Jail, higher education, monument
The Old Charleston Jail was built in 1802 and was shut down in 1939. Before the jail's construction, the four acre lot that the jail was built on was set aside for public use for the construction of several buildings, including a hospital, poor house, and a workhouse for runaway slaves. In 1822, an architect named Robert Mills designed a fireproof four-story wing, but was demolished in 1855 and was replaced with an octagonal wing created by the architects Barbot & Seyle. However, in 1886, an earthquake damaged the rear tower as well as the fourth floor of the jail, which had the be removed. In its 216-year history, about 10,000 prisoners have died in the jail from execution, injury, or illness. It was said that the jail was meant to house 130 inmates, but it often held 300 people or more. After its doors have been shut in 1939, the jail was left empty until the American College of the Building Arts bought the old jail in 2000, but it is still off-limits to the public except for ghost tours. To many citizens in the city of Charleston, it is rumored that the jail is haunted and some Charleston tour companies have access to the jail for ghost tours.
The College of Charleston is the oldest establishment of higher education in Charleston, South Carolina as well as the United States. This institution was founded by six men, Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, Thomas Heywardin, John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney in 1770 and was chartered in 1785. These men created this college to "encourage and institute youth in the several branches of liberal education." This campus sits on a fifty-two acre lot in downtown Charleston and is home of about 12,000 students. It is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges, and Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
Fort Sumter is a sea fort located within the Charleston Harbor. After the War of 1812, the United States designed military forts to be placed strategically along the entire eastern seaboard. Fort Sumter would experience two major battles during the Civil War. While Confederate partisans skirmished in several places, Fort Sumter saw the first exchange of fire between a major command of Confederate forces and the U.S. military on April 12, 1861. This exchange of fire would later become the most commonly-accepted starting point of the Civil War but attempts to prevent the war continued even as Sumter marked what would become a point of no return in the war's escalation. Following the Confederate defeat, the fort would fall out of commission for many years, functioning primarily as a lighthouse for a period of time. Today the fort is considered a National Monument and houses a Visitor Education Center.