Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Old History - Old Fort Dochester, SC










Dorchester County’s history dates back to 1696, when Dorchester was settled by two distinct groups that set sail from England. The Puritans came seeking religious freedom and the Anglicans came with the crown’s blessing to seek land and wealth. The Puritans arrived in 1696 from Dorchester, Massachusetts, and were responsible for the name of the town, the fort and eventually the county.

The Anglicans had been around for some 20 years when the Puritans arrived but St. George’s, Dorchester was not built until 1719. Together, the Anglicans and the Puritans built Dorchester into the third largest town in the state and an important shipping center for rice planters sending their goods down the Ashley River to Charleston. The tabby fort built of mud, oyster shells and limestone, now known as Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, was constructed prior to the Revolutionary War and was used to defend the area. Such famous generals as Moultrie, Francis Marion and Wade Hampton held off the British from the fort.

The birth of Summerville at war’s end spelled the demise of Dorchester. All that remains is the fort, St. George’s bell tower and foundations of some houses, which are being carefully excavated.
Summerville started as Pineland Village around 1785 when plantation owners came here to escape the swamp fevers and insects. Before Dorchester County was formed in 1897, Summerville was situated in Charleston, Berkeley and Colleton Counties.

Dorchester County was very much a part of America’s first railroad. In 1830, the rails started at Charleston and ran through Summerville to Hamburg, opening the upper part of the county above Cypress Swamp.

Ridgeville got its name about that time and began to grow. St. George was originally named for the first settler, James George, who leased the land to the railroad and it became an important station on the line. Reevesville was founded in or near Indian Trail, supposedly before 1793, and several hundred members of the Edisto Indian tribe live in Indiantown today. They were officially recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior in the 1970s. The rural town of Givhans is home to a state park on the banks of the Edisto River.

With the Civil War came the end of the plantation system and thus the end of the economy and the only lifestyle known to most of Dorchester’s inhabitants. Not until after Reconstruction was there a beginning of recovery.

In 1899, a world congress of medical specialists in the field of respiratory disease gathered in Paris. The group, known as “the Tuberculosis Congress,” named Summerville one of the two best areas in the world for the cure of lung and throat disorders. The town was so named because of its situation on a dry, sandy ridge, amidst pine trees that charge the air with derivatives of turpentine. Their findings were widely publicized and a golden era began for the lower part of Dorchester County; and one inn after another sprang up as the town quickly became a favorite winter resort for Northern visitors who came to enjoy the mild climate and hunting season. The most famous, the Pine Forest Inn, sometimes served as the Winter White House for Presidents William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt.

18 comments:

Jenty said...

I really like the second photo! Very interesting.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

What beautiful pictures. I am sure learning so much!! Thank you, Sue.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you Jenty,
for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you liked the view (framing) of that picture.:-)

Susanne49 said...

Hi Michele,
me too, I'm learning so much here about my new environment. It is full with history at every corner you go.

Thanks for commenting.

K M F said...

very interesting photos

Susanne49 said...

Thanks KMF,

for taking your time and for the visit. Stay tuned, I have much more "interesting" photos to come.:-)

Rick said...

Wow..I live only 7 hours away and I never knew that about the area. Sue you have such a wide range of subjects to shoot now.

Susanne49 said...

Hi Rick,

thanks for your kind comment. I know, I'm stocked here in history..LOL..but I like it!

Bob Johnson said...

Too cool Susanne, great shots! thanks for the interesting history background, adds to the whole shot, very nice.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you so much Bob,

for visiting my blog. It's great history, isn't it?

Titania Starlight said...

That last phot reminded me when I was younger and visiting my grandparents my cousins and I would put Spanish moss in our hair to play pretend games. We sure did itch afterwards! :O)~

Susanne49 said...

Thank you Twanya,

for your little "report" about your childhood days. I liked the story and can imagine that I would have done the same, probably.:-)

evlahos said...

wonderful shots, very interesting place

Chris O'Byrne said...

I miss seeing photos of Key West, but I LOVE all of the new ones from your new home!

Susanne49 said...

Thank you so much, evlahos!

Susanne49 said...

Hi Chris,
very nice to see you here on my blog. Yep, Key West is "tempi passati" that's how the Italians call it. But I'm glad, you like my new work too.

Thanks for your comment.

Max-e said...

Very interesting historical facts here Sue and the pictures are excellent.

Your transition to Charleston seems to have gone smoothly. You have done some great posts aleady and I look forward to finding out more about the region.

Have a great week

Susanne49 said...

Hi Max-e

Thanks so much for visiting today my blog and for your kind comment.

The South here is full of very interesting history - I LOVE it!

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