Halloween is a season for celebrating all things scary and grotesque, so what aspect of Charleston’s history might conjure appropriately horrific images? How about Butcher Town—Charleston’s movable feast of carnage and violence that was once an everyday part of our urban landscape. From the earliest days of our fair city in the 1680s until 1949, Charleston hosted a number of slaughter houses or butchering pens that daily dispatched all sorts of animals to feed the city’s human population. These abattoirs, to use the more elegant terminology, were historically clustered like a separate village around the creeks and inlets on the fringes of our residential neighborhoods. As the city gradually expanded northward, the location of “Butcher Town” crept up the peninsula until the industry was eventually forced out of Charleston for good. Although wholesale butchering doesn’t take place on the peninsula any more, the legacy of Butcher Town endures under many of the city’s streets and neighborhoods. After all, many, many tons of animal blood, guts, and bones were used to fill the low-lying areas of Charleston that we now call home. Want to learn more about Butcher Town and the gruesome details of Charleston’s slaughter houses? You’re invited to join Dr. Nic Butler, public historian at the Charleston County Public Library, for a free lecture on this curiously morbid topic.
“Butcher Town: The Slaughter Houses of Early Charleston”
Time: Saturday, October 26th 2013 at 1 p.m.
Place: Charleston County Public Library, 2nd Floor Classroom, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401.
For more information, please contact Dr. Nic Butler at butlern[at]ccpl.org or 843–805–6968.