2 Your Roots: Chalmers Street

2 Your Roots

Downtown Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – In this week’s edition of 2 Your Roots, we take to trip to downtown Charleston to learn about a cobblestone street known for its southern charm; Chalmers Street.

Named after Dr. Lionel Chalmers, a Scotland born physician and scientist, the rocky road houses a number of historic buildings including the Pink House and Old Slave Mart. According to the South Carolina Encyclopedia, Chalmers arrived in Charleston in 1737.

“He apparently found it difficult at first to make a living, but a major smallpox epidemic in 1738 may have helped him to establish a modest practice… Around 1740 he entered into a partnership with Dr. John Lining that endured until 1754.”

The South Carolina Encyclopedia

When Chalmers and Lining partnered up, Lining was observing weather data in an attempt to record the effects of meteorological change on the human body. Between 1750 and 1759 Chalmers compiled his own series of meteorological records in Charleston and then became was one of the first in America to set up a weather station and create forecasts for the Holy City.

Chalmers died in Charleston on May 8, 1777, after having served as a justice of the peace, port physician, and a member of the Charleston Library Society. He is buried in Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church Cemetery.

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