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“H” is for Hampton

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“H” is for Hampton (Hampton County; 2020 population 2,477). The town of Hampton came into being with the formation of Hampton County in 1878 and is located near the center of the county. On October 12, 1878, Governor Wade Hampton laid the cornerstone for the courthouse. A newspaper, the Hampton County Guardian was founded in 1879. By the early 1920s the town featured a broad, tree-lined main street (Lee Avenue), spanning the three blocks from the courthouse to the Charleston & Western Carolina railroad depot. Agriculture dominated the area’s economy for decades. Westinghouse opened the Plywoods-Plastics plant in 1955—the town’s first modern industry. International Paper Company bought the facility in 1995 and it is still in operation. In 1939 the town of Hampton hosted the first Hampton County Watermelon Festival—the oldest continuous festival in South Carolina.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson 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.