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“M” is for Manchester State Forest

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“M” is for Manchester State Forest. Located in Sumter County, this 26,000 acre property was acquired in the 1930s by the Federal Resettlement Administration as part of its program to relocate families from worn-out farms to more productive lands. From 1935 to 1939 the site was operated as the Poinsett Project. The South Carolina Forestry Commission assumed operation in 1939, changing the name to Poinsett State Forest. The name was finally changed to Manchester State Forest in 1949. During the early years the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration were active partners in trying to develop the property. About seventy-five percent of the land was considered too poor to produce any kind of crop except trees. Manchester State Forest contains several historic sites, including Bellfield, the home of Governor Richard I. Manning.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.