"C" is for Cooper River. The Cooper River and its tributaries drain much of the central portion of the lowcountry. The river flows out of Lake Moultrie, which is in turn fed by Lake Marion. The river combines with the Ashley to form Charleston harbor. English colonists named both rivers in honor of one of the Lords Proprietors, Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper. Prior to 1865 the Cooper boasted some of the finest rice plantations in the state. There has been no bigger single developer on the river that the U.S. Navy. At its peak during the cold war, the base, naval shipyard, and submarine station constituted one of the nation’s largest naval facilities. In the twenty-first century, the Cooper River area has continued to be an industrial and shipping hub for the Charleston area.