"P" is for Port Royal

Feb 22, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"P" is for Port Royal (Beaufort County; population 3,950). In 1869 Stephen Caldwell Miller began construction of the Port Royal Railroad between Augusta, Georgia, and Battery Point on the southern end of Port Royal Island. The town, railroad, and harbor facilities followed and Port Royal was incorporated in 1874. The town soon surpassed Beaufort in both shipping and commercial activities. Nearby phosphate deposits brought a boom and regular railroad connections with inland cities. Passenger ship service was established to New York, Liverpool, and Bremen. The decline of the phosphate industry and the loss of a naval shipyard in the 1890s dealt a serious blow to the town’s economy. However, the Marine training facility at Parris Island and the growth of fishing and shrimping spurred an economic revival of Port Royal after World War I.