South Carolina Lowcountry History - A Place to Put Down Roots
What and where is the Lowcountry? In terms of geography, it is the southern corner of South Carolina predominately composed for four counties: Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. In terms of living it is the breath-taking coastline, sea islands, marshes, swamps and countryside. It is an area rich in history and southern hospitality.
Not one but two signers of the Declaration of Independence have ties to the Lowcountry. Thomas Heyward Jr. owned a rice plantation in Jasper County and Edward Rutledge not only fought in the Battle of Port Royal (also known as the Battle of Beaufort) during the Revolutionary War he was later elected Governor of South Carolina in 1789.
Port Royal in Beaufort County, one of the earliest colonies in the area was established by French explorer Jean Ribaut in 1562. In the 1780s Beaufort quickly became the wealthiest and most cultured town of its size in America due to the sea island cotton industry.
Colleton County was one of three original counties established in South Carolina in 1682 and was a major cattle-raising region from 1685 to 1715. Following the Revolutionary War the economy was built on sea island cotton and rice giving rise to many rice plantations. Sadly, many of these were destroyed during the Civil War due to General Sherman’s March to the Sea.
Hampton County is tucked up in the northwestern portion of the Lowcountry. A predominantly agricultural area, Hampton County is popular with outdoor sportsmen. The area is known for having the oldest festival in the state: The Watermelon Festival. The festival began in 1939 and continues to be held every year in June.
Jasper County was home to the Yemassee and Coosaw Indians until the early 18th Century. Rice plantations were widespread in the County, some of which now form the Savannah national Wildlife Refuge. The County wasn’t formally established until 1912 when it was formed from parts of Beaufort and Hampton Counties.
Nestled under the stately, moss-draped live oaks the Lowcountry has a long history charming visitors into settling in and putting down roots. Come see for yourself, explore the Lowcountry and Hilton Head Lakes with a Discovery Visit. Call today: 866.396.3230