Although Charleston may seem like one of South Carolina's most historically and culturally diverse communities, Mount Pleasant also has quite an interesting past that's worth exploring. Let's take a closer look at how Mount Pleasant transformed from a Native American homeland and haven for settlers to a modern 21st-century suburb.
A Timeline of Mount Pleasant's History
Mount Pleasant's humble origins
Even before the 1500s, the Sewee and Sampa tribes inhabited the lands that currently make up the town of Mount Pleasant. The Native Americans in this area later became known for their Wando pottery, which can be traced back to 1,200 years ago. This unique form of pottery was made from the clay and limestone found on the banks of the Wando River.
Settlers arrive from England
The first European settlers arrived in Mount Pleasant during the summer of 1680. Upon his arrival, Captain O’Sullivan was given 2,340 acres, and the land that now encompasses Mount Pleasant and the island around it is still named after him.
Following the Revolutionary War and attacks from the Spanish and French, Senator James Hibben laid out the Village of Mount Pleasant with five streets. Around this time, 107 households and 600 enslaved people called Mount Pleasant home. Because the area's economy was based on cotton production and agriculture, most landowners lived on multi-acre plantations.
Mount Pleasant during the Civil War
On September 24, 1860, a public meeting was held in Mount Pleasant, which resulted in the first secession resolution passed in South Carolina. During the Civil War, Battery Guerry and Fort Sumter served as crucial defense points for the city. Mount Pleasant was also the top-secret training site for the Confederacy's prototype submarine, the H.L. Hunley.
Transformation into a suburb
Following the Civil War, Mount Pleasant transitioned into a popular vacation destination for Charleston's elite. The area didn't see much development until the 1920s, when the Pitt Street steel drawbridge was built to connect Sullivan's Island and Mount Pleasant. Although the bridge was dismantled in the 1940s, parts of it are still visible today on the Intracoastal Waterway.
In 1989, the town was hit by Hurricane Hugo, a dangerous Category 4 storm that decimated a grand portion of South Carolina's barrier islands. However, development continued, and Mount Pleasant had its largest population growth ever just a year later.
Mount Pleasant today
Mount Pleasant has grown into an established suburb of Charleston, and its population has increased to nearly 100,000 residents. Today, the area features the eight-lane Arthur Ravenel Bridge and the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport, as well as countless other attractions and interstate highways.
Eager to Learn More About Mount Pleasant?
Mount Pleasant is truly a community that offers something for everyone. And whether you're searching for a new home or selling your current one, you can trust me for all of your real estate needs! Reach out to me, Bill Barnhill, with any questions—I'd be happy to lend you my expertise.