Charleston County and the city of Charleston, its county seat, are the most historic locations in the state. English settlers arrived in the colony of Carolina in 1670 and established a town at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River. The settlement, named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, was subsequently moved a few miles away to a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Charles Town (renamed Charleston in 1783) was the political, social, and economic center of South Carolina throughout the colonial and ante-bellum periods, and it served as the state capital until 1790.
Washington Square and Meeting Street visitors are encouraged to take a minute's stroll over to Elizabeth Street to admire the Governor William Aiken House, also known as the Aiken-Rhett House. The sprawling home is a treasure in Charleston, and holds a lot of distinction in an already diverse town that is positively steeped in history.