Charleston, South Carolina In The Spring Time

Charleston, South Carolina in the Springtime is one of the most beautiful cities in the South.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church Steeple photo by Kathy Miller

I have been to Charleston many times, but this year was special.  Good friends Phil and Laura Huffman, invited Dave and me to visit Charleston in April…to stay in the home that Phil’s grandparents bought in 1940.  Laura is my Pasadena, CA/Cashiers, NC “Heads Carolina, Tails California” friend.

This home is the Thomas Rose house on Church Street.  The Thomas Rose house, built in 1735, is one of the oldest examples of Early Georgian architecture and has the original Georgian paneling inside.

The Thomas Rose House on Church Street in Charleston, SC photo by Kathy Miller

Phil’s sister, Catherine Forrester lives in the house and preserves many of the traditions and furnishings created by their grandmother, Juliette Wiles Staats.  Cathy is the author of  At Home -Charleston, a delightful book based on her Grandmother’s entertaining style.  The book includes family recipes, seating arrangements, and photographs of elaborate table settings, all from Juliette Wiles Staats’ entertaining archives.

 After reading Cathy’s At Home-Charleston I couldn’t wait to see this beautiful home.

Kathy at the Thomas Rose House 59 Church Street Charleston SC photo by Kathy Miller

 When stepping through what appears to be the front door, one actually enters a side piazza facing the garden.

Inside the front door in Charleston's Thomas Rose House photo by Laura Huffman

The view looking back to the front entrance.  The actual front door is to the far left.

Looking back to the front entrance photo by Kathy Miller

The long bench is a joggling board found on many Charleston porches.  It is a pliable board balanced on stands at each end.

Laura showed me how to joggle.

Laura shows me how to joggle photo by Kathy Miller

According to Charleston Magazine, “the most-told tale is that in the early 1800’s, a local dowager suffering from rheumatism received plans for making one from a relative in Scotland, who said its bouncing would assuage her malady.”

Laura explained another version.  Joggling boards were also called “courting boards”.  Couples in the early stages of courtship were separated on each end.  The farther apart the better, at least until they started joggling.  The more they joggled, the closer they became.

 Joggling doesn’t seem like much of an exercise, but I bet it has entertained many children over the years.

Kathy loves to Joggle on the Joggling Board photo by Kathy Miller

The gardens were beautiful even though we were a little between blooming seasons.  After azaleas and before hydrangeas.

 The view of the garden from the upper piazza showcases the shape of the parterre.


The  sculptures of the Four Seasons

The Sculptures of the Four Seasons photo by Kathy Miller

The urn in the rear garden viewed through wrought iron gates.

The urn in the rear garden with iron gates photo by Kathy Miller

The urn at Thomas Rose house viewed through the wrought iron gates photo by Kathy Miller

Let’s go inside this wonderful home.  The front door from the side piazza is visible here.  The windows are facing Church Street.

The Green Living Room Thomas Rose House photo by Laura Huffman

The dining room off the main stairwell.

The Dining Room Thomas Rose House photo by Kathy Miller

The drawing room on the second floor.

The second floor drawing room Thomas Rose House photo y Laura Huffman

Stairwell lookin down from second floor photo by Kathy Miller

The bedroom off the upper piazza.  My bedroom for the visit.

The Bedroom at Thomas Rose house photo by Laura Huffman

I did not hear any whistling or see any ghostly phenomenon.  My time in Charleston was very peaceful.  But the ghost tours feature this house and this room.

 After touring the house we took to the streets to roam charming Charleston.

We loved the window boxes, this one unique with its shade flowers.

Shade flower box in Charleston photo by Kathy Miller

Flowers on Church Street photo by Kathy miller

Window box flowers in Charleston photo by Kathy Miller

Home on The Battery in Charleston, photo by Kathy Miller

Charleston, SC flowers photo by Kathy Miller

Two Meeting Street Inn, is a beautiful bed and breakfast.

Two Meeting Street Inn in the South of Broad Street district photo by Kathy Miller

Dinner that night was a special low country experience.

Bowens Island Restaurant.

Bowen's Island Restaurant photo by Kathy Miller

Known for locally harvested oysters, fried shrimp and hushpuppies.

Oyster Man at Bowen's Island Restaurant photo by Kathy Miller

Bowen's Island Restaurant a seafood dive casual and fun photo by Kathy Miller

“Bowens Island has been named one of America’s Great Seafood Dives by Coastal Living and one of the Top 10 Southern Seafood Dives by Southern Living.”

Marsh Views from Bowens Island Restaurant photo by Kathy Miller

It's Miller Time at Bowens Island Restaurant photo by Kathy Miller

Setting Sun at Bowens Island Restaurant photo by Kathy Miller

Guess who’s shucking oysters looking for the mother lode?

Guess who's shucking oysters looking for the mother lode photo by Laura Huffman

As much as I like fine dining I love a place like this!

Day 2

 Drayton Hall is unique in that it has been preserved in its near original condition.

As per its website,“Instead of being restored to the vision of those who lived centuries after it was built, Drayton Hall is an artifact that has survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, the earthquake of 1886, hurricanes like Hugo, and maybe most surprisingly today, urban sprawl.”

Drayton Hall with Laura photo by Laura Huffman

The Ashley River

Drayton Hall on the Ashley River photo by Laura Huffman

The view from the river back to the house.

