a charleston reconnaissance… white point gardens

I think I might just continue to refer to White Point Gardens as Battery Park, not only because it’s what I’m used to, but because I can’t find any sign or listing that will agree over whether it’s supposed to be White Point Garden or Gardens. Does it matter? It doesn’t really look like a garden, so I think it would be easier to keep thinking of it as a public park. Yes, I know, technicalities and all that stuff. I’ve called it Battery Park for 14 years, I don’t think it’ll hurt to do it for a little longer.DSC_0424

DSC_0423What I have found is that despite my mom and I covering quite a bit of the park, we still missed several very obvious statues. Some of which I’ve seen in the past and had pictures taken in front of. How did I skip them this time? Maybe because we headed to the side of the park, after walking by the bandstand in the center of Battery Park.DSC_0425

DSC_0427Walking to the end of the Battery Promenade, we walked over to the Confederate Defenders of Charleston statue, which is right on the southernmost point of the park. Sculpted by Hermon Atkins MacNeil, I’ve been trying to find more about it, hopefully an explanation about the symbolism of the two figures. The broken sword that the defender carries, I can understand that… but the rest? I’m not a student of statuary symbols. I remember there was a nude statue at the ANZAC memorial in Australia, but that doesn’t mean I understand why it was sculpted that way. Nor do I see the point for this one, though at least this one has a leaf in place.DSC_0428

DSC_0429Under the inscription saying “To the Confederate Defenders of Charleston, Fort Sumter, 1861-1865”, another phrase wraps its way around the base of the statue.

“Count them happy who for their faith and their courage endured a great fight.”DSC_0430

2_Battery ParkAfter passing some of the cannons (which also make great backdrops for group photos), I found my favorite statue. It has been years since I first took a picture of the little girl fountain, but that picture stayed on my bulletin board for many years. It was sculpted in 1962 for the children of Charleston, and is just the right height for any child who needs a drink from the water fountain.DSC_0435

DSC_0436DSC_0439I always want to pick her up and twirl her around, or at least give her a hug. I don’t think it quite fair that she never gets to put her foot in the fountain, no matter how long her foot seems about to step into the water. If I was a small child again, playing in the park, I would be thrilled to have such a friendly fountain that was just my size.DSC_0440

DSC_0441DSC_0444The U.S.S. Amberjack memorial is there to honor the memory of that submarine and 51 others that went down during World War II. Looking at all the names, it is shocking to remember how many men that have fought for their country, over the years. And how many have fallen, in the process.DSC_0447

DSC_0449When I first found the Hobson Memorial, I was uncertain what it was for. We could see the sun dial and the date and time listed on it (10:26 pm, April 26, 1952), but until I walked around back, I wasn’t certain of its purpose. On that day, the U.S.S. Hobson collided with the U.S.S. Wasp during a wartime training exercise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. According to the statue, it sank in 4 minutes, taking all 176 men with it.DSC_0450

DSC_0451DSC_0452Continuing to walk around the granite monument, I had already noticed the names of U.S. states and the occasional Canadian province on the stones. But some of them kept repeating, and I lost count of how many had Ohio written on them. DSC_0453

DSC_0454DSC_0455We decided that there was probably a stone for every sailor lost, no matter how many times any state was repeated (and I now know that’s correct). One hundred and seventy-six stones, one for every man lost.DSC_0456

DSC_0457DSC_0459We began to walk back across the park, and I stopped to admire the stately rows of live oaks. As twisty-and-turny as they are, you can tell they were originally set out in rows. Eventually, we came to what I would have called a large gazebo, but apparently it was originally a bandstand for weekly concerts. Nowadays, it’s no longer used for concerts (the city thinks it would be too noisy), but for the occasional wedding.DSC_0462

DSC_0464DSC_0465As we left the park, I stopped to look at a memorial placed there by the Daughters of the Confederacy, in honor of the men who gave their lives in the C.S.S. Hunley, which went down in Charleston Harbor after it sank the Housatonic.DSC_0466

DSC_0468DSC_0469I suppose you won’t be surprised at my continued enjoyment of the azaleas of Charleston. I suppose they had to have a few flowers in the White Point Gardens.  : )  And since they aren’t yet blooming in Clemson, I enjoyed them for my brief time downstate.DSC_0470DSC_0473

2 thoughts on “a charleston reconnaissance… white point gardens

  1. You can definitely see your skills within the work you write.

    The world hopes for more passionate writers
    such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.

    Always go after your heart.

  2. I suppose you can call it what you want to. Other people say “Battery Park,” although the city doesn’t recognize the name, and as for “White Point Garden,” you should look more closely. There is at least one sign in the park (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hunky_punk/7030334855), and then there’s the Charleston Parks Conservancy website: http://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/our_parks/view_park/white_point_garden/, not to mention numerous references on the city’s website: http://www.charleston-sc.gov. That’s the official word, and thanks for a nice article.

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