Mary Helen Dantzler and Therese Smythe are 7th generation native Charlestonians whose family first arrived in the Lowcountry in 1793. They grew up in the historic downtown South of Broad area and know all the ins and outs of Charleston’s past, its turbulent history and its cultural preservation, but with an insider’s perspective. Both Mary Helen and Therese are happily retired attorneys who enjoy sharing their love of Charleston with visitors.
Giving tours is truly a joy for me. I meet so many lovely people from around the world and have a chance to share Charleston’s beauty and glorious history with them. Charleston is a very different city now than it was when I was a child in the 1960s. We lived in a much simpler place and time before our city was “discovered” and the insurance money poured in after Hurricane Hugo. The homes were elegant, but a bit shabby – there wasn’t even any air conditioning! Somehow it didn’t matter. We all knew our neighbors, and there was an unspoken code of civility among us. There was a sense of grace and charm all through the city, and that is what I wish to convey to my guests. Of course Charleston’s history speaks for itself, but it’s much more interesting from a native’s perspective and local flavor. Please join me on my tour.
I love giving tours of Charleston and sharing stories of the city of my youth. Charleston is such a welcoming city, full of beautiful architecture and bountiful history. It was an amazing place to grow up and later to raise children. My husband's family lived up the street from mine and recently celebrated 140 years living in the same house. We had a wonderful childhood in a lovely, somewhat simpler city. We climbed trees and cannons and walked on walls until we ran out of brick. A friend once described the downtown area as a red ant's nest of children. We still live just steps from the homes of our youth and have friends and neighbors whose family ties span several generations. I feel blessed to live amidst so much history and such beauty and invite you to come see Charleston with me.
Our mother Julie Ann Trouche was the consummate Charleston lady. Her kindness, charm and generosity were legendary. She was a teacher, a tour guide, a spiritual mentor, and most of all a loving mother. Her smile touched everyone. She was known for her brilliant wit, her hot biscuits delivered on early morning walks, her kind notes, and the ease with which she and our father entertained hundreds of friends, old and new, and welcomed them into their home. Our house was always filled with the joy and noise of the seven Trouche children and our many friends.
We hope to share that same lively spirit and love of Charleston with you.