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The Pretty Little Cottage of the Keeper of the Park at Chicora

June 8, 2010

Circa 1900 – Charleston SC

“Charleston leaders wanted the navy yard badly, to help rejuvenate a poor economy that had never fully recovered from the Civil War.  A measure of importance of the yard to the city was the offer of the Chicora Park site.  On the Cooper River where the old Turnbull Place was located, the city was developing a magnificent recreational park.  It had been designed by the well-known Massachusetts firm of Olmsted Brothers…It was an ambitious project with salt water lagoons and landscaped gardens…A pavilion had been built and many Charlestonians took the trolley to the park to picnic and dance on summer evenings…On 12 August 1901, the Navy took possession of the property.  Captain Edwin Longnecker, who represented the Navy , had arrived in Charleston from Washington the day before, accompanied by the government paymaster…On the afternoon of the twelfth, they took the trolley to the site and made a final inspection of the property.  Once this was done, a check in the amount of $34,307 was given to the city for 171 acres of Chicora Park and one for $50,000  to Mrs. Celia Lawton’s representative for 258 acres of the old Marshlands Plantation.  The City conveyed the 760 acres of marshland to the south to the Navy for one dollar.”

On August 12 1901, Captain Edwin Longnecker took possession of the site of the Navy Yard. He also served as first commandant. It was in Quarters F that the Captain took possession of the site for the Navy and was utilized by the Navy for almost 100 years.

“The ceremony of “taking formal possession” took place “at the pretty little cottage of the keeper of the park at Chicora”…Captain Longnecker and Major Skelding and the Charleston party led by Mayor Smyth were served a “light luncheon” and drank a number of toasts to celebrate the occasion.”

The pretty little cottage is known today as Quarters F.  It is located in the historic Chicora Gardens at the Navy Yard at Noisette located adjacent to North Charleston Riverfront Park   The long-term vision for this historic structure is for a hospitality or public use of some sort.  The color picture of this beautiful building was taken today.

Quotes taken from Charleston’s Navy Yard by Jim McNeil

For more pics of historic Chicora Gardens – clickhere

Update 11/30/2011 – As of Dec 2010, this building is owned by South Carolina Public Railways

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