Arts & Culture

The True Meaning Behind Joggling Boards

If you have ever visited Charleston, you’ve probably noticed the long benches that sit on the porches of many Southern homes and restaurants. These iconic pieces of furniture, known as joggling boards, are a unique symbol of the Lowcountry.

The word “joggle” means to shake slightly or move to and fro which is exactly what these boards do. Similar to a rocking chair, the benches consist of a long, pliable board, which is supported on each end by wood stands. The hand-selected wood comes from southern pine trees due to the wood’s sturdy nature and flexibility.

The origin of the joggling board dates back to 1804 in South Carolina. According to legend, Cleland Kinlock, who built Acton Plantation, asked his widowed sister, Mary Kinloch Huger, to come live with him and care for the household. Mary suffered from rheumatism, a medical joint condition, and wrote to her family in Scotland about how she had difficulty taking carriage rides due to her medical issue, but missed being able to go for a ride. In response, the family sent over plans for a joggling board that simulated the motion of being on a carriage ride, but was still easily accessible for Mary and also provided her with a bit of exercise.

The joggling board soon gained popularity and became a porch staple for Southern homes during the 19th century.  Many people believed that if you had a joggling board on your front porch, you would never have an unwed daughter. It soon developed the nickname “courting bench” as young couples that sat on either end would slowly slide to the center due to the bowing in the wood.

In the last few decades, there has been resurgence in joggling boards due to their functionality as indoor and outdoor furniture and Lowcountry history. It is said that if someone offers you a seat on his or her joggling board, it is considered an invitation for friendship. When walking around Charleston keep an eye out for these historic benches, which continue to be a symbol of Southern lifestyle.

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Sip & Savor

Holy Ice Cream!

Here in the Holy City, we are fortunate for countless joys that Charleston provides. One of our favorites is the extended summer season. Just because school is back in session and fall months are approaching doesn’t mean that long, sun-shiny days and weekend beach trips are over just yet. And what’s the best way to cool off while beating the heat in Charleston? ICE CREAM! Enjoy these last weeks of summer by walking around the historic downtown with a good ‘ole fashioned ice cream cone in your hand.

Jeni’s King Street

Located in a lively, up and coming area of King Street, you are sure to be blown away by Jeni’s exotic flavors. A standard cup or homemade cone comes with two flavors and the shop encourages tasting. Try sampling the ‘Wildberry Lavender’ or the ‘Goat Cheese with Red Cherries.’ Or just stick with the ‘Milkiest Chocolate in the World’ flavor to be safe.

Peace Pie

With two locations on Meeting Street and King Street, there is no excuse not to indulge in one of Charleston’s sweetest treats. Enjoy various combinations of ice cream wrapped in a delicious cookie sandwich. From peanut butter chiffon to molten chocolate, there is a new flavor for everyone to discover.

Freddo

Located on King Street directly across from the hotel, Freddo is your one stop shop for authentic gelato. All the way from Argentina, Freddo specializes in only using natural and raw ingredients to prepare a 100% artisanal product. Enjoy four exclusive flavors just in Charleston: Italian Mascarpone, Irish Cream, Chocolate Mousse, and Dulce De Leche.

Kaminsky’s

This dessert café is tucked into the heart of the City Market just out the doors of the hotel. Sit inside at a romantic table and indulge in homemade milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, and even dessert Martinis. There is certainly something for everyone at Kaminsky’s!

 

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Discovery

Two Days in Charleston for the History Buff

For the history buff, the American south, specifically Charleston, is a treasure trove of discovery. As one of the United States’ most strategic naval and logistics sites on the East Coast, it has played an integral role in every major American conflict from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War. Here’s our two-day guide to Charleston for the history buff.

Fort Moultrie

Start your first day with a trip off the peninsula to nearby Sullivan’s Island where you’ll find one of the most war-weathered military locations in the country, Fort Moultrie. In the Revolutionary War, it stood as the final defense of the city from invading British troops and helped American forces win a major victory due to its clever construction of shock-absorbent palmetto logs. It was a key strategic defense point in every major American conflict until World War II. The beach head beneath the fort offers one of the most spectacular views of the Charleston Harbor. Afterwards, grab lunch at Poe’s Tavern, named after the famous American writer who stayed at Fort Moultrie during his brief stint in the army.

USS Yorktown

If you’re looking for some large-scale military history after lunch, drive over to Patriot’s Point for a tour of the USS Yorktown. Named after the famous ship that sunk during the Battle of Midway in World War II, this Essex-class (very large) aircraft carrier takes a prominent and eye-catching spot in the Charleston Harbor. Permanently docked across the river from downtown, this National Historic Landmark now serves as a military museum. Here you’ll see some of America’s most popular aircraft and learn about naval operations from World War II to the Korean War. Also at Patriot’s Point are the Vietnam Experience Exhibit and Medal of Honor Museum, as well as several decommissioned battleships and a submarine.

Fort Sumter

Start your second day off with a sea voyage to Charleston’s most famous fort, Fort Sumter, from which the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The fort remains an iconic sight in the center of Charleston’s bustling harbor. Reachable only by ferry, Fort Sumter is an excellent place to commemorate our nation’s most divisive conflict while viewing the city from its most unique location.

The Battery

To finish your travel through time, walk through Charleston’s historic French Quarter neighborhood to the Battery, also known as White Point Gardens. This public park south of Broad Street offers immaculate sunset views of the Charleston Harbor. Explore the arrangement of cannons and statues commemorating Charleston’s tumultuous yet fascinating past. Once the sun has set, scurry down to East Bay Street where a host of restaurants and bars line the avenue from fine dining to cocktail joints.

With its impressive military history and vital role in some of America’s most important conflicts, Charleston is sure to leave the history nut in you eager to explore.

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