25 October 2017

Step right up!

Carriage Stone, Charleston, SC  
I assumed this stone was designed to help passengers step up into a carriage. I googled around to discover an entire Catalog of Carriage steps in the Historic District of Charleston: Paving the Way to Understanding the Historic Streetscape of Charleston by Craig Garrison.

In fact his cover photo appears to be of exactly the same one I took a snapshot of. This is even more fun now that the author is a facebook friend of mine and the stones were recently featured in a Post & Courier article that also mentioned his research. I wouldn't have known any of this if I hadn't happened to have taken the photo and tried to learn about the stone. The internet is an amazing place. Thanks Craig!
Post & Courier: It’s been almost a century since residents (not tourists) got around Charleston by horse and carriage, but one wouldn’t know that by looking at the city’s sidewalks.
At least 105 large stones, or carriage steps, still dot the public right of way downtown, evidence of a time when women and children hopped onto horses like they now pile into cars.
College of Charleston anthropology student Craig Garrison regularly walked his dog by one such stone and became so intrigued that he spent much of this summer counting them.