Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville

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State Park Nature / Park
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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139 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Located on the beautiful Ashley River.. This fort is well worth a visit! Cost is minimal and the history astounding. Gravestones from the 1700s.. the actual fort still stands as does the church the Br...  more »
  • This site is right down the road from where I live. Being new to the area, I thought I would check it out. It is a short, self guided tour through the original village of Dorchester. Home lots are mar...  more »
  • No battles were fought here, but early trade on the Ashley River as Colonial Dorchester was a center of trade with a school house, tannery, tavern and a large marketplace. The remains of the bell towe...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I unexpectedly ended up visiting this historic site on a cold and rainy day, and given the small size of the area and the weather I still spent several hours here. It's a unique experience and a must stop for history buffs. This small preserved historic site gives a huge glimpse into a different time and different way of life than what we are accustomed to today
  • Never knew this place existed. A great place of history around the corner. It does cost $2 per person to visit the place though.
  • Good place to go for pictures, walking in nature, historic landscape, and occasionally they have historic events to educate and entertain.

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