joggling boards

One of Chareston's charming eccentricities is the "joggling board" a 6-8 foot section of  wide yellow pine board that is pegged on eitgher end to wooden rockers. The lengthy contraption is said to have originated in the city back in the early 1800's, when an elderly invalid named  Mrs. Huger was told that she could restore some of her health with regular mobility and exercise. Someone supposedly came up with the idea of a bouncing, rocking device that would provide the stimulus necessary. Whether Mrs. Huger ever took to the board is not known, but generations of other Charlestonians have ever since.

The joggling board is commonly found in yards and along piazzas, where it is ostensibly a conversation piece and children's plaything, but all any adult needs to do is put backside on board, and they'll be hooked – especailly with a glass of wine in hand. It's a pleasantly relaxing ride on a wodden perch that will not break, as the pliable yellow pine has been known to bounce with five or six adults riding.

 Another old story about the joggling board is that it was favored by courting adults during prudish eras of yesteryear, when young gentlemen and ladies were not supposed to touch or hold hands during the intial stages of getting to know each other. the joggling board, which bends and sags in the middle, naturally pushes people from each side into the center, where they will end up touching, like it or not.

Strangers Fever

Several historic graveyards in Charleston feature areas and stones marked by the term "strangers", referrring to visitors from other areas of the world who flocked to the city in colonial and anteellum era for business and pleasure. Charleston was the fourth largest city in America in 1800, and richest per capita, so business people came from as far as London, Liverpoo, Boston and New York. Riches also brought such pleasantries as thoroughbred horse-racing and international stars for local Charleston theater, which further attracted people from other parts of the world. Typically, they were not accustomed to Charleston's sub-tropical climate, which in the 18th and 19th century could be lethal with yellow fever. Charlestonians usually developed an immunity to this disease if they lived past age 13 or 14, but for many strangers, a visit sometimes was the end of the road, and so many died that yellow fever was nicknamed stranger's fever.