Hey guys! It’s Will here with another blog! Today we’re visiting the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon. It costs $10 per person with reduced rates for seniors and students. The Dungeon is set below the Old Exchange where they traded everything from cotton to slaves. Auctions were rarely held in the dungeon (basement) however, but held just outside the Exchange. This might have been helpful so that once you bought something you could go pay your taxes on it. Two birds with one stone.
On the main floor you enter on, there is a lot of information and it is easy to get overwhelmed. In the back is the history of some South Carolina’s cash crops and some plaques on special people who brought or invented them in the State. In the room to the left of the entrance there are some cool pieces they have received such as a case of old weapons such as flintlocks and muskets. They also have an old desk that was used by plantation owners back in the day. To the right of the door is a historic room where they made it look like it would have. It also serves as the meeting spot where the Daughter’s of American Revolution, I think that is the right name, meet. On the top floor are some more plaques that are made to tell you about the life of an enslaved person and of a women’s role and life in pre-Civil War period. George Washington also visited Charleston, so there is information about his visit here too.
Now let’s get to the part you all want to actually read about…Provost Dungeon! The dungeon itself needs a tour guide as they have rigged the rooms with only mannequins so if you don’t go with one of the offered tours you will have no idea what you are doing. During the Revolutionary War is where we will focus in for now. Charleston had it’s own Tea Party and stored the tea in the Old Exchange. They later sold it to pay for weapons to fight the British. Eventually, the British captured Charleston and they needed somewhere to keep their prisoners. The actual prison was full and so they made due with what they had…The Old Exchange. They turned the basement into a jail and used the top parts as living quarters. When the city knew the British would win, they hid their gunpowder behind a fake wall in the Old Exchange. The British never found it! I thought the museum did a good job explaining everything and the history of the Exchange and if you want to learn a lot of new things be sure to make a visit The Old Exchange.
- TICKETS: $10/adults, $5/child (ages 7-12), discount available for military, teachers, students, seniors. COVID Restrictions: masks required
- HOURS: Daily 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day), Tours are every 1/2 hour from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- PARKING: Pay parking on street or nearby lots
- BATHROOM: Yes
- TIME RECOMMENDED: 1-3 hours
- *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.