Classic Correction

One of the most memorable legends here in historic #Charleston is the story of the famous Sword Gate at 32 Legare Street that we often pass on my walking tour. This wonderful example of hand-forged wrought iron was created by the German-born ironsmith Christopher Werner, who, in my opinion, was the most talented of the many great Charleston ironsmiths. According to the legend, Werner’s command of the English language was not that good, and he misunderstood when city officials commissioned him to create a “pair of gates” for the planned city Guard House at Broad and Meeting streets. Werner made two sets of double-sided gates, when the city’s intention was for the pair to be the two sides of the single gate, according to the legend, and when Werner presented his gates to the city officials, they only wanted one pair and the other was sold to George Hopley, who installed them at his house on Legare Street. I have waded through the hand-written city council minutes, and I discovered that on August 13, 1838, Werner appeared before the council with his plan, stating exactly what he would do and exactly what it would cost – $750, which was a lot of money then. So the “extra” legend is pure fiction, and obviously Hopley commissioned Werner to create a similar gate for his house as a separate undertaking.  <img.src=”Charleston Legends” alt=”Sword Gate”


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