These images are part of a photograph album kept by Chrisenberry Alexander Ritchie (1879-1962). He was born in Salisbury, North Carolina and he came to the Lowcountry to attend the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which was then located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. This was circa 1901, and his images corroborate this as he captured the construction of the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition, as well as the event itself, held in Charleston from December 1901 through May 1902. Ritchie also photographed a number of other “everyday” Charleston scenes - fortunately for us as many of these scenes no longer exist. Ritchie went on to become the Pastor of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Binghamton, New York, from 1905 through 1949, marrying and raising his family there.

  1. The Sappho - ferry that ran between Mount Pleasant and Charleston, circa 1901
  2. Custom House, 200 East Bay Street, circa 1901
  3. Cotton Palace and Sunken Gardens at the Exposition, taken at night showing the electric lights, circa 1901
  4. Aerial view of Colonial Lake from the vicinity of the intersection of Rutledge and Beaufain, circa 1901
  5. The Liberty Bell while on loan from Philadelphia for the Exposition, 1902.
  6. Steeplechase at the Isle of Palms, circa 1901


EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from the Charleston Museum Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.