The Ansonborough community on the Charleston peninsula is one that most visitors to the area drive through on the way to the shopping district. But a quick pause in this area reveals the grace and beauty of the peninsula’s first suburb. Running from Meeting Street to the west, Market Street to the south, Concord Street to the east and John Street to the North, Ansonborough is home to thriving businesses, stunning homes, and tucked-away churches.
The original plot of land was deeded to immigrant Isaac Mazyk in 1696, who then sold the property to Thomas Gadsden. In 1726, Gadsden sold (or traded in a card game, depending on the version of the story you hear) the property to its namesake, Captain George Anson. Anson, who worked diligently to protect the Charleston coastline from pirates until the mid-1700s, helped shape this neighborhood into roughly the land area that we know it today. While the original area of Ansonborough was slightly more compact than the neighborhood today, it absorbed smaller, surrounding communities as Charleston grew.Most homes in the area were destroyed in the 1838 fire—one exception was the Aiken-Rhett House on Hasell Street—but Charleston rallied behind Ansonborough, and ultimately enough funds were raised to rebuilt the stately brick homes. After the Reconstruction, this area fell into disrepair, and remained so until the Historic Charleston Foundation took an interest in returning Ansonborough to its former glory in 1959. Through the efforts of the Foundation, over one hundred homes were saved and restored, a movement that paved the way for a complete revitalization of the community.
Now, the Ansonborough area is a hidden gem on Charleston’s peninsula. Many of its homes are only a few blocks from the restaurants and shops of Meeting and East Bay, but its location still ensures that residents and visitors alike remain secluded on its shady streets from the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfares. This area has plenty to do and see within its borders, including Liberty Square—home of the South Carolina Aquarium, Spiritline Cruises and Fort Sumter Boat Tours. Ansonborough also has several historic homes available for touring, including the Manigault House (an excellent example of the Federal architectural style) and the Aiken-Rhett House. Aside from housing one of the few grocery stores on the peninsula (Harris Teeter), this neighborhood borders the shopping and dining on Market Street, so entertainment is always just a quick walk away.
“History of Ansonborough and Nearby Neighborhoods.” Charleston County Public Library. http://www.ccpl.org/content.asp?id=15841&catID=6062&action=detail&parentID=6046
“Joseph Manigault House.” Charleston Museum. http://www.charlestonmuseum.org/joseph-manigault-house
“Map of Ansonborough, Charleston, SC.” Google Maps. https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&gbv=2&q=ansonborough+charleston+sc&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x88fe7a70e4a8cbad:0xb96ba761616c3a0,Ansonborough,+Charleston,+SC&gl=us&ei=p7IiUYeiNYL28wSLtYHQCg&ved=0CCwQ8gEoATAB
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