Long before Charleston had an imposing concrete span across the Cooper River, another big piece of concrete shuttled people and goods between the city and East Cooper.
And it survives to this day, stranded in shallow water near the base of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
It's been there for 80 years and could last another 80.
The now-abandoned vessel was named to honor Major Archibald Butt, an Augusta, Ga., native who served as a top military aide to two U.S. presidents. In fact, President Howard Taft ordered Butt to get some rest in 1912, so he vacationed in Europe and booked passage back to the United States aboard the Titanic.
The Archibald Butt is perhaps more visible than ever since the opening of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which has a pedestrian lane that offers a good view of the abandoned vessel. Some have joked that it is "the oldest boat at Patriots Point." It's true, and its unique concrete construction has enabled it to last more than 80 years.