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“A” is for Ashley River Road

“A” is for Ashley River Road. The Ashley River Road is one of the oldest roads in South Carolina. It began as a Native American trading path, paralleling the Ashley River, and later served the colonists of the original Charleston settlement. The Lords Proprietors authorized the road in 1690. Scenic sections of the eleven-mile segment from Church Creek almost to S.C. Highway 165 are still canopied by forests festooned with Spanish moss. In 1983 the road was placed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was designated a State Scenic Highway in 1998 and a National Scenic Highway in 2000. Historic sites along its route, such as Drayton Hall, Magnolia Gardens, and Middleton Place, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Increasing suburban sprawl and the pressures of traffic, however, render the future of the unique, scenic Ashley River Road uncertain.

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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.