New book captures the essence of one of America’s greatest streets
Broad Street and Beyond: Charleston’s Historic Nexus of Power
By Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman and Robert P. Stockton
Softbound pp. 311
(Evening Post Books, Charleston, 2022)
Long-time Charleston Mercury columnist, Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman (“Peg” to our readers) recently teamed up with Robert P. Stockton to pen a masterful work that celebrates Charleston’s distinctive history, culture and charm. Broad Street and Beyond: Charleston’s Historic Nexus of Power is a collection of true stories centered on, though not confined to Broad Street, Charleston’s most historic thoroughfare, which has served as the heartbeat of peninsular city since it moved to Oyster Point from Albemarle Point. The book tells the amazing stories of city’s historic people: bankers, barkeeps, politicians, patriots, activists, artists and poets, parsons, scoundrels, eccentrics and more. It settles local myths, documents momentous events and highlights the historical importance of this thriving city hub.
Intended to be the site of handsome public buildings, mercantile operations and prestigious residences, Broad Street fulfilled its destiny. The street has been used for parades, public gathering and state funerals; and has been the scene of riots, duels and various crimes. Banks, bars, hotels, churches, art shops, restaurants, lawyers’ offices, real estate companies and other businesses have thrived there for centuries.
In 2012, the American Planning Association selected Broad Street as one of the ten Great Streets in America because of its rich colonial history, stunning 18th and 19th century architecture and pedestrian orientation. The factual stories in Broad Street and Beyond support the association’s conclusions.
Who better to tell the stories of Charleston’s most prestigious thoroughfare than the dynamic writing duo of Peg Eastman and Robert Stockton. A Charlestonian by birth, Eastman is actively involved in the preservation of Charleston’s rich cultural heritage. In addition to being a popular columnist for the Charleston Mercury, she has published through McGraw Hill and The History Press. She has also published in Carologue, a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society.
Stockton is the author of The Great Shock and The History of the Carolina Yacht Club and contributed articles to scholarly journals. He also wrote “Do You Know Your Charleston” column for the The News and Courier for many years. The column received the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Press Award in 1976. He twice edited the Notes for Guides of Historic Charleston.
Certain to become a must-read for lovers of all things Charleston, Broad Street and Beyond captures the ever-changing yet somehow the same essence of this unique Southern city. Its mystique abounds in these amazing stories for all who care to experience it.
Additional information about Broad Street and Beyond may be found at www.eveningpostbooks.com.