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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Caesars Head State Park. Located in Greenville County near to the border with North Carolina, Caesars Head State Park was established in 1979. In 1996 the park became part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which was also includes Jones Gap State Park and Wildcat Wayside. Formed more than 409 million years ago, Caesars Head rises 3,266 feet above sea level on the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. It is a granite gneiss formation protruding from the valley as a prominent monadnock.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Babcock, James Woods (1856-1922). Psychiatrist, mental hospital superintendent. A native of Chester, Babcock was educated at Harvard and studied mental diseases in Europe. In 1891 he became superintendent of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum in Columbia. He arrived eager to modernize and improve the institution, but insufficient state funding was a perennial problem. Part of the problem was Babcock’s personality. He did, however, get the legislature to change the institution’s name to South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane.

"U" is for Union

Feb 6, 2020
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"U" is for Union (Union County; 2010 population 8,351). Although European settlers arrived in the 1750s, it was not until the General Assembly created Union County in 1785 that the town began to take shape. The little settlement around the courthouse—initially referred to as Unionville--was incorporated in 1837 as Union. A Robert Mills-designed courthouse and jail were built in 1823. In the 1890s, Union began the transition from farming town to industrial city. The first textile mill was built in 1893. Others followed over the next decade and the town’s population tripled.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for St. Andrew’s Parish. On November 30, 1706, St. Andrew’s Day, the Commons House of Assembly passed an act establishing the Church of England in South Carolina. St. Andrew’s Parish was one of the ten parishes created by the act. The parish included the mainland region south and west of Charleston along the Ashley River and James Island. The parish church was completed in 1706 and still accommodated worshipers in the twenty-first century. In 1717 the parish was divided with the upper portion becoming St. George’s Dorchester Parish. The rice plantations along the Ashley River in St.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), a powerful networking, information, and lobbying group for the state’s manufacturing industries began as an organization for cotton mill owners in 1902. The association hired its first lobbyist in the late 1920s and became a visible and powerful voice for the textile industry. After World War II--under the leadership of John K. Cauthen-- the organization guided state leaders in helping to transform South Carolina’s agricultural economy into a more diversified, industrial one.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Lunatic Asylum/State Hospital. The South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, located in Columbia, opened in 1828. It is the third-oldest state mental institution in the United States. The original building, named after its architect, Robert Mills, is the nation’s oldest surviving state mental hospital structure and a National Historical Landmark. In 1896 the asylum was renamed the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane caring for large numbers of patients deemed chronic and incurable. In 1913 the state built a separate facility for black patients outside Columbia.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The origins of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) date back to 1947. Governor Strom Thurmond issued an executive order creating the organization with statewide authority. Thurmond’s actions came at the behest of sheriffs and police chiefs seeking a centralized agency fashioned after the FBI, whereby manpower, technical assistance, and expertise could be utilized. From its fledgling beginnings of fifteen employees, the agency has grown to more than 500 sworn and civilian employees.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Land Commission. The General Assembly established the South Carolina Land Commission in 1869. The commission’s goal was to purchase land for sale that would be sold to landless black Carolinians on favorable terms. The state thus embarked on a unique experiment, using its authority to assist freedmen in acquiring land. Perhaps as many as 1,400 African American families had been settled on commission lands by 1890. Most were unable to purchase their plots, but at least 960 received title to 45,000 acres. Whites acquired he remainder of the 73,000 acres.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Jockey Club. In 1758 a group of lowcountry gentlemen founded the South Carolina Jockey Club. By the early 1770s Race week became the most important time of the year for many South Carolinians. During the Revolutionary War, the club suspended activities. Although the club disbanded in 1788 and 1791, it was reestablished. At the turn of the nineteenth century, South Carolina Jockey Club ushered in what would be called the “golden age of racing.” The club’s annual races—usually held in January and February—served as the high point of the Charleston social season.

"W" is for Waring, Julius Waties (1880-1968). Jurist. A native Charlestonian, Waring read law with a family friend and from 1914 to 1919 was assistant U.S. Attorney for South Carolina's eastern district. In 1942 he was appointed a federal district judge and within two years had angered the state's white establishment by handing down a series of decisions that began the dismantling of Jim Crow in South Carolina. He and his second wife began to entertain African Americans in their home and both spoke to racially mixed groups and audiences.

"U" is for Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. The Reverend Troy Perry, a former Pentecostal clergyman, founded this Protestant denomination in Los Angeles, California in 1968. From the first Perry sought to create a church that would welcome those who felt excluded from most Christian churches. Affirming the historic creeds of Protestant Christianity, the church maintains a strong commitment to social action, particularly in the areas of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, and health.

"H" is for Hampton, Harry [1897-1980]. Writer. Conservationist. In the 1930s Hampton began writing a column called "Woods and Waters" for The State newspaper. The column was essentially a crusade for the conservation and wise use of the state's natural resources. He reached a wide audience through his column and numerous public speaking engagements. Hampton published several books, including the autobiographical Woods and Waters and Some Asides.

"G" is for gardens and gardening. Both home and commercial gardening were essential to the survival of colonial settlements in South Carolina. Most colonial home gardening included food crops that could be pickled or stored dry and "Sallet greens" such as mustard and turnip. In the eighteenth century, wealth allowed South Carolinians to create ornamental gardens. Charleston was among the first American ports of entry for such Asian plants as camellias and crape myrtle.

"F" is for Figg, Robert McCormick, Jr. [1901-1991]. Lawyer. Public Servant. Legal Educator. Figg grew up in Charleston and attended Columbia University Law School. In 1934, he was elected solicitor of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. He drafted legislation creating the State Ports Authority and, for thirty years, served as the agency's legal counsel. He served as an advisor to Governors Strom Thurmond and James F. Byrnes. Figg framed the state's legal defense of "separate but equal schools" in the case of Briggs v. Elliott.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"O" is for Ocean Forest Hotel. Myrtle Beach’s magnificent Ocean Forest Hotel opened formally in February 1930. The hotel stood twenty-nine feet above sea level, with a ten-story wedding-cake tower flanked by two five-story wings. With its gardens, pools, and stables the property encompassed thirteen acres, the Ocean Forest was renowned as one of the world’s more exclusive hotels. Tuxedos and evening gowns were required for evening meals in the dining room. By the 1950s, though, times and lifestyles had changed.

Pages