If history was earmarked with dollars then we’d all be rich in South Carolina. It’s difficult to find a city, a town or even a non-incorporated community in this state that doesn’t have a long history. But that’s a good thing.
Sometimes, though, the bigger cities and towns get all the attention when it comes to seeking out and visiting historical places. So, let’s take an armchair tour of some of the smaller areas in the state that are rich with history.
1. Boykin, SC
Founded in 1750, the community of Boykin, South Carolina soon became a mill town after a grist mill was built and powered using water from the local pond. The more than 200-year-old mill is still in operation today. Boykin is located approximately 10 miles south of Camden, South Carolina and was the birthplace of the state dog, the Boykin Spaniel (Canis lupus familiaris) first bred here by - you guessed it - a Boykin family member. The 2010 U.S. Census marked the Boykin community population as 100 people.
2. Edgefield, SC
The Town of Edgefield may be one of the state's best kept secrets among historic places. The town's
is a massive treasure trove of history about Edgefield. It also showcases the character of Edgefield's downtown shopping district, countless historic sites, local eateries, and a thriving community of artists.
In 1973 Beaufort's downtown district was designated a National Historic Landmark. But that's not the only place in Beaufort with a rich history. Beaufort has numerous places outside the district that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Founded in 1711 by the British, Beaufort started to thrive as a tourist destination in the second half of the 1900s.
4. Pendleton, SC
Before the British claimed the land that is now Pendleton, it was part of the Cherokee nation. Today, this historic little community of roughly 3,000 people is on the National Register of Historic Places. That is to say, the entire historic district is listed.
5. McClellanville, SC
The small shrimping/fishing town of McClellanville, South Carolina (2010 Census population: 499) is a testament to the strong resolve of folks in the Palmetto State. Folks began settling here in the the 1860s and the town incorporated in 1926.
It's been 25+ years since McClellanville bore the brunt of the damage from Hurricane Hugo, a Category 4 storm that nearly drowned the entire town as they waited out the storm in a shelter there. The water literally rose to the ceiling as the residents accessed and climbed into the crawl space above the ceiling.
Today, the town is thriving and the historic buildings that were saved line the streets of the historic district.
6. Conway, SC
Conway is one of the oldest towns in the state. The area was first settled in 1732. According to Wikipedia, the area now known as Conway has been named at least four times: Kings Town, Kingston, Conwayborough, and finally, Conway. Many buildings in downtown Conway are on the National Register of Historic Places.
7. Little Mountain, SC
The Town of Little Mountain, South Carolina has a population of less than 300, and has been active since the 1800's when it sprang up as a railway stop. The Little Mountain Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
The mountain here is a geographical anomaly known as a monadnock - an isolated mountain or rock that has resisted the process of erosion and stands alone in an otherwise flat area.
8. Greer, SC
Greer was originally settled in the 1700s and officially incorporated in 1876 as the Town of Greers. A hundred years later they dropped the "s" and became known as the City of Greer. Greer Station, the city's business district, has more than 40 buildings on the National Historic Register.
9. McCormick, SC
In about 1850 gold was discovered in what is now McCormick, SC. The Dorn Gold Mine was the second highest producing mine in the state, in its day. Eventually it was sold to Cyrus McCormick who later donated the land where the mine sits to the town - and then the town named themselves after McCormick.
If you're a fan of Discovery's Gold Rush it may excite you to learn you can go to McCormick, SC and pan for your own gold in Heritage Park. For a small fee you can pan for gold and you get to keep whatever you find. Mine Tour: $3, under 5 free. The website we found says you can expect to find 4-8 pieces of gold per bucket of gold ore. Note: there is an additional fee for the bucket of gold ore.
10. Walterboro, SC
The city showcases historic homes, some dating back to 1820. Walterboro's streets are lined with beautiful historic homes. The City's charming downtown has kept many of its historic buildings and has become increasingly known as an antiquing destination in the Palmetto State.
History tells us where we’ve been and where we’re going. We love the history presented in every nook and cranny of this wonderful state. Don’t you?
Are you making plans to visit any of these historic towns in South Carolina in the coming year? Which historic town is your favorite? Would you like to add others to the list? Feel free to do so in the comments section below.