health Care
Charleston: Recreation
Charleston: Convention Facilities
Charleston: Transportation
Charleston: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1670 (incorporated 1783)

Head Official: Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. (D) (since 1975)

City Population

1980: 69,779

1990: 88,256

2000: 96,650

2003 estimate: 101,024

Percent change, 19902000: 6.7%

U.S. rank in 1980: 286th

U.S. rank in 1990: 266th

U.S. rank in 2000: 272nd (State rank: 2nd)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 430,346

1990: 506,875

2000: 549,033

Percent change, 19902000: 8.3%

U.S. rank in 1980: 77th

U.S. rank in 1990: 73rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 76th

Area: 97 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 20 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 65.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 51.53 inches

Major Economic Sectors: services, trade, government

Unemployment rate: 4.6% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $22,414 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 6,997

Major Colleges and Universities: Medical University of South Carolina, College of Charleston and University of Charleston, The Citadel, Trident Technical College

Daily Newspaper: The Post & Courier

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Charleston: Geography and Climate

Charleston: Geography and Climate

Charleston is located in a narrow valley in the western Appalachian Mountains at the junction of the Kanawha and Elk rivers. Framed with green hills, the city and neighboring towns have developed along the Kanawha to the east and west, though some residential areas can be found on the surrounding hills and in nearby valleys.

The region's weather is highly changeable, particularly during the winter months when Arctic air may alternate with tropical air. Consequently, sharp temperature contrasts are the ruleeven on a day-to-day basisand total annual snowfall ranges from less than 5 inches to more than 50. Spring temperatures warm rapidly, however, and summers can occasionally be hot, hazy, and humid. Most of Charles-ton's precipitation falls in the form of rain; the brief, sometimes heavy, thunderstorms of July make it the wettest month of the year. The terrain and air flow patterns combine to make Charleston one of the foggiest cities in the United States.

Area: 32 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from 601 feet in the downtown area to approximately 1,100 feet above sea level in the hilltops

Average Temperatures: January, 35.7° F; July, 75.9° F; annual average, 56.2° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 44.05 inches

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Charleston: Introduction

Charleston: Introduction

Charleston is the flagship city of three South Carolina counties: Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley. They share social, economic, and political ties, and cover 2,600 square miles of what is called the low country. Charleston owes much to its warm, sunny climate and proximity to the sea. Although the Charleston Naval Base closed in 1996, Charleston still has a large military presence. The Port of Charleston ranks as one of the fastest-growing in the nation. Visitors flock to the luxury resorts on the Atlantic coast barrier islands to play golf, stroll secluded beaches, observe wildlife, and enjoy deep water fishing off Charleston's mainland. In recent years Conde Nast Traveler has consistently ranked Charleston among its top 10 U.S. destinations and top 20 world destinations.

Charleston also owes much to those who worked to preserve its historic buildings. Cobblestone streets, quaint gardens, historic homes and buildings, mingled with flower stalls and specialty shops draw tourists to Charleston for a glimpse at a gracious and genteel lifestyle long gone. Waterfront and downtown renovation and new construction planned to blend with historic structures have rejuvenated not only the body, but the spirit of the city as well, as it looks to the future.

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Charleston: Health Care

Charleston: Health Care

Medical University of South Carolina, a leading teaching and research center, has 775 beds and 8,200 employees. The hospital has announced plans for the construction of a new four-story diagnostic and treatment center, state-of-the-art cardiology center, and a seven-story patient tower. Roper St. Francis Health Care is the next largest health system in the metro Charleston area. Its two hospitals are Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, specializing in acute care, and Roper Hospital, a tertiary care facility. Other medical facilities serving the region's health care needs include the U.S. Naval Hospital, which serves military personnel; Charleston Memorial Hospital (172 beds); Charter Behavior Health System, a psychiatric and rehabilitation hospital with 102 beds; East Cooper Regional Medical Center (100 beds); R.H. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical center (117 beds); and Trident Health System (Columbia/HCA), with two hospitals, 400 beds, and 2082 employees.

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Charleston: Introduction

Charleston: Introduction

Charleston, the capital of West Virginia and seat of Kanawha County, is a regional hub for transportation, finance, retail trade, commerce, government, and health care, and acts as a lively center for the arts and recreation while also serving as West Virginia's state capital. A vital urban area, the city also projects a comfortable charm that invites visitors and residents alike; its downtown is active and filled with people in the evening. With its nineteenth-century style brick sidewalks and streets lit by antique reproduction light posts and dotted with wooden benches, the Village District stands as a monument to the modern thinking that has kept the city on track both financially and aesthetically for years.

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Charleston: Municipal Government

Charleston: Municipal Government

Charleston is governed by a mayor and a twelve-member city council. Council members are elected on a single-member district basis for four-year terms. Every two years, six members are elected.

