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.Make Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site part of your personalized Summerville itinerary using our Summerville trip planner.
The 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 Dorchester 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.
Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site Reviews
We came across this place and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. It was early morning and very peaceful (no others were here.) Very fascinating information scattered around, plus a geocaching spot on the p... more »
Love walking around this site and enjoying the outdoors! Its also a great place for picnics and for taking pictures. more »
Wooded park with picnic tables, views of the river, & public bathrooms. $2 per person entry fee to see colonial remains of a church tower and weathered battery wall. Great for 1 hour hike.
For such a small park there is lots to enjoy here. From spending they day here for a picnic or going on the self guided tour you can appreciate this SC State Park for all it's worth. There is an entrance fee based on the honest program so they don't have anyone guarding the entrance. Please make sure to pay it truly helps persevere and keeps our parks open. There is an SC National Guard and Senior discount when entering. This park is surrounded by the Ashley River and you can see a great view of it near the brink that reminds. I've gone to this place for years and it has evolved over time. The park now has it's own replica stand of what the area may have looked like when the settlers were there. Since this is one of the SC State Parks that you can get a stamp for it's located by the main sign within the park. There is plenty of parking as well. There's no store to get souvenir's from, unfortunately. You will see the sign for the park from the road where you will drive about a quarter mile or so to get to the gate.
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