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"S" is for Summerville

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Summerville (Dorchester County; 2010 population 42,210). Summerville was established as a summer refuge for plantation owners of St. George’s Dorchester and St. Paul’s parishes. Prior to 1831 Summerville had few year-round residents, but the population swelled in the summers as lowcountry planters sought the breezes and pine forests that were deemed healthier than their swampland rice plantations. With the coming of the railroad in 1831 the permanent town was established—and, in 1847 incorporated. One of the new town’s first ordinances restricted the cutting of trees in the town limits. After the railroad was built, some antebellum residents commuted to Charleston for work. This early commuter traffic was a precursor to the bedroom-community character of Summerville in the twentieth century. Today, Summerville is a key element in the Charleston-North Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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.