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"S” is for St. Stephen’s Parish

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“S” is for St. Stephen’s Parish. Established in 1754, St. Stephen’s Parish was located on the south side of the Santee River in modern Berkeley County. Huguenots were the earliest residents of flood-prone area along the lower Santee River. In succeeding decades families were forced upriver in search of higher ground. The French planters were joined by English planters from the coast who soon dominated the area. Consequently, the upper part of St. James Santee Parish became known as the “English Santee” and the lower part as the “French Santee.” The division became official in 1754 when the English Santee was organized as St. Stephen’s Parish. The present St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church was completed in 1769. With the abolition of the parish system in 1865, St. Stephen’s Parish became part of Berkeley County.

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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.