SC From A to Z

From Hilton Head to Caesars Head, and from the Lords Proprietors to Hootie and the Blowfish, historian Walter Edgar mines the riches of the South Carolina Encyclopedia to bring you South Carolina from A to Z.

"J" is for Johns Island Presbyterian Church. The Johns Island Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest Presbyterian congregations in South Carolina. Scots minister Archibald Stobo founded the congregation in 1710.The first church, of cypress siding and shingles, was erected in 1719 and remodeled in 1792. In 1822-1823, it was replaced by the present structure—a fine example of wood churches of the Federal period. It bears many similarities to contemporary Episcopal churches, including clear glass windows with semi-circular windows above.

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"I" is for Isle of Palms [Charleston County; population 4,583]. For all but the last one hundred years, the Isle of Palms was uninhabited. Its palmetto jungles abounded in game and its first name was "Hunting Island" because coastal Indians hunted there. In the early 18th century, pirates called it "Long Island." In 1898, the island began its modern transformation when a local company constructed a beachside resort with a boardwalk, amusement park, bathhouse, and dance pavilion. Renamed the Isle of Palms, the resort was connected to Charleston by ferry and an interurban railway.

"H" is for Happyville

Apr 13, 2020
South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Happyville. Happyville was a short-lived agricultural colony settled in 1905 near Montmorenci in Aiken County by Jewish immigrants from Russia. The state established an immigration bureau that published a brochure in Yiddish and German described the state as "the Garden Country of America." Jewish New Yorkers thought it would be an opportunity to help Russian Jews escape persecution.

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"S" is for St. Mark's Parish. In the 1730s lowcountry planters began moving inland and petitioned to have the inland area separated into a new entity—Prince Frederick Parish. Beginning in 1750, an influx of new settlers from Pennsylvania and Virginia moved into Prince Frederick and soon the frontiersmen outvoted the lowcountry planters. In 1757, St. Mark's, the colony’s first—and largest-- backcountry parish was created as much to protect established lowcountry interests as to promote those of the emerging backcountry.

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"R" is for Ravenel, Harriott Horry Rutledge [1832-1912]. Novelist. Biographer. Historian. A Charleston native, Harriott Horry Rutledge attended Madame Talvande's female academy. She married St. Julien Ravenel and had nine children. Though she wrote poetry, essays, and stories on a variety of subjects, her major works focused on Southern history and manners. Her most successful novel was Ashurst: or "The Days That Are Not," which fondly depicted antebellum lifestyles and landscapes.

"P" is for the Paper and pulpwood industry. The first paper mill in South Carolina was operating in Columbia by 1806. Over the next fifty years, other mills opened including the Bath Paper Mill near Edgefield. By 1893 James Lide Coker of Hartsville had organized the first company in the state to make wood pulp for paper production on a commercial scale. That mill evolved into SONOCO. By the middle of the 1930s, with the arrival of WESTVACO in Charleston County and International Paper in Georgetown, paper manufacturing assumed an important place in the state's economy.

"O" is for Operation Lost Trust. Operation Lost Trust was arguably South Carolina's largest and longest-running political scandal. The key player in the FBI's investigation into legislative corruption was Ron Cobb, a lobbyist and former member of the S.C. House of Representatives. After being arrested by the FBI on a drug charge, he cooperated with them and told legislators he represented a group seeking support for legalizing dog- and horse-track betting in the state.

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"N" is for New Ellenton [Aiken County; population 2,250]. Initially called North Ellenton prior to its incorporation, New Ellenton was an offspring of the Cold War and considered by many locals to have been "the first victim of the H-bomb." Incorporated in 1952, the town was the reincarnation of the town of Ellenton—a depot on the Port Royal Railroad.

"P" is for Pacolet

Mar 20, 2020
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"P" is for Pacolet (Spartanburg County; 2010 population 2,690). Some people believe that “Pacolet” is a Cherokee word meaning “fast-running horse,” while others hold that it comes from the last name of an early French settler. In the 1880s, textile manufacturing pioneer John H. Montgomery purchased 350 acres and opened a three-story, 10,000 spindle mill in full operation. By 1895 there were three mills with a capacity of 53,424 spindles and 1,864 looms—making it the largest textile manufacturing complex in Spartanburg County.

"O" is for Oconee bell

Mar 19, 2020
South Carolina From A to Z
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"O" is for Oconee bell. The Oconee bell (Shortia galacifolia) is a small, evergreen species related to Galax, with white flowers produced in March. It was discovered by French botanist André Michaux in 1787 in the mountains of South Carolina along the Keowee River near the present Jocassee Dam. For decades botanists unsuccessfully tried to find the plant in the wild, but it remained “lost” until the late nineteenth century when it was discovered in McDowell County, North Carolina. The plant immediately gained fame and has maintained its popularity ever since.

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"N" is for Nance, Milligan Maceo, Jr. (1925-2001). University president. After service in World War II, Nance returned to college at South Carolina State. Nance graduated in 1949 was employed by his alma mater as a clerk. Over the next two decades he steadily advanced through the administrative ranks. In 1968, during campus unrest that led to the Orangeburg Massacre, Nance was a steadying influence on campus and in the Orangeburg community. In June 1968, he was named president. During his nineteen-year tenure, the college experienced dramatic growth and progress.

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"M" is for MacDowell, Rosalie Anderson (b. 1958). Actress, model. A Gaffney native, “Andie” MacDowell attended Winthrop College for two years, but then moved to New York. Although she had only minimal modeling experience, she boldly walked into New York’s Elite Model Management and was hired. She became a successful model in New York and Paris. While continuing to represent L’Oreal cosmetics, MacDowell pursued her dream of becoming a film actress. Her first film role was as Lady Jane in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan of the Apes (1984).

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"L" is for Lafaye and Lafaye. Founded by George Eugene Lafaye, the firm of Lafaye and Lafaye was one of the state’s most respected and successful architectural practices from the 1910s until the 1970s. Lafaye moved to Columbia in 1900 as chief draftsman for W.B. Smith Whaley & Company. In 1907 Lafaye established his own company and in 1913 hired his younger brother Robert. After World War I, the firm became Lafaye and Lafaye. Over the next twenty years it designed a number of important structures: Township Auditorium, James L. Tapp Department Store, St.

"J" is for Jackson, Jesse Louis (b. 1941). Minister, civil and human rights activist. A Greenville native, Jackson was a star quarterback and student leader at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. In Greensboro he led a successful demonstration to end discrimination in downtown stores. In 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King put Jackson in charge of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago. Jackson successfully organized black Chicagoans to boycott companies and stores that had “heavy minority patronage” to secure better service and more jobs.

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"K" is for Kensington Plantation (Richland County). In the early 1850s, Greek revival remained the favorite architectural style of the state’s planter elite. However, Matthew Richard Singleton opted to transform his upcountry farmhouse into an elegant Renaissance-inspired residence that recalled country villas of northern Italy. Singleton hired Charleston architect Edward C. Jones to head the project. Kensington is a frame house on a raised basement. The domed structure is flanked by two gabled wings with arched colonnades and fronted by a porte cochere.

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