Powder Magazine celebrates 300th birthday

Published: Apr. 20, 2013 at 7:40 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2015 at 8:08 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - 300 years old and counting, the Powder Magazine in downtown Charleston on Cumberland Street reached a milestone Saturday.

Alan Stello Museum Director said, "So it continues to be basically no longer used to store weapons but does help to preserve our heritage in South Carolina."

From musket gun fire, to eighteenth century clothing, attending to the celebration was like stepping into a time machine.

During the time Charleston was called Charles Town; the Powder Magazine once stored up to 5 tons of black gun powder and was used to protect the city from pirates or any invaders.

Stello said, "The walls are 3 feet thick, its solid brick. The peaks of the arches of the ceiling are very thin and the idea is that the energy of a potential explosion will exit vertically through the attic full of sand. The sand is still in the attic today. It's been there for 300 years."

The building has been around this long thanks to funding from The National Society of Colonial Dames of America. The building now takes on a different role as an educational facility.

"Did you see all the school children here? They have dressed and come in. You can ask them a question and they could answer you. It's amazing, it's a living history," said Ann Edwards a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America.

Edwards' organization has funded the museum since 1902.

A new exhibit was also unveiled and those at the ceremony say the Powder Magazine is special for more reasons than one.

"It's part of the colonial heritage of this city. Most of the colonial buildings no long exist and it's important that we keep this for preservation," Patricia Prioleau Chairman of the commemoration.

Despite having all that gun powder in store, there were never any explosions in the powder magazine.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.