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East Cooper Icons

The East Cooper area has grown from a suburb of Charleston into quite a metropolitan area in the last couple of decades. New neighborhoods have sprung up almost overnight, bringing wide new roads lined with shops and restaurants. There’s so much to do and see but when you tire of the everyday pursuits, here’s an idea. Take a little trip back in time. Visit some of the places that mean “Mount Pleasant and the Islands” to old timers and newcomers alike.

Charleston may be known as the Holy City, but there are plenty of historic churches to discover in Mount Pleasant. One of the best known is Christ Episcopal Church, which dates back to the early 1700s. Christ Church was one of 10 parishes created by the Church Act of 1706; a simple wooden building was erected for services. After the original church burned to the ground in 1725, it was replaced by the simple brick structure that still remains.

In the ensuing years, the church was burned by the British and, later, gutted by Union troops. Though it survived and was repaired, the congregation grew smaller and services ceased altogether in 1874. The church and grounds fell into disrepair, and it was not until 1923 that a restoration project began. Services began again in the mid-50s and continue to this day. The church and surrounding land is an oasis along busy Highway 17 North and well worth a stop. As you wander through the church yard, you may recognize many old Mount Pleasant family names.

Drive a little further north on Highway 17 and you’ll soon come across the “basket ladies,” whose families have been making sweetgrass baskets for generations. This art form, which has its roots in Africa, was brought to the Lowcountry by slaves. Using materials native to the region, including sweetgrass, pine needles and palmetto strips, these artisans create beautiful baskets in every shape and size. You might find these baskets a little pricey at first look, but go ahead and treat yourself. These baskets will last a lifetime, with proper care, and even increase in value. How often do you get a chanceto own a museum quality piece?

If you’d really like to take a trip to a time gone by, don’t miss Mount Pleasant’s Old Village, where old historic homes jostle with their modern neighbors. This is the kind of neighborhood where people walk or bike to the original “business area.” Though only a block long, Pitt Street is still a thriving business center, featuring an upscale restaurant/bed and breakfast along with little shops and galleries. Don’t miss the Pitt Street Pharmacy, where you can stop in for a hot dog and soda—a genuine fountain soda, for those who can remember such a thing! Pitt Street Pharmacy, Old Village Alhambra Hall Much of the Old Village area is along the waterfront, although it can be hard to get more than a glimpse here and there as you drive along narrow tree-shaded streets. A spectacular view of the harbor and the Holy City itself awaits you at Alhambra Hall. You can walk around the grounds and enjoy the breeze. It’s a popular place for events such as the annual Blessing of the Fleet and is much in demand for weddings and receptions. Take a peek inside and you’ll see why—vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors and wide porches make this former ferry terminal a southern classic.

Not far from Alhambra Hall is another great spot where you can enjoy a different side of Mount Pleasant. The old Pitt Street Bridge was replaced many years ago by the Ben Sawyer Bridge, but the remains are still there.

This area teems with all sorts of wildlife, from tiny fiddler crabs to majestic water birds. It’s a favored fishing place, as well. From the Pitt Street Bridge, you can almost see another East Cooper icon. It’s well worth the trip to Sullivan’s Island to pay a visit to Chief Osceola at Fort Moultrie (map link). The Seminole Indian chief is buried on the grounds, at the entrance to the fort. Named for Colonel William Moultrie, the fort was created with palmetto logs and sand, and it dates back to the Revolutionary War. The current structure was built in 1809 and served as home base to likes of General Sherman, of Civil War fame, and Edgar Allan Poe, who used Lowcountry settings in some of his work. There’s quite a lot history to be enjoyed here, and you’ll want to take it all in.

For a slightly different East Cooper treat, pay a visit to Page’s Thieves Market. Almost on the edge of Mount Pleasant, before you get on the causeway, Page’s has an assortment of cool and funky things that you may or may not need—but there’s so much fun just looking around. It’s been a regular place for locals to buy and sell for decades. And, if you don’t find something this time around, stop by in a week or two for a new selection and to fi nd out when Linda Page’s next auction will take place. East Cooper? There’s so much to explore!

Roper St. Francis Hospital Was Built With Mount Pleasant In Mind

Roper Hospital Physicians

Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital was built with the local community in mind. In operation since November 2010, the 85-bed hospital is located just off Highway 17 North near Wando High School.

