A Trendsetter Since 1670- Charleston Gets Ready to Celebrate its 350th Birthday in 2020

Dear Reader:

As a South Carolina history teacher for three decades…I feel like Charleston is home to me in so many ways. And our state history always started with a little boat called The Carolina when it pulled into what is now Charleston Towne Landing in April of 1670.

**(Named  Charles Towne (Charleston) for King Charles II of England)

My first year living in Charleston was filled with wonderful memories. Brooke and I had each found teaching jobs in Summerville and roomed together in an apartment in Charleston… I remember the air force boys that lived in apartments next and adjacent to ours became great buddies with us…we went on lots of adventures together…including going to see a replica of the original boat that established Charleston’s settlement at Charles Towne Landing…The Carolina.

Old boyfriends and old memories…great fun living in Charleston that first teaching year!



At the time we went  in 1971/1972 (our first teaching years) to the amazing state park…the city was still celebrating the 300th anniversary (1970) of Charleston at Charles Towne Landing…My how time flies!

*Charles Towne Landing was actually completed just in time for the Tri-Centennial…so when we were visiting it…it was almost brand new.


Later when I took my own children to Charlestowne Landing…they were always more interested in the animal zoo adjacent to the historical sites…especially the bison.


Today many tourists forget about the original settlement and head straight to the Battery and the historic French headquarters in modern downtown Charleston where the settlement was relocated after ten years at Albermarle Point.

On the eve of its 350th birthday, the South Carolina city of Charleston is just getting started.

Charleston has been through a lot since its establishment in 1670: a pirate invasion, a trade boom, a handful of wars, a civil-rights movement – not to mention hurricanes and an earthquake. Nearly 350 years on, the waterfront city still looks like a set for a genteel period drama. But its five-square-mile downtown, lined with live oaks, landmark mansions, and pastel-colored Georgian townhomes, is more than just a beautiful time capsule.

Today Charleston cuisine attracts as many tourists to Charleston as the historical tours and lowcountry beauty of its marshes and rivers. Still the fame of local artists, gardens, water tours complement the whole Charleston experience.

During the next few weeks I will be sneaking in some more Charleston history…especially a lot of “firsts” that took place in our beautiful city…settled 100 years before the United States declared its independence from England.

Charleston reminds me of a feisty old lady who never reveals her age or secrets all at one time…she disperses her history in tiny increments…like making a strand of precious pearls for a necklace.

So until tomorrow…the story will continue to add layers upon layers of history …unveiling secretly planned surprises for an important birthday…to be filled with educational, musical, theatrical, and cultural events.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to A Trendsetter Since 1670- Charleston Gets Ready to Celebrate its 350th Birthday in 2020

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Loved the pictures of you in your younger days. Mandy looks a lot like you. I also liked your pants with the cool pockets. Memories…precious memories.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Brooke called and we had the best time remembering those first two teaching years as single gals…what adventures we had…youth…enjoy it to the fullest.


  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Just love the way you tell our story. As the history of the world goes, we are so young, but none have a more colorful or interesting history than Our Charleston. Look forward to the 2020 blogs. (Your daughter-in-law has a beautiful voice .)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Jo…were you at the service yesterday? How did I miss you?…I left a few minutes early to set up the sign in book and people poured out of the front door of the sanctuary to sign the In Memory book but I didn’t see you…then later I moved the book in front of the Fellowship Hall to get more signatures…but didn’t see you there either. You are right …Kaitlyn has the most beautiful voice and I was so glad she could use this God-given talent at Ellen’s service.


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