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Charleston Joggling Board History

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Instagram of the week: Charleston Joggling Board History

When wandering around Charleston’s #beautiful residential #neighborhoods, it won’t take long to spot a #jogglingboard. A “what?” you ask?  Usually constructed from longleaf pine, a joggling board is made of two wooden stands with a long  plank of wood in between.  The long board is traditionally 16’ – 22’ long and 13” wide. The exact origin of the joggling board is unknown, but one tale goes that a local woman in the early 1800s who was suffering from rheumatism received plans  to build one from a relative in Scotland. It was thought that bouncing on the board might help her symptoms. To use the board, which is now considered part toy and part decorative, two people sit on either end and bounce, eventually ending up right next to each other. This is why in the #Victorian era joggling boards were sometimes called “courting boards.” They are usually painted an almost black shade of green, often called “Charleston #green.” They first grew in popularity in #Charleston from 1800 – 1850. When timber became difficult to come by during World War II their relevance diminished. Local Charlestonian, Thomas Thornhill began building the #furniture pieces for friends in the 1960s and their use has been on the rise ever since.  This joggling board is on the #piazza of  the privately owned William Pinckney Shingler House. (Some of this information was found in the October 2013 issue of Charleston Magazine.) #travelbelles

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Margo Millure lives in Richmond, Virginia. She is a portrait photographer, writer and founder of Travel Belles. Learn more about her at

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