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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Charleston: 1865

Charleston: 1865

April 1865. Charleston, South Carolina. "St. Philip's Church with ruins of Circular Church and Secession Hall." Casualties of the Great Fire of 1861. Wet plate glass negative by George N. Barnard. View full size.


New Circularity

The Circular Congregational Church was eventually rebuilt-- in the 1890s. Apparently the ruins were simply left there for several decades until they were scavenged for bricks used to construct the Richardsonian Romanesque hulk which replaced the old church. Secession Hall, on the other hand, was never rebuilt.

Re: +145

The guy sitting on the wall has moved.

A different view today

Must be from the other side of the church from where timeandagainphoto's pic was taken.

Shorpy returns to Charleston

What a great series of post-bombadment photos, beginning with those of several months ago! History is often painful, but far more so when we see how we can hurt our own.

[As noted in the caption, these building were destroyed by fire four years before the photo as taken. - Dave]

Cross section

Interesting "cutaway" or cross-section view of the brick chimney on the right, across the street. Without the low brick walls, the round church on the left would be a ringer for a railroad roundhouse.

I wonder if the woman is dressed in mourning, and if she is, is he mourning a recently deceased victim of the fire, or is she mourning a loved one previouly buried in the cemetery. I guess it could be a recent victim who was just buried.

[The fire was in 1861 -- four years before this photo was made. - Dave]


Below is the same view from June of 2010.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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