Downtown, Mt. Pleasant historical markers to be unveiled in separate Saturday ceremonies

Two historical markers will be unveiled Saturday in separate ceremonies.

If you go

What: Unveiling of historical marker honoring Jonathan Lucas Sr.

When: 10:30 a.m. today

Where: A section of Mount Pleasant right of way that is adjacent to 33 Vincent Drive behind Brookgreen shopping center near Shem Creek

What: Presentation of historical marker for the United Order of Tents headquarters in Charleston

When: Noon today (celebration lasts until 4 p.m.)

Where: Downtown, 73 Cannon St.

The first will be to honor Jonathan Lucas Sr., who created the first water- and tide-powered rice mills, which revolutionized the rice industry. The Lucas Mill marker unveiling will take place 10:30 a.m. in Mount Pleasant near Shem Creek.

The marker is unique in that a group of Cario Middle School students helped to research and write the marker’s inscription. Students volunteered their time outside of class to work on the project.

“This marker is important on many levels,” said Chris Haynes, commercial projects coordinator for Mount Pleasant. “Many historians say that Jonathan Lucas is to rice what Eli Whitney was to cotton. Additionally, this is a great example of the town partnering with the local community.”

The second marker will be presented to honor the Charleston headquarters of the United Order of Tents, which is a well-known national group of Christian black women dating back to 1867. The order established a Charleston district in 1913, and the marker will be presented at noon at 73 Cannon St.

The Charleston Preservation Society placed the headquarters on its Seven to Save program, which is an annual outreach effort designed to raise awareness and support for key preservation projects that are representative of broader issues in Charleston.

The Charleston United Order of Tents acquired the downtown property in 1956 and built a three-story wing for larger meetings. That addition is deteriorated, and the Preservation Society is helping provide funding and a preservation plan.

The celebration downtown will continue until 4 p.m. and will include food, an art show case and entertainment. All proceeds will go rehabilitating the site.

Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.

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