Contemporary photographs by James Moore Rhett, III; text by John Carson Hay Steele (1974). 118pp. 11.25 x 9.75 inches. Hardcover. Illustrated. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74-24521.
Charleston has learned during its three hundred year existence to make time an ally. Its children have developed a fierce love for their city and its architectural treasures which makes them ready to do battle whenever one of the old buildings is threatened by “progress.”
But in any vital living city some change does come as years pass. Charleston Then and Now is a photographic record of the change — or lack of change — which has occurred at fifty-eight points of interest in and near the city between the 1890s, when the first set of photographs was taken, and the 1970s, when each of the early scenes was rephotographed. These pictures, old and new, are arranged herein side-by-side, proceeding northward from The Battery in a tour sequence.
The authors of Charleston Then and Now have had closely paralleling careers. Both come from the Carolina Low Country. Both were battery commanders in the U.S. Army Artillery during World War II and both left the service with the reserve rank of major. Both have had careers in the engineering-construction field. Both are Episcopalians, and great-grandsons of the Reverend H. P. D. Hay.
Jim Rhett grew up in Beaufort and attended Saint Helena's Episcopal Church where the Reverend Mr. Hay was rector for many years. Jim and his wife, the former Nell Flood of St. Andrew's Parish, Charleston, have two sons, and live in Columbia, S.C. He pursues photography as an avocation.
Jack Steele is from Charleston. A graduate of Porter Military Academy and The Citadel, he is married to the former Jane Stevens of the Panama Canal Zone, has two sons, and lives in North Augusta, S.C. Jack is a registered engineer, working with E. I. duPont de Nemours and Company.
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