Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville

4.4
#1 of 7 in Things to do in Summerville
Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site sits along the Ashley River, near the town of Summerville in Dorchester County, South Carolina. In 1969, the site was donated to the South Carolina State Park Service and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 1969. Currently the site of a 325-acre park, Old Dorchester State Park offers visitors a glimpse into South Carolina's Colonial past. The park boasts one of the most well-preserved oyster-shell tabby forts in the country, St. George's Bell Tower, log shipping wharves, burial sites and cemeteries, as well as on-going archaeological digs that are still unearthing the settlement's history.HistoryThe historic site is situated on the Ashley River where the town of Dorchester once stood. The site of the town of Dorchester is on a neck of land between the Ashley River and a creek, originally known as Boshoe Creek.FoundingIn 1675, John and Mary Smith came to Carolina from England. On November 20, 1676 the Earl of Shaftsbury granted 1,800 acres of land to John Smith, which included the future Dorchester site. John Smith's land grant was situated on Boshoe Creek, in Boshoe Swamp; subsequently, he became known as "John Smith of Boo-shoo." In December 1682, John Smith died and his widow married Arthur Middleton, and when he died in 1684, she married Ralph Izard. Because John Smith had no children, his land grant lapsed after he died and ownership of the land went to the state.
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Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site Reviews
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Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The walk through this site is wonderful. You can see part of the original establishment, the location of the market area(complete with a map), church ruins with cemetery, and where the small bridge us...  more »
  • We were new to the area and interested in history. This was a great 3-4 hour self guided tour that was well planned and informative. Pay by envelope at the entrance and hang the pass on your rear view...  more »
  • Have been to Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site several times. It is so peaceful with an expansive piece of land for children to burn off some energy. Old historic building remnants for you to lo...  more »
Google
  • This is a great historical area to explore on your own. It has open fields and wooded areas, and a trail down to the Ashley River. There is an old bell tower as well. It's a good place for a historical walk.
  • Me and my boyfriend love history. We went 2 weeks ago and got engaged here. We loved all the history there
  • Nice little park with some hidden historical treasures. They do require you to pay a very small fee to drive in, but this money goes toward maintaining the park. Be sure to walk all around as you'll keep finding unique pieces of local history. This is a great place for family photographs as well.
  • Well maintained historic park at site of long vanished town. Church bell tower and cemetery remain.
  • Very cool to see what's left of this colonial town which had an integral ​role in Charlestons commerce and contains original fort walls from the Revolutionary War. This place is close to the airport and was a great supplemental stop to our trip the morning before flying out! We actually caught the tail end of a park ranger one hour guided tour, which was nice. The only feedback I would offer would be to run the tour more frequently, since the portion we did catch was so informative.

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