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Pin Your Mark on History

Posted by: stahlal | September 16, 2020 | No Comment |

Though my graduation may not have gone according to plan, I did in fact get to wear white in the Cistern!

Hi! My name is Abby L. Stahl and I wanted to introduce myself as the Graduate Assistant for the Southern Studies program. I’m already helping manage the program’s Instagram account and now am excited to be part of a new project, an online inventory of the College’s monuments and markers.

Though I’m new to Southern Studies, having never minored in it myself, I’m far from new to the South. I was born and raised in Greenville, S.C. and spent all four of my undergraduate years at College of Charleston majoring in English and Theatre and minoring in International Studies. As a Southerner and scholar and with the recent events swirling through our consciousness, I understand the importance of acknowledging our history. I’m a firm believer in not shying away but exploring both the positive and negatives to find untold stories, to better know exactly what we see every day, and to begin to heal. The removal of the John C. Calhoun statue, the protests held by the Black Lives Matter movement, the acknowledgement of slave labor that built this city and the recognition of ties between the history of slavery and racism and the College’s own story–these are vivid moments of a Charleston community growing for the better. In my opinion we are not removing history, but acknowledging which parts of history we glorify and which parts we have tried not to recognize, erasing the story of those who came before and preventing the healing of whole communities still feeling the effects of this history today. That’s why when Dr. Eichelberger came to me with the idea of asking students to collect images of the markers and names in the College’s landscape, it felt like the perfect idea at the perfect time.

Help our Historypin collection grow!

Dr. Eichelberger describes the project as follows: “We need students to help us analyze what and how C of C remembers, and how best to celebrate those who’ve contributed to the College and upheld our shared values. This summer, the Historical Review Taskforce was formed to advise President Hsu regarding campus markers, monuments and named buildings. As members of the Task Force, Harlan Greene, Bernie Powers and I realized that C of C has no comprehensive list of every named buildings & commemorative or interpretive sign now on campus, and we thought that C of C students could help us compile that list.  Southern Studies has now launched this project on Historypin, a map-based website. Students can now join Historypin and help us document and reflect upon every single College of Charleston location where there’s a marker, named building, interpretive sign, monument, or other commemorative item. In addition to our main campus in downtown Charleston, C of C occupies space on Bull Street (Avery Research Center), Concord Street (Harbor Walk), and on Lockwood Avenue (Riley Center), as well as Patriots’ Point in Mt. Pleasant, Grice Marine Lab on James Island, and the Stono Preserve west of Charleston on the Stono River. Help us create a comprehensive list of the hundreds of commemorative markers that exist in all these locations. ”

Commemorative marker for Elizabeth Jackson, mother of President Andrew Jackson, located in Cougar Mall.

Historypin is a social media platform that works similarly to Pinterest.  Anyone with a free account, including you, your friends, and the rest of the College community, can “pin” or post pictures and facts to map locations. Your pins will be seen worldwide by anyone else who uses this platform to explore our neighborhood and its history.

Below every “pinned” picture, in the comment section, we can all swap stories and facts about the site, the building’s construction, or the people it’s named for.  As interesting pins accumulate, I’ll be posting updates via our Instagram account, and we hope to run a scavenger hunt and congratulate those who’ve pinned the most locations or made the most thoughtful comments on other people’s pins. Our project is being co-sponsored by the department of Historic Preservation and Community Planning.

Together this process will allow us not only to know more about the very buildings that we walk through and live in every day here on campus, but we can also spread greater awareness of the histories of these locations and the people who built them. So I’m inviting all of you, Cougar to Cougar, to sign up for Historypin, pin your mark on history and make this historic campus more of a home for all of us and all who came before!

Large or small, state-sponsored or unofficial, we want to map everything!

Here’s a fun fact to leave you on. Did you know that, according to one marker, Andrew Jackson’s mother is buried somewhere near Cougar Mall? Pretty odd to see a large stone plaque commemorating her on your walk between classes, huh?

Please Check Out Our Historypin Page Via The Link Here – Markers & Names At the College of Charleston And Let Me Know of Any Questions or Information At My Email – stahlal@g.cofc.edu

under: C of C Program in Southern Studies, Charleston History, Historic Buildings, Historic Preservation and Community Planning, Markers, Monuments, Research Projects, Students

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