Date Determination

There are numerous pictures of historic Charleston that are confounding as to determining when the image was taken. This picture of Washington Square is typical of one such, but although uncertain in date, there are clues that place its date and tell something about the park today. The first is the statue of William Pitt, which was placed in the park in 1891. But the dress of the women on the left is more in keeping with the late 1920’s and 30’s, and the Pitt Statue was removed in 1938 and replaced with George Washington,, so the image is probably mid-1930’s. Another telling aspect are the big trees in the picture, all deciduous, which is a vast contrast from the big, evergreen live oak trees at those same spots today. A tornado did ravage the park in 1938, after which new trees were planted, and what look to be centuries-old oaks there today are clearly not even close to 100 years old.

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