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Title Bedon's Alley (General)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Developed 1704-88. By the 1730s this small street, then called Middle Lane, contained a mix of mercantile stores and ship chandleries, but its development was stymied by heavy damage in the fires of 1740 and 1778. After the latter fire wealthy contractor Humphrey Sommers built the 3-story stucco building at 2 Bedon's Alley as a tenement with shops on the first floor and a residence above. Merchant James Cunnington's narrow structure of a decade earlier at 5 Bedon's Alley had similar usage with a countinghouse on the first floor and elegant residence above. The 3-story south wing was added in 1794. Tradition holds that America's oldest musical organization, the St. Cecilia Society, was founded in this building. Most of the small brick houses on the east side of the street were built as outbuildings for the large establishments in Rainbow Row. 8 and 10 Bedon's Alley, for example, provided service functions for Scottish merchant Adam Tunno's large office and residence at 89 East Bay Street. These structures were rescued in the 1920s and 1930s by Susan Pringle Frost and renovated as modern dwellings with detailing and landscape treatments in the Colonial Revival style. (Poston, Buildings of Charleston.)

From Charleston's Streets website, origin of name: Bedon's Alley was in existence by 1704, when it appeared, unnamed, on the Crisp Map. The "Ichnography" of 1739 identifies it as Middle Lane. Deeds as early as 1733, however, refer to it as Beadon's or Bedon's Street or Alley. It was named for George Beadon (Bedon), a merchant who owned land in the little street. The fires of 1740 and 1778 swept through the alley, presumably destroying all structures.

File contains newspaper article (DYKYC) dated 12/13/1948.
Subjects Streets--South Carolina--Charleston
Alleys--South Carolina--Charleston
Search Terms Bedon's Alley
Walled City
Physical Description 1 File Folder
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Object ID # BEDONS.GEN.001