Welcome to

Above Calhoun Tours

Presented by Charleston Cavalier Tours


The weight of history enlightens us.*

*(Hat tip Lord Acton: History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.)

Exploring through multiple voices from the past broadens our personal frames of reference, increases our capacity for understanding. We recount past lives paying homage to the unremembered…

Memory is a force, to touch the unremembered is to empower yourself. History from the ground up highlights everyday heroes and expands our personal sense of the heroic.

Our guides take a broad perspective to Charleston’s history. We focus on individual stories and their place in the wider national and global context across time. Our goal is to provide great value to your tour experience. We make history engaging, stimulating and captivating. Varied perspectives from multiple viewpoints is a guiding philosophy for our registered Charleston guides. They are enthusiastic about sharing Charleston’s history to stimulate, and perhaps challenge your understanding of our shared history.

“History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” – James Baldwin (1965).

Black, white and free person of color Charlestonians lived Above Calhoun street. Each neighborhood has its own charm, architectural treasures, and personalities. Each neighborhood has its own unique character, essence, and style. All of our tours provide a broad overview of the history of Charleston above Calhoun Street. However, each of our tours does find themselves with a particular focus. Each tour provides a little more historical insight of a specific type while still engaging you with historical context and overview. Each historic neighborhood has its own charm, architectural treasures, and local history. In many ways, each of the ‘burroughs’ is a small city unto itself, with its own charm and character. If you would be interested in experiencing all these places, please contact us about our bundled pricing for multiple tours.

Read our tour descriptions for a particular style of tour that best fits your personal historical interests.

Available Tours


“The Charleston History Tour”

Booms and panics, merchants and mechanics, southern railroads and mosquito fleets are revealed in the stories of the men and women in this diverse neighborhood. A good general history tour of the Upper Peninsula across the 19th Century. Tour starts at Kudu Coffee, 4 Vanderhorst, off King Street, near Marion Square.


“The Women’s History Tour”

This tour focuses on the white, free persons of color and black women that lived in the nearby area. It primarily covers the lives of women in the upper part of Charleston. This dynamic and diverse neighborhood provides the opportunity to change the perspective on Charleston history in many ways. Tour starts at Kudu Coffee, 4 Vanderhorst, off King Street, near Marion Square.


“The Enterprise Tour”

The area of professionals of all stripes. Mills, colleges, arsenals, and hospitals. Explore parts of Ashley and Rutledge Avenue. A look at Charleston’s enterprising spirit from trade to medicine. Active and vibrant as the Ashley River with unique insights into Charleston. This tour begins at the small park at Calhoun and Ashley Avenue. There is a stop for the 213 Carta Dash Bus here.


“The Contemplative Spiritual Tour”

The oak-covered streets make this a great afternoon tour in this quiet and serene, beautiful neighborhood. Lovely villas, grist mills, corner groceries, and Dereef Wharf. This tour concludes with a discussion of four important churches of Charleston, including the Mother Emanuel Church. Tour starts at Kudu Coffee, 4 Vanderhorst, off King Street, near Marion Square.

Hampstead Mall/Eastside

“Craftsmen, Laborers and industry Tour”

Factories and the lives of laborers lie within this area surrounded by grand houses built along the Cooper River. This is life between the tracks, merchants and mechanics, black craftsmen and German shopkeepers. This tour begins and ends at the Phillip Simmons house, with a tour of his home and a discussion of his gates and legacy.

Cost & Included Benefits

We appreciate your interest in our tours and programs. We are proud to provide a unique perspective and stories of Charleston, South Carolina. Please use code Summer18 for a 10% discount / $5 off your ticket price.

All tours $25 for a 1.5-hour walking history tour with a registered Charleston tour expert.

Price includes an admission ticket to one of three sites Charleston Museum, the Heyward Washington House or the Peter Manigault house. It is part of our commitment to provide multiple pathways to experiencing history. Common objects, family dwellings and historical artifacts provide further insight into the past. Your guide will present your ticket at the end of your tour.

History embiggens the soul

Charleston’s history is dynamic and diverse. It is black, white and includes free persons of color. They all have played important roles in her maintenance, her institutions, and her culture. Enslaved agricultural labor enabled the accumulation of vast wealth which was the foundation of her economic success. Above Calhoun street, Charleston confronted the many changes of the 19th century and the challenges of the 20th. These neighborhoods were filled with everyday heroes working through the tumultuous forces that shaped our country and ourselves. Above Calhoun Street was a working, industrial city of mills, manufacturing, foundries, and factories. Movers and shakers of all races took on entrepreneurial adventures, built factories and organized professions. This is where folks like butchers, bakers and candlestick makers made history. These folks reveal the struggles, difficulties, and tragedy of the issue of enslaved peoples of the United States. A view of how women of all races were essential to the endurance and life of Charleston. As well as, the inventive and industrious spirit of her citizens. Come join us to hear these diverse and important stories from the upper burroughs of the Holy City.

The Upper King area of Charleston is filled with dynamic and diverse historic neighborhoods. The residents of these ‘burroughs‘ challenged and inspired the Holy City. The late 18th century, merchant planters bestowed their names and laid out plots and streets in the tidal marshes above Boundary Street. They were planned as high-end suburbs by their namesake founders. It soon became the home of industry, technology, mills and factories and residential developments.  Here, black and white barged forward into the 19th century. This was the ‘new city’ of Charleston confronting the past and creating the future. Political and social forces transformed the city.  New technologies and financial panics challenged the foundations of this world. These Upper Wards provide particular rich insight into the triumphs and struggles in the late 19th century and beyond. Key individuals fought for changed labor conditions, social advancement and civil rights here. 

Choose a tour that meets your personal interests and discover a new perspective and alternative view of Charleston’s past.

A primary location for Charleston’s black population across the 20th century. It is filled with African American persons. They strove to maintain their communities and sought equality in the workplace and civic life. Municipal leaders and businessmen tried to enhance the city while struggling with the legacy of the past. Their rich and complex history is often overlooked and forgotten. It is a significant part of the city’s history and our national awareness. The shared memory of our past is powerful, challenging and empowering, especially from this most important and historic of American cities. Please select a tour and join us on a historical walking tour.



We also work to coordinate our walking tours with special programs for educational or corporate groups to enhance your experience in Charleston.

You can also email us direct on:

Special Programs

“A customized tour”

Contact one of our custom tour program representatives for a free 30-minute consultation. We will discuss our educational package designed for school groups or corporate outings. Our primary offering is a historic walking tour with a registered tour guide, admission to the Charleston Museum, and a sit-down museum program. The program will be specific to your particular historical interest or curriculum.

Choose a time below or email us at info@charlestoncavaliertours.com.

We appreciate your feedback that allows us to improve our services even better.