Head Official: Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. (D) (since 1975; current term expires January 2008)

Total Number of City Employees: 1,278 (2004)

City Information: City of Charleston, Executive Office, 80 Broad St., Charleston, SC 29401; telephone (843)577-6970

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Charleston: Health Care

Charleston: Health Care

Charleston is the hub of West Virginia's health-care system. The area's largest major hospital, the Charleston Area Medical Center with 913 beds, has three locations in the city and is a major teaching facility, serving as the Charleston base for West Virginia University's School of Medicine. St. Francis Hospital is a 200-bed acute care facility; Thomas Memorial Hospital is a 261-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving South Charleston.

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Charleston

Charleston City and port in se South Carolina, USA. Founded in the 1670s by William Sayle, it soon became the major se seaport. The South Carolina Ordinance of Secession was signed here (1860), and the firing on Fort Sumter was the first engagement of the American Civil War. It has many fine colonial buildings and the Fort Sumter National Monument. It is the site of an important naval base. Industries: paper, textiles, chemicals, steel. Pop. (2000) 96,650.

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Charleston: Municipal Government

Charleston: Municipal Government

Charleston, the capital of West Virginia and the Kanawha County seat, has a mayor-council form of government. The mayor and all 27 council members are elected every four years.

Head Official: Mayor Danny Jones (since 2003; current term expires 2007)

Total Number of City Employees: 850 (2005)

City Information: City of Charleston, 501 Virginia Street, E., Charleston, WV 25301

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Charleston

Charleston a city and port in South Carolina; the bombardment in 1861 of Fort Sumter, in the harbour, by Confederate troops marked the beginning of the American Civil War.

The charleston, a lively dance of the 1920s which involved turning the knees inwards and kicking out the lower legs, was named for the city.

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Charleston

Charleston Capital of West Virginia, USA, in the w of the state, on the River Kanawha. The city grew around Fort Lee in the 1780s. It is an important trade and transport centre for the industrialized Kanawha Valley. Industries: chemicals, glass, metallurgy, timber, oil, gas, coal. Pop. (2000) 53,421.

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Charleston

Charlestonbaton, batten, fatten, flatten, harmattan, Manhattan, Mountbatten, paten, patten, pattern, platen, Saturn, slattern •Shackleton • Appleton •Hampton, Northampton, Rockhampton, Southampton, Wolverhampton •Canton, lantern, Scranton •Langton, plankton •Clapton •Aston, pastern •Gladstone •Caxton, Paxton •capstan • Ashton • phytoplankton •Akhenaten, Akhetaten, Aten, Barton, carton, Dumbarton, hearten, Parton, smarten, spartan, tartan •Grafton •Carlton, Charlton •Charleston • kindergarten •Aldermaston •Breton, jetton, Sowetan, threaten, Tibetan •lectern •Elton, melton, Skelton •Denton, Fenton, Kenton, Lenten, Trenton •Repton •Avestan, Midwestern, northwestern, Preston, southwestern, western •sexton •Clayton, Deighton, Leighton, Paton, phaeton, Satan, straighten, straiten •Paignton • Maidstone •beaten, Beaton, Beeton, Cretan, Keaton, neaten, Nuneaton, overeaten, sweeten, uneaten, wheaten •chieftain •eastern, northeastern, southeastern •browbeaten • weatherbeaten •bitten, bittern, Britain, Briton, Britten, handwritten, hardbitten, kitten, Lytton, mitten, smitten, underwritten, witan, written •Clifton •Milton, Shilton, Stilton, Wilton •Middleton • singleton • simpleton •Clinton, Linton, Minton, Quinton, Winton •cistern, Liston, piston, Wystan •brimstone • Winston • Kingston •Addington • Eddington •Workington •Arlington, Darlington •skeleton •Ellington, wellington •exoskeleton •cosmopolitan, megalopolitan, metropolitan, Neapolitan •Burlington • Hamilton • badminton •lamington • Germiston • Penistone •Bonington • Orpington • Samaritan •Carrington, Harrington •sacristan • Festschriften •Sherrington • typewritten •Warrington • puritan • Fredericton •Lexington • Occitan • Washington •Whittington • Huntington •Galveston • Livingstone •Kensington •Blyton, brighten, Brighton, Crichton, enlighten, frighten, heighten, lighten, righten, tighten, titan, triton, whiten •begotten, cotton, forgotten, ill-gotten, misbegotten, rotten •Compton, Crompton •wanton • Longton •Boston, postern •boughten, chorten, foreshorten, Laughton, Morton, Naughton, Orton, quartan, quartern, shorten, tauten, torten, Wharton •Alton, Dalton, Galton, saltern, Walton •Taunton • Allston • Launceston •croton, Dakotan, Minnesotan, oaten, verboten •Bolton, Doulton, molten •Folkestone • Royston •Luton, newton, rambutan, Teuton •Houston • Fulton •button, glutton, Hutton, mutton •sultan •doubleton, subaltern •fronton • Augustan • Dunstan •tungsten • quieten • Pinkerton •charlatan • Wollaston • Palmerston •Edmonton • automaton • Sheraton •Geraldton • Chatterton • Betterton •Chesterton • Athelstan •burton, curtain, uncertain •Hurston

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