“S” is for St. Helena’s Parish
South Carolina from A to Z: “S” is for St. Helena’s Parish
South Carolina from A to Z: “S” is for St. Helena’s Parish. In 1712, the Common House of Assembly designated all of the land between the Combahee and Savannah Rivers (most of modern Beaufort and Jasper Counties) as the parish of St. Helena. The new parish consisted of the mainland between the two rivers and the numerous Sea Islands off Port Royal and St. Helena Sounds. British settlers anglicized the name given the area by early Spanish settlers, Santa Elena. In 1724 the parish church was built in Beaufort. By 1767, three other parishes had been carved out of St.. Helena and the parish consisted only of Port Royal, Ladys and St. Helena Islands. By the 1790s sea island cotton was the area’s cash crop. The parish system was abolished in 1865 and St. Helena’s Parish became a part of Beaufort District.