Ellen Mossman

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20062007 Forum on Travel

Ellen Mossman

History, Economics

College '07

Charming Charleston: Elite Preservation of an Idealized History

Tourism boards, preservationists, and residents all play important roles in shaping tourism and travel. One particularly rich example of this is Charleston, South Carolina. This antebellum city’s ‘historic charm’ was carefully crafted in the early twentieth century by a group of elite Charlestonians who refashioned history into a happy story between races and classes. This rosy image is what continues to draw tourists to the city today. What role has this false vision created in “preservation” served in the development of tourism in Charleston and in the construction of the Southern Identity?