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Aiken Rhett House

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Aiken-Rhett House
48 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Voice: 843-723-1159

Built in 1818 and greatly expanded by Governor and Mrs. William Aiken Jr. in the 1830's, the Aiken-Rhett House and its outbuildings have survived as a time capsule virtually unaltered since 1858. Original outbuildings include the kitchen, slaves' quarters, stable, coach house and privies. The Aiken family's carriages are still to be found in the Gothic Revival carriage house.

Governor Aiken was a successful businessman and planter. When he and his wife took the "grand tour" of Europe, they returned with magnificent crystal and bronze chandeliers, classical sculptures and paintings with which they furnished and decorated their mansion.  You will find many of these objects still in the rooms for which they were purchased.

The Aiken-Rhett House remained in the family until 1975. Historic Charleston Foundation has adopted a conservation approach to the interpretation of this important site, which features the only audio-tour in Charleston. You will hear the words of Aiken guests and experience the music and sounds that were part of daily life in the antebellum South. History comes alive as you enter the world of the 19th century Aiken household.

KAT'S VIEW

This house was very old. There was a nice painting there. It was a painting of the owner's wife that was from the floor to the ceiling it was so big. They had a library with very old books. They would walk around the porch from one room to the next. The slave quarters were cool too. The stairs there were tiny. They must of had small feet or the owners were really cheap! It wouldn't be nice to be a slave back then.



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