Charleston History Sleuths

Yesterday my cousin Pamela Moore Allen posted the above photo of my father (on the right) and his brother David fighting on a street in Charleston, South Carolina, during the Great Depression.

Here’s another photo standing outside their grandfather’s pharmacy where they worked as curb boys. 

I posted the street-fight photo on the Facebook site “Charleston History Before 1945” and misidentified the location as Spring Street, where the pharmacy was located.[1]

A few sharp-eyed history buffs weren’t so sure about the location and began sleuthing.

Ray Benton, a Charleston lawyer, posted that in the early 60s he worked at a corner pharmacy that had an apartment upstairs. Lester Dempsey, another old-time Charlestonian, suggested the fight took place near Cannon Street and Rutledge. 

Mary Thiedke Grady weighed in:

Look at the intersection of Spring and Rutledge looking west toward the bridge. The building currently occupied by Xiao Bao Biscuit was once upon a time a gas station and had a canopy. (The supports changed, but the canopy is still there.) Also look beyond to the other corner (northwest of Rutledge.) That building is tall enough, though the architecture isn’t quite the same. Given the proximity to the road, that first house could have been torn down and a second where the current house is located. (Ok, this part I think I’m fishing around with, and the argument doesn’t hold water.”)

Lester Dempsey provided an aerial view: 

And dig this, Rutledge Rivers Webb, Jr. took two photos after dropping off his kids at school this morning. He took them on Rutledge near Spring looking towards Cannon. The Texaco service station on the right in the original photo is now the restaurant Fuel.

Mystery solved.

Thanks to all who weighed in. 

[1] They lived above the pharmacy on the second floor. 

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