United Order of Tents

73 Cannon St, Charleston, SC 29403

73 Cannon Street in 1941, courtesy of the Preservation Society of Charleston

The United Order of Tents is a national, secret society comprised of and operated solely by Black women for the purpose of engaging in fellowship, mutual aid, and philanthropy. The only organization of its kind in the nation, a local chapter of Order was established in Charleston in 1913 and soon became the largest in the state. In the 1950s, the Charleston Tents purchased the c. 1856 single house at 73 Cannon Street, where they held regular meetings and provided space for other community organizations, including a daycare and YMCA. The Charleston Tents also supported college scholarships for local Black women and care for African American children at the Jenkins Orphanage. Still owned by the Order, 73 Cannon is currently unoccupied and awaiting funding to restore the property to active use.

More information on the United Order of Tents Building coming soon.