Now that Pelican’s Nest is open, you may see a strange-looking bench at the entrance. What you are seeing is a classic piece of Charleston history known as a joggling board.
The origin of the joggling board dates back to the early 1800s in the Lowcountry. Legend has it that the design was brought over from Scotland in order to provide mild exercise for a woman living near Stateburg, SC, who could no longer take her regular carriage rides. Its name derives from a term which meant to “shake slightly.” Having a joggling board on your front porch was a friendly invitation to come and visit. It is said that if you had one, you would never have an unwed daughter so it is also known in some circles as a “courting bench.” Joggling boards are still manufactured in South Carolina by the Old Charleston Joggling Board Company.
So if you get a chance to visit Pelican’s Nest, take the time to sit a spell and maybe make a new friend.
-Rich Siegel, Tidelines Writer