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Title 6 Chalmers Street (Old Slave Mart)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Constructed ca. 1859; rebuilt in its present form 1870s. Through the 1850s, the city passed ordinances to attempt to centralize and regulate slave sales, and various privatized sales areas sprung up along Chalmers, State, and Queen Streets. One of these, Ryan's Mart on Queen Street, transformed a 4-story brick double tenement into a private auction area and included a specialized room known as a "barracoon", as well as personal offices and sales rooms. Auctions were held in the rear yard of the house located on Chalmers Street. Z.B. Oakes, a transplanted New Englander, purchased the site in 1859 and created a shed for sales with a roof trussed to the building next door and supported by octagonal pillars. In the 1870s the structure was refitted as a tenement. In 1938 the property was established as a privately owned museum of African and American art and history by Charlestonian Miriam B. Wilson. The City of Charleston presently owns the structure and has plans for reopening it as a museum.

File contains narrative histories (including from Vernacular Architecture of Charleston and CofC student Pat Sullivan's report "A Look at the Old Slave Mart," 2008); "Summary of Historical Documentation Supporting Architectural Concept for the Old Slave Mart" by M. Brennan (1998), which includes "The Old Slave Mart Museum: Rediscovery the Past" by Edmund Drago and Ralph Melnick; newspaper articles; National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form; Old Slave Mart Museum publication entitled "Condensed History of Slavery" by Miriam Bellangee Wilson, ca. 1956; advertisement for a sale of slaves (1852); document entitled "Evaluation of the Old Slave Mart Museum" (unattributed, undated) relating to its potential as a museum; documents relating to the weatherization and stabilization of the building including contract specifications and bid conference items (1990-1991); correspondence (1999) in opposition to the redevelopment of 6 Chalmers as a museum; BAR application (2000) to restore the front facade to its 1800s appearance (no indication of approval status).

Also known as Old Slave Market, Ryan's Mart, The Mart, Slave Mart.
Subjects Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Old Slave Mart (Charleston, S.C.)
Slave traders
Search Terms Chalmers Street
Walled City
National Register of Historic Places
Physical Description 1 File Folder
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Object ID # CHALMERS.006.01