“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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South Carolina Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 17, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 South Carolina ranks ninth among states and provinces with markers in this database. South Carolina is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the South Atlantic region. South Carolina is some 32 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 5.1 million people. The state is divided into 46 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In South Carolina we have discovered historical markers in 467 cities and towns lying in 354 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in South Carolina? There are least 3,808 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 3,781 historical markers and 172 war memorials—each individually presented on 3,925 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 3.0% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 27 historical markers in South Carolina that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first South Carolina marker in the database, Bowling Green, was added November 29, 2005 while the database was being designed and tested (the Historical Marker Database went live January 1, 2006). It was photographed near Marion in Marion County and was erected in 1978. The last one added was submitted on January 2, 2020, and titled Post 3 American Legion. It is in Greenville in Greenville County and had been erected in 2019. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in South Carolina was erected in 1755. It was this one: William Bull, and one of our correspondents found it near Sheldon in Beaufort County on July 26, 2017.

South Carolina Historical Categories
607 • Churches and Religion
578 • Revolutionary War
528 • Settlements and Settlers
504 • Civil War
420 • Education
408 • Notable Buildings
372 • Colonial Era
347 • African Americans
330 • Industry and Commerce
284 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
    ... and more ...

South Carolinians don’t want to forget their Churches and Religion history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from South Carolina about Churches and Religion—607 of them—than about any other historical category. A close second is the Revolutionary War with 578 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Churches and Religion category was All Saints Summer Parsonage / The Rectory, added January 1, 2006. It had been erected in 1993 in Pawleys Island in Georgetown County. The last one submitted was submitted on October 18, 2019, and titled Site of the First Public Lending Library in the American Colonies. It had been erected in 1955 in Charleston in Charleston County. The earliest marker erected with the Churches and Religion category that we have listed was erected in 1755. It was William Bull, was found near Sheldon in Beaufort County on July 26, 2017.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The South Carolina county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Charleston County, with 612 of them. It is followed by Richland County with 312 markers. The Charleston area of Charleston County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 399. In Richland County the area with the most markers, 261, is Columbia.

Historical Markers in These
South Carolina Counties
612 • Charleston County
312 • Richland County
308 • Greenville County
197 • Horry County
164 • Anderson County
132 • Beaufort County
127 • York County
125 • Spartanburg County
116 • Pickens County
99 • Greenwood County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in South Carolina with the most markers we again find Charleston at the top of the list with 399 markers in or near it. And Columbia also shows up again in next place, with 261 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 29401 at the top of the list with 279 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 29401 is assigned to Charleston SC.) It is followed by ZIP Code 29201 with 221 markers. (29201 is assigned to Columbia SC including the Market Center, Olympia, and State Hospital delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
South Carolina Cities and Towns
399 • Charleston
261 • Columbia
217 • Greenville
164 • Myrtle Beach
91 • Anderson
88 • Camden
76 • Mount Pleasant
66 • Georgetown
60 • Ninety Six
56 • Gaffney
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Charleston County, the first marker added to the database from there, The Rev. John G. Drayton, was added January 26, 2008. in Charleston. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of South Carolina—was uploaded on October 18, 2019, and is titled Site of the First Public Lending Library in the American Colonies and was erected in 1955, in Charleston. The earliest marker erected in Charleston County that we have listed was erected in 1801. It was Wragg Square, found in Charleston on February 6, 2015.

Latest entry from South Carolina. Click to go there
By Randy Tucker, July 20, 2019
Latest Entry from South Carolina
“Post 3 American Legion”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Columbia. The first: Columbia Canal, was added April 21, 2008. It had been erected in 1938. The last: Cyril O. Spann Medical Office added on November 24, 2019. It had been erected in 2019. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1879: South Carolina Confederate Monument, added on May 3, 2008.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History is currently in charge of the familiar silver and black official historical markers found all over the state and the S.C. Department of Transportation typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. You will also find official markers erected by the South Carolina Historical Commission, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1937, and we have 623 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of South Carolina have been marked with history. Check out Chesterfield County, Calhoun County and Allendale County. We've only found, respectively, 19, 16, and 16 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of South Carolina might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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