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The historic mansion built for William MacCorkle in 1905 sits majestically on the hill overlooking downtown Charleston. However. the story of how this mansion was constructed started with a road. The historic Sunrise Carriage Trail was constructed in 1905 to allow workers access to the home, and is approximately .65 miles long winding back and forth up the hill.


Sunrise Carriage Trail is historically significant as well as being the old driveway to one of Charleston's most prominent homes. Along the public trail is an historical marker indicating that during the Civil War two women accused of being spies were convicted by a drumhead court and sentenced to death. Supposedly, they were executed and buried alongside the trail, and in 1905 they were disinterred and reburied closer to the marker. While this story is very intriguing some question whether it is fact or fancy. Regardless of its veracity. the Carriage trail provides Charlestonians with a quiet walking path into the South Hills area and passes directly by one of Charleston's most famous homes.

At the time of construction, the Carriage trail was the only method of traversing the steep hill to where MacCorkle wished his home to be built so all building materials were transported along this route.The trail is now owned by the City of Charleston and maintained by a charitable fund granted to the Charleston Land Trust by the Ayre family. Their contribution allows locals and visitors alike to enjoy the outdoors while hiking or biking along this historic public driveway.   

Sunrise Mansion and the Carriage Trail are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.





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