Charles Towne Landing – Charleston, South Carolina

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This wooden statue of a Native American chief by Hungarian-born artist Peter Wolf Toth is a familiar sight for long-time visitors to Charles Towne Landing State Park in the West Ashley area of Charleston. Nestled on the Ashley River, Charles Towne Landing honors the site of the first European settlement in the Carolinas, dating back to 1670. The settlement lasted only a brief time before being moved to Oyster Point in 1680, now known as White Point Garden.


E. Karl Braun, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This location was initially chosen as the settlement for European explorers after the Cassique of Kiawah, leader of the Native American tribe which inhabited this area, met with English explorers Captain Robert Sanford and Dr. Henry Woodward. The Cassique persuaded the men to make this land their new home with the promise of cooperation and trade. The statue below, created by Charleston sculptor Willard Hirsch, was unveiled in 1971 and commemorates the Kiawah chief.

Cassique Statue

Susan Buckley of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Peter Wolf Toth’s iconic wooden statue seen below and at the top of the page stands at 24 feet and is part of the Trail of Whispering Giants series, a collection of 74 wooden statues by Toth honoring Native Americans throughout the United States as well as in Canada. One such statue even stands in Hungary. The carving was placed here in 1977 and is made from a 500-year-old Darlington oak (Quercus hemisphaerica).

Janelle Dawsey, 2007 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Charles Towne Landing offers visitors many opportunities to learn about the cultural and natural history of the Charleston area. A replica of a seventeenth-century ship called Adventure invites people aboard to see how the settlers first arrived to Charles Towne. The Animal Forest is home to many of the same species that greeted settlers upon their arrival, including bears, puma, otters, and bison. Other interpretive walking trails allow for spectacular bird watching, and bicycles are available for rent at the Visitor Center.

Charles Towne Landing

Susan Buckley of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The park underwent a full renovation and reopened to the public in August 2006. One of its new highlights is beautiful Founders Hall – the only LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) venue in Charleston. Charles Towne Landing is committed to protecting its natural beauty and resources for people to enjoy now and generations from now. Inside the Visitor Center is a museum with artifacts discovered in local archaeological digs, and within the grounds are an historical garden, an African-American cemetery, and a Native American ceremonial site. Dogs on leashes are permitted in the park with the exception of the Animal Forest.

Reflections on Charles Towne Landing

Janelle Dawsey, who took an above photo, sends this description: “I visited the newly renovated Charles Towne Landing State Park and snapped this picture of an Indian Chief statue located near the entrance to the animal forest. As a kid, this statue was one of my favorite things at the park. I couldn’t help but notice how time had weathered its appearance – it has aged just as I have. I thought I could get a dramatic effect by snapping the picture from the ground at an upward angle. The sky was also beautiful that day and made the perfect backdrop for the photo.”

Susan Buckley shares of one of her photos: “It was a beautiful 73 degrees, and I had never been to Charles Towne Landing. I took almost 400 pictures. I saw this reflection in the ‘Alligator’ pond, and it was a great example of the views within the site.”

Add your own reflections here

Charles Towne Landing Info

Address: 1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston, SC 29407

Charles Towne Landing Map

Charles Towne Landing – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Charles Towne Landing, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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4 Comments about Charles Towne Landing

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 19th, 2014 at 10:13 am

Hi, Carolyn. Thank you for commenting. The link to the Charles Towne Landing website can be found above the map on this page. Hopefully, your questions can be answered there.

carolynNo Gravatar says:
March 18th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

What are the hours Charleston Landing is open? What is the yearly membership dues?

Mike StroudNo Gravatar says:
October 19th, 2013 at 11:04 am

Landing Brave, Peter Wolf Toth Statue # 23. Toth completed his goal of a statue in each of the fifty states in May 1988. Peter Wolf Toth. Statues are listed alphabetically by state.

Samantha HayesNo Gravatar says:
May 23rd, 2012 at 11:49 am

i really like it :)


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