“We are truly a community-centered hospital,” said John Sullivan, FACHE, Mount Pleasant Hospital chief executive officer and vice president of operations for Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “Our patients, visitors and neighbors were at the top of our minds during every phase of our design and construction.”

The medical facility is set on 78 acres of land, nearly half of it protected wetlands and woodland.

“The natural beauty of our hospital’s surroundings greatly enhance the healing power for our patients and all the people who care for them,” said Sullivan, who began his career in the health care field in 1971 in Kentucky and has worked in the Carolinas since the 1990s.


He is well aware of the need for two major hospitals – the other is East Cooper Medical Center – in one of the fastest growing areas of South Carolina.

“It’s important that we respond by making sure medical care and services are easily accessible and conveniently located, close to where people live and work,” he pointed out. “Competition makes everyone better, and, in the end, the patients benefit.”

The facility features a 24-hour emergency room, home-like labor and delivery suites, inpatient and outpatient surgery, an intensive care unit, medical-surgical units, comprehensive imaging services, a laboratory, a pharmacy and a helipad. There also is an on-campus building with offices for up to 45 doctors offering both primary and specialty care.

“The new Mount Pleasant Hospital will offer the same high-quality, personalized care that Roper St. Francis has long been known for in the Carolina Lowcountry,” Sullivan pointed out.

Roper Hospital, the first community hospital in the Carolinas, was founded in 1850, while St. Francis Hospital opened its doors in 1882 as St. Francis Xavier Infirmary, the state’s first Catholic hospital. In 1998, Roper and Bon Secours St. Francis hospitals merged to form the largest health care system in the Charleston area, known today as Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is the Charleston area’s largest non-government employer. Its medical staff includes nearly 800 physicians representing every medical specialty. Ranked 46th among the top 100 integrated health networks in the nation, Roper St. Francis Healthcare has earned dozens of national awards recognizing high levels of patient, physician and employee satisfaction.

Sullivan, one of more than 4,800 employees of Roper St. Francis Healthcare, realizes the mammoth task of bringing quality health care to residents of East Cooper.

“I felt this was an opportunity to get back to the front line of patient care and also an opportunity to be part of something that doesn’t happen too often – bringing a new hospital to life. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility, and we want to do it in a way that will build a great foundation for years to come,” he said.

To learn more about Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, visit Roper St Francis online.

East Cooper Daycare Directory

The East Cooper offers parents a variety of daycare and pre-school options. Please call schools for details on service packages and tuition.

Ashley Cooper County Day School
1212 Two Island Court
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
(843) 849-9333
Ages: 1 year to the 7th grade
Total number of children: 157
Student/Teacher ratio: approx. 10-1

Charlotte’s Little School House
1135 Bowman Road
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-2282
Ages: 6 weeks to 12 years
Total number of students: 70
Student/Teacher ratio: approx. 11-1

Christ Our King Preschool
1138 Russell Drive
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 881-8814
Ages: 2-3 years
Total number of children: 47
Student/Teacher ratio: approx. 6-1

Christ Our King Stella Maris School
1183 Russell Drive
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-4721
Ages: 4 years to the 8th grade
Total number of children: 720
Student/Teacher ratio: 25-2, including a teacher’s aid

First Baptist Church School of Mt. Pleasant
681 McCants Drive
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-3663
Ages: 3 years to the 11th grade
Total number of children: 350
Student/Teacher ratio: N/A

Montessori of Mount Pleasant
414 Whilden Street
(843) 884-1117

O’Quinn School
955 Houston Northcutt
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(884) 881-8506
Ages: 2-5
Total number of children: 300
Student/Teacher ratio: About 9-1, including teaching assistants

St. Andrews Episcopal Church Day School
440 Whilden Street
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 881-2437
Ages: 3-5
Total number of children: 98
Student/Teacher ratio: 13-2

Sundrops Montessori School
PO Box 782
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
(843) 886-5992
Ages: 3-6
Total number of children: 20
Student/Teacher ratio: 6-1

The Sunshine House
874 Lansing Drive
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-7839
Ages: 6 weeks to 12 years
Total number of children: 85
Student/Teacher ratio: 18-1

Woodland Hall Preschool – Kindergarten
946 Whipple Road
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-8582
Ages: 2 years to 5 years
Total number of children: 140
Student/Teacher ratio: 10-1

Zion A.M.E. Day Care
4174 N. Hwy 17
Awendaw, SC 29429
Ages: 8 months to 4 years
Total number of children: 21
Student/Teacher ration: 7-1