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"G" is for Georgetown County

South Carolina from A to Z logo

"G" is for Georgetown County [815 square miles; population 55,797]. Named in honor of King George III, Georgetown County lies in the fertile plain surrounding Winyah Bay. Its early wealth lay in the maze of rivers and creeks that traversed the county that produced timber, naval stores, and rice. With the tidal cultivation of rice came thousands of slaves. By 1860, slaves accounted for 85 percent of the county's population. After Reconstruction, the county's white and black population shared political offices and power under what was called a fusion plan until 1900. The growth of the lumber and pulpwood industries converted thousands of agricultural acres to pine forests. And, wealthy northerners purchased more than one-half of the county's rice plantations for hunting preserves and vacation retreats. In the 20th century timber and paper mills helped diversify Georgetown County’s economy.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson 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.