View from river back to Drayton Hall photo by Kathy Miller

Good friends, on spur of the moment notice, graciously invited us for cocktails at their home.  We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed their beautiful gardens.  We joined them for dinner and enjoyed reminiscing about Murphy Brown and her infamous painter, Eldin…Thank you E & R.

 Day 3

Tour of the Nathaniel Russell house.

Nathaniel Russell House Charleston, SC iron work photo by Kathy Miller

 Its most spectacular feature is the self-supporting elliptical spiral staircase.  No photography is allowed inside, but click here to see this spectacular staircase.

I did capture the joggling board in the garden outside!

Joggling Board at Nathaniel Russell House Charleston SC photo by Kathy Miller

When we left, once again I saw the famous steeple from St. Michael’s.  With the original 13 stars American Flag!

St. Michael's Episcopal Church steeple with original 13 star American Flag photo by Kathy Miller

 Charleston is known for its many Sweetgrass baskets, the weavers setting up displays throughout the city.  I love the colorful umbrellas.  Must be my tailgating tent love coming through.

Laura and the Sweetgrass baskets Charleston SC photo by Kathy Miller

We met my niece, Sarah and her husband Adam, who were celebrating their anniversary in Charleston.  A quick getaway from their active twin boys. We had lunch at The Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar.

Sarah writes about fashion, fitness and parenting in her “A Blondie State Of Mind”  blog.

Sarah & Adam celebrating their anniversary photo by Kathy Miller

 After great lunches and dinners, Laura and I returned to the home.  At Home-Charleston has many wonderful recipes.

My favorite is the Baked Spaghetti Casserole.  Phil and Laura have served this many times in Cashiers.


Ingredients 4-6 slices bacon 1/2 pound ground beef 1 (28 ounce) can Italian tomatoes with juice 1/4 cup diced onion 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 2 teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup catsup 3 ounces cream cheese 3 ounce can sliced mushrooms 1/2 pound spaghetti 1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fry the bacon until fairly crisp and set aside. In the same pan, brown the ground beef. In another large pan, mix the tomatoes with their juice, and the seasonings. Break the cream cheese into chunks, and add it to the tomato sauce, stirring well. Meanwhile, boil spaghetti according to package directions and drain. Mix the beef and tomato sauce together. Pour sauce over dained spaghetti, mixing well. Put the mixture into a shallow casserole and top with slices of Cheddar cheese to cover. Bake until hot, about 30 minutes. Add the strips of bacon over the top for the last 10 minutes or so of baking.

By Juliette Wiles Staats, Catherine Forrester, At Home-Charleston


Recipe Printed from

 And the best is Juliette Wiles Staats’ blueberry pie.  Laura carries on this tradition.

Laura's Cashiers Blueberry Pie photo by Laura Huffman


  • 4 cups blueberries
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • Flakey Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening (I prefer a mixture 1/3 cup butter, 2/3 cup shortening)
  • 6 tablespoons ice water


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash blueberries and dry them on paper towels.
  2. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Stir into the blueberries and distribute well.
  5. Line a 9-10 inch pie plate with Flakey Pie Crust. See below.
  6. Add the berries and dot with butter.
  7. Top with remaining crust and cut small vents in the top.
  8. Set pie on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 35 minutes longer, or until the filling is bubbling through the vents.
  9. Flakey Pie Crust
  10. In a large bowl, stir the salt into the flour.
  11. Use a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.
  12. Add ice water and mix well until the dough pulls together into a ball.
  13. Divide the dough in half, pat each half into a round, and wrap in wax paper.
  14. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out and lining the pie pan.


I like to serve with vanilla ice cream!

By Juliette Wiles Staats, Catherine Forrester, At Home-Amelia


Recipe Printed from

Laura's Blueberry Pie Juliette Wiles Staats pre cooking photo by Laura Huffman

It is more beautiful before baked!

Thank you to the Huffman family for allowing me to share in their family history.  I thank the Charleston residents for allowing a glimpse into their city’s past.  So many tourists visit Charleston for the history and beauty.  I hope that all tourists enjoy, yet treat Charleston and its preservers of the past with respect and dignity.

One of the best parts of my visit….Jasper

Jas[er and the back door, Charleston SC photo by Kathy Miller

Watch for upcoming stories from my summer travels.

 I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.


  • Laura Huffman says:

    What a wonderful recap of a great time we had! I’m so glad you were there with me so I could share this wonderful home and city with you, my dear friend!

  • Dave Kempf says:

    Kathy, As you know we are fortunate to Publish Charleston Receipts & Charleston receipts Repeats with the Junior League of Charleston. The Low Country cuisine is fabulous & the city of Charleston, as you demonstrated, is gorgeous. Thanks for recognizing this US Treasure.

    • Thanks for sharing the Junior League of Charleston’s cookbook titles. They are both wonderful. I always can count on a Junior League Cookbook when visiting a new town. They always have the best recipes and history.

  • Sister Kay says:

    A wonderful synopsis of a beautiful city. Thanks for sharing… Charleston is our favorite vacation city.

  • You showed me Charleston first! Remember the runaway carriage and Mom? A great place to live and a great place to visit.

  • Sarah says:

    What a fabulous review of Charleston! You captured Charleston’s beauty and history wonderfully. Definitely my favorite place to be!

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