"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

February 20, 2013

Feb. 19 – Charleston Trivia

Ashley Marina

Another cold front moved through the area today…more clouds, rain and a lot of wind. I really have nothing to report on today, so I thought I’d share a little Charleston history.There is so much history in this city and so many wonderful things to learn...here’syour history lesson for the day.

Charleston Single House is a style of architecture in Charleston dating back to the 1720s. Settlers first saw these single house designs in Bermuda and Barbados and adapted them for use in Charleston. The houses were designed to capture as much breeze as possible on the hot and humid summer days. These houses are usually one-room-wide and the narrow end of the house faces the street. Two-story verandas (called"piazzas" in Charleston) stretch down the long side and provided ample outdoor living space and needed cross-ventilation to help cool air circulate through the house. The piazzas also help to shade the windows of the house from the afternoon sun, keeping temperatures inside more livable.

The front doors on the Charleston single house do not open into the house itself, but onto the ground floor piazza. Once on the piazza, there is a true front door into the interior of the house. 

A lot of homes in Charleston and in other places in the south paint the ceilings of the porches blue. There are a lot of theories why this is done; the most common reason I've heard is a blue ceiling is more resistant to spiders, bees, wasps and other annoying insects. In the South Carolina Lowcountry, there's a name for the blue of porch ceilings: haint blue. A haint is a spirit or a ghost, and in Charleston, people also paint the trim on their houses blue to ward off evil spirits. It is believed that the color blue keeps ghost and evil spirits from getting into the house. There is some debate on whether this practice started in South Carolina or in the bayous of southern Louisiana. Some also say blue helps extend daylight as dusk begins to fall. Whether any of these theories are actually true, who really knows, but it does make the ceiling look nice.

 A few examples of Charleston Single Houses


  1. Love Charleston! One of our favorite stops. Thanks for the pics!

  2. Great pictures! Looks beautiful..