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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Orphan Asylum: 1865

Orphan Asylum: 1865

1865. "Charleston Orphan Asylum, 160 Calhoun Street, used as a hospital for wounded Federal soldiers." From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865." Wet-plate glass negative, half of stereograph pair, photographer unknown. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Orphan House

My mother has told me some stories of her years in the orphan house.Memories that she has pasted down to her great great grandchildren and hopefully to many more generations.


A college dorm was built on part of the orphanage parcel and I had the pleasure of living there my freshman year of college. We always heard rumors of ghosts of the orphans and the soldiers roaming the hallways.

Guarded by Gryphons

Broken glass notwithstanding, this is some kind of impressive edifice. I wonder what it did before it housed orphans?

[Found on the Web: "The Charleston Orphan House, built on the site of a Revolutionary War barracks, is the oldest municipal orphanage in the United States. It was completed in 1794." - Dave]

Bleak House

What an exceptionally gloomy place.

Orphan House

Looks like it had been commandeered by the Yankees at this point (and is rather the worse for wear, given all the broken windows). I wonder what happened to the orphans? I think there is a Wachovia Bank in this location now. The original building is no longer standing.

Broken windows

When I saw the broken windows I thought what senseless vandalism, then saw that part of the roof has been destroyed, orobably by artillery. Considering the fragility of window glass of that period I am surprised at how many panes survived.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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