Sunday, November 28, 2010

King & Queen Streets

I came upon this street sign today while walking to meet a new friend in Charleston. I couldn't help but wonder about the names of the streets and exactly which king and which queen did they refer to?

So, when I got back to my laptop, I started a search for information. Here's what I found out:

King Street was a generic name, used to pay tribute to the ruler of England. The road was also known (at various times) as "The Broad Path," the "High Way" and "The Broad Road." Those names referred to the part of King Street above Beaufain Street until after the American Revolution. During the later part of the 18th century, the upper part of King Street became the center of the wagon yard trade. Then, from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, King Street was a regional retail center. King Street ended at South Battery until 1911, when it was extended southward to the newly created Murray Blvd.

Queen Street was one of the original streets. At first, it was called Dock Street, after a boat dock. The road was originally dug in the swamp once found at the present intersection of Queen and East Bay streets. Later, it was renamed Queen Street, after Caroline of Ansbach, the consort of George II. Queen Street ended at Smith Street until 1849, when it was extended westward to Rutledge Street.

I found it interesting that the office of the Preservation Society of Charleston (seen in this photo) is located right near the intersection of these two historic (and most popular) thoroughfares.

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