Lowcountry Proud Maryville/Ashleyville: new park and Higgins Pie - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Lowcountry Proud Maryville/Ashleyville: new park and Higgins Pier

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Looking at the history of Charleston, it wasn't that long ago that Maryville was a town of it's own.

An independent town from 1886 to 1936 and the history goes back even further.

"The settlement started here before it moved back to the peninsula," neighborhood president Diane Hamilton said.

Hamilton is a native to this small corner of the Holy City and is an expert on where the neighborhoods (Maryville and Ashleyville) are headed.

She takes pride in two plots of land they're building on, although it's not much now, it will soon be two parks overlooking the Ashley River. One traditional park with benches under the oak trees and one fishing pier at the end of a bike path.

"It's preserving it in another function because at one point it was a railroad track and it crossed from Maryville/Ashleyville into the city of Charleston and I think probably going in this direction," she explained pointing across the river towards the Citadel. "So we are preserving that but giving it a new twist, a new path to perform."

As they break ground, Hamilton said she's hoping to uncover more of the history of the area.

"To be able to find the second site of the governor of South Carolina, I think that will go a great distance to helping us document the historical significance of this area," she said. "We have found some evidence of life here with pottery... dating back to the Antebellum period."

However, even if such remains aren't discovered, building these community gathering spots near Charles Towne Landing allows them at least to preserve the trees that have been here for centuries.

"We want to preserve these for the environment, for future generations. It just helps with keeping the feel of the neighborhood, it helps with the soil, it helps with maintaining the area as well so the persons who were here when these trees were tiny shrubs, you can imagine before that house was built that oak tree was there," Hamilton said with pride. "Over 100 years I'm sure, over 100 and think what was going on within the city of Charleston during that time, 100 years, 150 years ago. I think again that's preserving part of the history that's just the botanical part of our history."

Watch News 2 at 5:00 and 6:00 Friday for more on the Maryville/Ashleyville parks.
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