Bootleggers, Pirates & Legends

All Come to Life in Berkeley County

04/11/2014
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

If you’re looking for a new type of adventure, come to Berkeley County. Berkeley County is rich with history, natural beauty, and culture. Berkeley County, settled in the late seventeen hundreds by English and French Huguenots, has had a rich history with Revolutionary War heroes and all in between from plantation life to bootlegging.

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Visitors can visit Francis Marion National Forest where General Francis Marion the “Swamp Fox” is known for creating guerilla warfare. While on your hike and discovering where these legendary soldiers camped, you will spot some of the flesh eating plants. No they are not the man-eating plants of Madagascar that have been known to eat a small child. We guarantee you will return with all your limbs intact. These are the plants of the South Carolina Lowcountry that lure small insects to digest and supplement the plant’s nutrient requirement. Your guide can also show you the plants that were used for wounded soldiers to stop the blood, and to make the general’s afternoon tea.

Visit Mepkin Plantation, home of Henry Laurens, president of the Continental Congress. Mepkin Plantation, was later purchased by Henry Luce, creator of Time-Life magazine and his wife Clare Boothe Luce, writer and diplomat. Mepkin Plantation, is now a Trappist monastery known as Mepkin Abbey which overlooks the Cooper River where visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty and stroll in the formal gardens or visit the gift shop full of unique and eclectic artist pieces.

If you enjoy plantation life or colonial times, Cypress Gardens or Old Santee Canal would be great places to visit. Old Santee Canal is located on 195 acres and the first true canal in America. The park, which sits on the historic Stony Landing Plantation, was an important site for trade and transportation since colonial times. Embrace the opportunity to stand on the very ground which once served as an early Native American trading post, the first semi-submersible torpedo boat, CSS Little David, was built on these grounds.

You will find a 19th century plantation house, four miles of boardwalk that brings you face-to-face with nature, brilliant at any time of the year, and where the canal bed can actually be seen at Biggins Swamp. The parks’ impressive 11,000 square foot Interpretive Center tells the story of the engineering feat of digging a canal from the state’s midlands to the Cooper River. Cypress Gardens, along with their azaleas and black water swamp, has recently opened the Heritage Room, which features unearthed artifacts from Dean Hall Plantation, which dates back to the 1700s. The Heritage Room also features the largest collection in the United States of Colonoware, a low-fired pottery, locally made by both free and enslaved African Americans.

Bootleggers, pirates and legends all come to life with our storytellers and historians. If these stories don’t peak your interest then maybe you would enjoy stories of ghost and Gullah on unique locations throughout Berkeley County!

Add any of these great story telling options or adventures to your visit to Berkeley County and other attractions and events in nearby Historic Charleston, South Carolina or fun filled Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The possibilities of a fantastic, historical, scenic getaway in Berkeley County are unlimited.

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