Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Streets of Our Childhood

The Library of Congress web site is a fabulous source of historic data and fun too. I like to visit every now and again to check out their photo collection on Flickr. When I get addicted to a tune, I'll see what they have to offer on it. This morning I was feeling a bit homesick and thought I'd see what I could dig up about my home town. Yet again, the LOC came up trumps.

What you see above is a detail from a bird's-eye view print of Charleston, S.C., drawn by C. Drie in 1872. The detail is of the neighborhood my sister and I grew up in one hundred years later. Most of the ponds in the picture were filled in by the time we came along, and the only schooners we knew were replica tourist boats or our great-uncle's, but the streets are the same and the house we grew up in with its walls to climb and garden to run around in is there too. Ellen, this one is for you.

For more bird's eye view prints, visit here.

9 comments:

Kelly said...

That picture reminds me of the print I have of San Francisco from that same time period. I love to examine my SF one looking for clues of what may still exist in present day. So cool...

Julia said...

It is cool, and with this map I can imagine my great great grandfather, who was a rice merchant, walking down to the wharves a block from his house. Today the river is a half mile further away.

Barrett Bonden said...

I clicked on tune and found myself looking at the score of Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man". I can't read music but scores have a holy quality nevertheless. Especially when something's been crossed out by one of the giants. I envy you your ability to pick out such a deletion on the piano just to find out whether you agree that LvB, WAM or JSB made the right decision.

eurolush said...

What a fun piece of history you have at your fingertips. Seeing the house you grew up in on such an old map must be really amazing. It sounds like your family has quite a long history in Charleston.

I've never been there, but hope to one day visit what looks like a very charming city.

Julia said...

BB, I love that score - Copland's calligraphy is beautiful and so energetic, and his expansiveness (six measures on most pages!) is absolutely reflected in the music. Really cool.

Eurolush, Charleston is a wonderful city but hot in the summer (I totally recommend late fall through spring for visits). My family has lived there a long time, and tends to long memories and lots of stories. So even though I never met my great great grandfather, his daughter helped raise us and we grew up on tales of Papa S. Quite fun!

Lucy said...

Old maps and town models are great, aren't they? I love being able to pick out samenesses and differences...

Will Bryan said...

I guess that they changed the name of Lynch St since then.

joan said...

The map just misses my house on Vanderhorst St. It was built 1840 so should show up as well. You can see why we have so much trouble with flooding.

Julia said...

And Secession St. too!

Joan, the big map at the LOC definitely has Vanderhorst on it. The file is around 180 MB, so I just took a snapshot of it but if you'd like I can forward you a detail of your 'hood!