A Beautiful Day Exploring Old Chicora Park

Saturday was an ideal afternoon for the Preservation Society’s  Oyster Roast Fundraiser. An excellent turnout, good oysters and beer benefited saving the Admiral’s Quarters at the old Navy Base. It was good to touch base with old friends and make new ones! It was held on the grand lawn in front of Quarters H, grand former Officers Quarters designed by James Olmstead, brother of Frederick Law. In the process of a remodel, Quarters H was open for touring.
 After we said our goodbyes and left the event, we explored the neighborhood. With beautiful rolling hills and swails, it is not a typical Lowcountry landscape. You can feel the influence of Olmstead in the design. We went by the Admiral’s Quarters, grand but decrepit; truly sad to see it looking so
forlorn. But it was after that that we made our greatest discovery. On the way out, we visited another house, finely restored on the outside and used as a set for Army Wives. It is leased, along with two others next to it, by a local 501(c) 3 non-profit called South Carolina Strong.
Their Mission Statement:
“Our Mission is to rehabilitate criminals and substance abusers and to move people into economic self-sufficiency. SC STRONG is a residential community that is self-governed where residents learn and teach academic and vocational skills, interpersonal and social survival skills, along with the attitudes, values, and self-reliance necessary to live in the mainstream of society drug and crime-free, successfully, and legitimately.”
 A great bootstrap operation! Consider that many of these guys have felony convictions and, right or wrong, many employers just won’t hire someone with a felony conviction. It is the policy of many corporate and government entities that people with felonies are forever tainted goods. These rehabilitated drug and alcohol addicts live in the other two houses and have created a number of businesses that they own and operate. Prosperity and Security go a long way toward sobriety and clean living, so kudos to them! The house that we toured with them is being meticulously restored as their catering and venue center. With at least five thousand grand square feet, it is sure to be a success!
Check out their website at http://www.southcarolinastrong.org/
Charleston Old Walled City Tours offers themed tours of Historic Charleston including the Old Walled City Tour, the Home and Garden Tour, the Slavery and Freedom Tour, and the Charleston Ghost Walk. Go to www.walledcitytours.com to learn more!
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