“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

South Carolina Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on November 27, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 South Carolina ranks tenth 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 465 cities and towns lying in 354 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 3,840 historical markers in South Carolina, by our count. We have cataloged 3,807 historical markers and 187 war memorials—each individually presented on 3,965 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 2.7% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 33 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 November 25, 2020, and titled Charlie's Place. It is in Myrtle Beach in Horry County and had been erected in 2018. 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 Topics
608 • Churches and Religion
580 • Revolutionary War
532 • Settlements and Settlers
512 • Civil War
423 • Education
410 • Notable Buildings
376 • Colonial Era
356 • African Americans
337 • Industry and Commerce
289 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
    ... and others ...

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—608 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is the Revolutionary War with 580 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Churches and Religion topic 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 31, 2020, and titled St. John A.M.E. Church. It had been erected in 2017 in Pawleys Island in Georgetown County. The earliest marker erected with the Churches and Religion topic that we have listed was erected in 1755. It is William Bull, was found near Sheldon in Beaufort County on July 26, 2017.

What is the most interesting historical marker in South Carolina? What we know is that Atomic Bomb Accident at Mars Bluff, March 11, 1958 is the most viewed entry in the database from South Carolina since it was added in 2009. It is located in Florence in Florence County. This year so far, the most viewed South Carolinian entry is located in Fort Mill in York County. It is To the Faithful Slaves.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The South Carolina county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Charleston County, with 614 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, 401. In Richland County the area with the most markers, 263, is Columbia.

Historical Markers in These
South Carolina Counties
614 • Charleston County
312 • Richland County
308 • Greenville County
198 • Horry County
164 • Anderson County
134 • Beaufort County
127 • York County
125 • Spartanburg County
116 • Pickens County
102 • Georgetown County
    ... and others ...

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 401 markers in or near it. And Columbia also shows up again in next place, with 263 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 29401 at the top of the list with 280 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 29401 is assigned to Charleston SC.) It is followed by ZIP Code 29201 with 222 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
401 • Charleston
263 • Columbia
218 • Greenville
165 • Myrtle Beach
91 • Anderson
91 • Camden
89 • Mount Pleasant
67 • Georgetown
60 • Ninety Six
57 • Sullivans Island
    ... and others ...

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 was uploaded on May 29, 2020, and is titled Charles Towne / Old Town Plantation and was erected in 2014, 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 Charles Wright, November 25, 2020
Latest Entry from South Carolina
“Charlie's Place”

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: Columbia Hospital "Negro Unit" / Columbia Hospital "Negro Nurses" added on October 29, 2020. 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 628 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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Nov. 27, 2020