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What are these things?

Philadelphia...
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What are these things?

For all you locals, I need some help identifying something I took a picture of as I was walking around Charleston. I can't figure out how to put the pic in this post so I'll try to explain it as best I can.

We were on the street made of the ballasts (sp?) and we saw a cool looking gate. Above the gate there was a "rod" going across from the gate to the house. There were these "spikes" sticking out from both sides of the rod. They were so cool, but I have no idea what they are and I am very curious about them.

I can post the picture if someone can tell me how to do that (if that would help). Sorry for the lame description :) Thanks!

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: What are these things?

I made the picture my profile pic =D

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: What are these things?

The street was a real cobblestone street. The ships came over with the stones in the ballast (hold) of the ships to balance them. They were offloaded and the ships were loaded with Carolina Gold Rice which was shipped all over the world from Charleston rice plantations. The gate was wrought iron. The spikes were used for security on many of the gates and fences. Some of them look decorative while others look rather "impressive"!

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: What are these things?

Thanks!! I figured it was an old "security" thing, but I wasn't sure. Sort of reminded me of an old torture technique...I wouldn't want to get caught in them, that's for sure!!! I took pictures of the bottom of the gate as well, but it wasn't nearly as impressive as the spikes!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: What are these things?

on a walking tour we took, we saw them on a few wrought iron fences. our tour guide told us during civil war, they were security, an extra precaution some homeowners took in fear of slaves that were feared to rebel from outside their home.. he mentioned that and didnt mention the rice/docks thing. we just enjoyed our visit to charleston, and everyone was so friendly. its a perfect place to go for anniversay or special occassion. just charming...........

Charleston, South...
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5. Re: What are these things?

Cincy - The large rocks that the street was made with were what was carried in the ships that came here. They off-loaded the rocks which Charlestonians used to pave the streets. The ships were loaded with the rice that was exported.

The wrought iron spikes were used as home/office security before the Civil War. There were some slave uprisings as well as pirates and criminals that the wealthy were trying to keep out. Some were more impressive just like some people now days have more elaborate security systems etc.

Bay City, Michigan
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6. Re: What are these things?

Very interesting info. We noticed a few of these things walking around. Assumed they were old security items, also, but you never know until you ask! Thanks for the history lessons. I loved the cobblestone street (s), but whoa, watch that car you are driving. We also saw a woman trying to negotiate walking down the street-in heels-of course-why she didn't use the sidewalk is beyond me. LOL

7. Re: What are these things?

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