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From Charleston to Charleston – 3 Holy City namesakes from across the globe



What’s in a name? When it comes to Charleston, SC it was named after King Charles II, but when we visit some of the Holy City’s namesakes in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, it is a different story. Here we take a look at some of the other Charlestons in the world and find out their stories. If you find yourself in Australia New Zealand or Canada during your travels, be sure to pay them a visit!

Charleston, South Australia and the pub with pokies but no beer

The town of Charleston is only a 40 minute drive from downtown Adelaide but it feels a world away from modern day city life. Located near the source of the River Onkaparinga, it was laid down in the mid 1800s by Charles Dunn. The Dunn family were highly influential in the area, and Charles’ brother John ran the first steam mill in South Australia.

Today, the town has a population of about 500 people. Its focal point is the Charleston Hotel which alongside a general store, bookshop and internet café all in one, constitutes the town center. The hotel achieved national fame when it was used in a car advertisement alongside Slim Dusty’s 1957 hit A Pub with No Beer.

These days, the Charleston Hotel has all the usual Australian conveniences including cold beer, freshly cooked food and a couple of pokies where you can try your luck. These are Australian slot games, and while the choice is limited in Charleston, there are plenty more you can visit online from your phone or even from the town’s internet café. See to learn more about the types of pokies and other casino games that are available.

Charleston, New Zealand – from gold rush to tourism

Founded at the height of the South Island gold rush, New Zealand’s Charleston is pronounced with three syllables. It was originally known as “Charlie’s Town” and was named after Capt Charles Bonner who managed to safely moor his sailing ketch in the small bay now known as Constant Bay.

Apocryphal local history claims that the population was as high as 100,000 in the gold rush days, although most believe that number to be exaggerated and the true figure to be something closer to 10,000. The price of gold still fascinates us, but the limitations of the reserves near Charleston meant the population surge was brief.

Today, the population is about 500. The area around Constant Bay and Joyce Bay has some incredible limestone caves and so tourism is now the main line of business in Charleston. People also visit from across the globe to view the scattered remnants of the once frantic gold mining industry.

Charleston, Nova Scotia – a traditional mill town

You would be well out of your way if you were to visit Charleston, Nova Scotia in passing. It’s one of those places that’s not on the way to or from anywhere and even the drive from Halifax can take two hours, or more when then Canadian weather is against you!

A small ribbon development along the Medway River, Charleston is a traditional mill town. Just before World War 2, the population was 150 and almost half of the townsfolk worked in the mill. Today, the mill is just one of several intriguing ruins that hikers and urban explorers can investigate in the area.

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