A Taste of Georgetown's History

Surrounded by live oak lined streets, Downtown Historic Georgetown is the 3rd oldest city in the state and is rich with history. In 1690, rice was introduced to the area but, did not become a major crop until after the Revolutionary War. Local planters made large fortunes cultivating rice making Georgetown the wealthiest county in the 13 original colonies. This crop required a large labor force which meant more African Slaves were imported. The slave population was about 85% of the total population of Georgetown County throughout the 1800's. Although the Civil War spared much of the area the social, political and economic upheaval that followed caused the rice culture to collapse. Then a series of hurricanes in the 1800's delivered the final blow and ended the rice culture in Georgetown.

There is much more to learn about Georgetown. You will see many more plaques (as shown above) all around the historic district which will give you a sense of Georgetown's depth of history and impact on southern life in the Lowcountry. However, to gain in depth knowledge we encourage you to take an educational tour mixed with local knowledge and fun facts on the Swampfox Tram or on foot with Debbie Summey, a local historian's walking tour or a Ghost Tour. You won't be disappointed! We also have plenty of museums all within walking distance of downtown - The Georgetown County History Museum, The Rice Museum, The South Carolina Maritime Museum, The Kaminski House Museum and The Gullah Museum.


 Bethel ame church

Bethel ame church

This African Methodist Episcopal church was the first separate black church in Georgetown County. It was established by the Rev. AT Carr shortly after the 1863 Emanicipation Proclamation which freed the slaves... 


 William doyle morgan house

William doyle morgan house

The William Doyle Morgan House was the home to the mayor 1891-1906 and the catalyst for much of Georgetown's growth and prosperity by the turn of the century. He helped give the city modern water, a sewer system, electric lights, paved the streets, sidewalks and deepened the harbor...


 originally robert stewart house, now known as the Stewart parker house

originally robert stewart house, now known as the Stewart parker house

... When President George Washington arrived in Georgetown during his southern tour on April 30, 1791, a militia company and local reception committee met him at a nearby boat landing and escorted him here where he spent the night as their guest...


 winyah indigo society hall

winyah indigo society hall

Springing from the fervor of indigo, the colony's vital new crop for making blue dye, the Winyah Indigo Society was begun in 1757... The 1857 building shown here was used by the Union forces during the Civil War.