Hampton Park

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Spanish moss hangs from trees lining a walkway to the bandstand in the City of Charleston’s Hampton Park.

“The park was named in honor of Confederate General Wade Hampton III who, after the Civil War, had become governor of South Carolina. The bandstand from the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition of 1901–1902, once located in the center of the park, was saved and moved to its present location at the east edge of the park at the foot of Cleveland St.[7] In addition, the building at 30 Mary Murray Blvd., which is currently used as the city’s Parks Department offices, was retained from the exposition, where it served as a tea house.” – Wikipedia

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Above, a postcard of the Sunken Gardens, from the South Carolina Inter-state and West Indian Exposition. The Charleston Horticultural Society has a fabulous series of self guided audio tours for your next stroll around Hampton Park.

“The Holy City”

 (Kathryn Wagner)

“Charleston is known as The Holy City due to the prominence of churches on the low-rise cityscape, particularly the numerous steeples which dot the city’s skyline…”

As a travel photographer part of my job is to get to the heart of a place and show viewers what it is like to eat, sleep and visit in a location. Religious centers often provide a direct link into these aspects of life and also aids in gauging the history of a place. The stunning St. Phillips steeple pictured above is a landmark within Historic Charleston, and it’s steeple bells are a fixture of the downtown soundscape. Part of the original walled city, “St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark, houses the oldest congregation in South Carolina and was the first Anglican church established south of Virginia.” Charleston’s churches are a wonderful touchstone into the vast history of the city and a valuable link to it’s present and future . Read More

Colonial Lake

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Colonial lake is a wonderful part of Charleston’s city park system. A favorite of runners and fishermen alike, the area has long been a fixture in the Holy City:

“For many years the lake was known as the Rutledge Street Pond. It acquired the name, Colonial Lake, in 1881, in honor of the “Colonial Commons” established in 1768. Some residents still call it “The Pond.”The park around the lake was developed in 1882-87. Fountains were placed in the lake in 1973, not for decorative purposes, but to aerate the water and prevent fish kills on hot summer days.”Gala Week” used to be held in the fall of the year, with a fireworks display on the west side of the Pond, which was then an undeveloped area. Spectators filled to park and crowded onto boats in the lake.” – Charleston County Public Library site Read More

BEHIND THE SHOT: Lil Old Opry: Matthews County Virginia

"Since 1975 Donk's theater in Matthews County Virginia has been featuring the 'Lil Old Opry' a live country music show featuring local acts and classic country music." (Kathryn Wagner)
Last May I visited with a good friend to take a few portraits on the Virginia’s beautiful Chesapeake Bay. En route to Gwynn’s Island, we passed Donk’s which was a major landmark in the colorful directions we were given to reach our destination. The place really stood out to me, as it seemed unchanged since it’s inception as a live country music show in June of 1975. Since then, Donk’s has had a live show every other Saturday evening keeping the tradition of stage performance alive in Eastern Virginia. Though we did not have a chance to catch a show on the last visit, I will definitely check out this Virginia landmark next time I am passing through.