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CANCELLED - Breakfast Meeting
CANCELLED - Breakfast Meeting

Wed, Mar 18


Daniel Island Rotary

CANCELLED - Breakfast Meeting

Time & Location

Mar 18, 2020, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Daniel Island Rotary, 600 Island Park Drive, Charleston, SC, USA

About the event

Matthew Gibson, Curator of Natural History, Charleston Museum, Charleston’s Phosphate Era. Did you know that in the 1850’s there was an extensive phosphate mining industry literally right across the street from today’s Middleton, Magnolia, and Drayton Hall plantations? These were essentially strip mining operations some of which were actually owned and operated by the Middleton family. The phosphate era was led by a group of plantation owners, gentlemen scientists, liberated blacks, and exploited immigrants. The industry went into overdrive at the end of the Civil War because the region needed new sources of fertilizer for fields depleted through cotton and other crops. Where beautiful antebellum plantation homes dotted the riverbanks of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, the phosphate era ushered in the obtrusive sight of industrial barges, wharves, fertilizer mills, phosphate drying sheds, and smoke stacks. Furthermore, digging phosphates was wet and dangerous work and resembled slavery for the newly emancipated slaves. Who knew? Required reading:  

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