I am fortunate to call Charleston my home. For the past thirty years, I have been leading tours through the city’s now famous historic district. After studying art in Philadelphia during my college years, I returned home and began teaching at the Gibbes Art Museum School in downtown Charleston. I developed an outdoor class called “Charleston is for Children” incorporating history and architecture with drawing and painting instruction; this led me to become licensed as an official city guide.
In the mid 1980s, I began working part-time as a freelance guide for several local companies, conducting a variety of adult and school group tours. My full-time work history includes school teaching, historian/guide of City Hall’s Council Chamber, curator/educator at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, and shop manager for the Historic Charleston Foundation. I have continued to paint, drawing much inspiration from the beauty of Charleston and the nearby sea islands – (see website to view artwork).
In the spring of 2013, I was asked by the City of Charleston to create a church tour for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival held each year in May/June. Charleston has magnificent churches, wrought ironwork and stained glass – (see tour description). “Churches of the Holy City” was a big success, selling out for all 14 offerings. The great interest and positive feedback from those who took the tour led me to consider starting my own company, to continue offering this unique tour – a one of its kind in Charleston.
Also, in the spring of 2013, I put together a walking tour in the western part of the peninsula. “West Side Story” gives a different view of the city, and is the only walking tour in this section of town. At the end of the tour, guests are invited to my home on Broad Street for light refreshments – (see tour description). The enthusiastic response from recent participants added encouragement to go ahead and launch a business featuring my two new tours.
In 2014, I partnered with Lee Ann Bain, fellow tour guide, and together we created a walking tour based on the Grimké sisters from Charleston. The Preservation Society of Charleston asked us to develop this tour because of the popularity of Sue Monk Kidd’s recent novel, The Invention of Wings, based on the life of Sarah Grimké. The Grimké story is a fascinating family saga full of inspiring characters, a story just beginning to be told in Charleston. For more information, check out our new website – grimkesisterstour.com.
Broad Street Biz offers the three tours mentioned above as well as the following tours are available on demand: “Lady Lore”, “Charleston Renaissance”, “Ghostly Stroll”, “General History and Architecture”, “Civil War/Slavery” and “Pirate”. All tours are conducted by yours truly, and it would be my pleasure to guide you through charming, mysterious, and fascinating Charleston.