Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville

(4.3/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
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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  • Lots of history and very old architecture sitting right on the ASHLEY RIVER . Bring your dogs , kids , and a ball or Frisbee . Don't forget your camera .  more »
  • This hidden gem of a park has great picture spots as well as lots of history! A family friendly picnic area and large field to play on.  more »
  • While visiting Charleston, we decided to visit here in an attempt to get away from the crowds and traffic for a bit, and am so glad we did! It really is a peaceful, beautiful place to visit. We stoppe...  more »
  • 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
  • Really cool historical site. There's the old fort ruins and an old bell tower. The park is fairly small but there's still a good bit to see, plan an afternoon. Good for events or photographs. They do have special events like Canon and musket firing so check the website!
  • The pup enjoyed it. Historical, but no trails or anything. This is for history, not nature.
  • I am a wedding officiant in Charleston and enjoy going to this venue for weddings. KaseyKingWeddingOfficiant