#2 Charleston, South Carolina April 7 - April 9, 1983
Thursday, April 7: The second Class of '50 mini was in beautiful Charleston with Julian and Anne Buxton as our hosts. From Charleston's prestigious addresses on Meeting Street to the archways and courtyards on Cabbage this southern city offers a picturesque charm. One can visit the old city markets, shop for antiques along King Street, gallery hop in the beautiful 300+-year-old, 789-acre Historic District on the tip of the peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers or enjoy a myriad of other activities. It was Garden Week in this prim port city which was alive with tourists as well as the 53 Princetonians and almost an equal number of wives attending the mini. The Buxtons had blocked out rooms in several charming, smaller inns
— Meeting Street Inn and Elliot House — which featured relaxing hot tubs. The opening reception was at the Nathaniel Russell House, built shortly before 1809 in the brothers Adam style of architecture and owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation. Attendees selected their dinner venue from a list of the many fine restaurants in the city.
Friday, April 8: A walking tour of the downtown area featured Charleston's historic churches, including St. Michael's Episcopal whose cemetery features a gothic expression of civic pride and St. Philip's which was erected in 1837 and said to be modeled on St. Martin's-in-the-Fields (London), old city markets and magnificent gardens with a profusion of magnolia blossoms, azaleas, camellias, roses, Carolina jessamine and climbing wisteria. It gave everyone a sense of the early Charles Towne, founded in 1670, named in honor of King Charles II of England. The city was chartered under the name of Charleston in 1783 and was the capital of South Carolina until 1790. In the afternoon the group bused to Middleton Plantation, where all enjoyed the spectacular floral display, the oldest formally landscaped gardens in America. Middleton also features a priceless collection of silver, china and fine art. Dinner was served in the Pavilion before all returned to downtown Charleston. Mini-reunioners were entertained by the Porgy & Bess singers, featuring many Broadway performers.
Saturday, April 9: At the breakfast gathering, attendees enjoyed shrimp and grits at the Colony House Restaurant. Guest speakers were Mayor Joseph Riley and James Edwards, former governor and secretary of energy. Unfortunately, a very heavy rain caused the cancellation of the scheduled boat trip on the Cooper River and a visit to Fort Sumter, site of the start of the Civil War. Showing great flexibility, however, the Buxtons took the Early Days jazz band, which was to have entertained on the boat trip, and moved them indoors into Hibernian Hall. Luncheon and dancing quickly wiped out any disappointment about the boat trip. Later in the afternoon, with the heavy rain continuing, Jane and John Colwell hosted the group at their home for a festive cocktail hour, after which people again dined at the restaurant of their choice.
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