Small town hospitality and historic charm are hallmarks of St. George the county seat of Dorchester County. Originally known as George’s Station along the South Carolina Railroad, the Town of St. George was incorporated in January 1875.
Before the construction of Interstates 26 and 95, St. George was a popular stop for tourists traveling to Florida by way of U.S. Highway 15. Today, the Town of St. George is easily accessible from the interstate.
Dive deep into the town’s local history at The Heritage Museum, located in the former County Courthouse at 101 Ridge St. A nonprofit formed in 2014, the Dorchester County Archives & History Center is dedicated to preserving the past for future generations. The organization is working to digitize more than 100,000 documents for researchers. Plus, a detailed photo collection of the Lowcountry donated by Brandon Coffey is available to view at the museum. Visit Tuesday through Saturday; tickets are $5 each for adults.
Appleby’s Methodist Church is a one-story wooden Methodist church built between 1840 and 1850. Visit today to see how the church looked in the mid-1800s – an example of Greek Revival meeting house style – with two rows of pews thought to be the originals. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Feb. 14, 1978.
Indian Field Camp Ground is a rustic and simple Methodist campground still in use today. It was built in 1848 with 99 wooden cabins that form a circle around a large wooden tabernacle and preaching area. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 30, 1973.
Another of the area’s Methodist camps is Shady Grove, a place of worship created by former slaves in 1870. The campground consisted of rustic cabins – known as "tents – that have been passed down from generation to generation. Fire destroyed the original tents in the late 1950s. Even though they were replaced, many of those tents burned in two more fires. Much of the camp was rebuilt in the early 1990s. Families continue to gather each October for camp meeting of fellowship and worship.
There are also two additional Methodist campgrounds in the surrounding area, St. Paul and Cypress, making this part of the county a time capsule for long-standing religious traditions.
Don’t miss the historic Koger-Murray-Carroll-House, so named in honor of its past owners. Dating back to at least 1775, was once an important stagecoach stop between inland settlements and Charleston. The exact construction date remains unknown, but it's thought to be the oldest house in Dorchester County.
Located in the heart of St. George is the Klauber Building. Built in 1894, it was first a mercantile serving a community bustling with railroad commerce. Today, the building houses an area chamber of commerce, visitor center and town museum. It’s open each weekday.
The Klauber also hosts the weekly St. George Farmers Market. Stop by from 3-6 p.m. each Thursday through Oct. 27 for local farm fresh produce, foods, art, culture and music.
Also situated in the center of St. George at 206 Parler Avenue is the Lourie Theatre, built in the 1920s to show silent movies. In the early 1980s, the theatre closed, and the building began to deteriorate. Several years later, a group of dedicated community members banded together to restore the theatre – now a vibrant performing arts center for the town.
Constructed in 1925, the Rosenwald School was a six-teacher school created by educator Booker T. Washington and the philanthropic president of Sears & Roebuck, Julius Rosenwald. The two men began a program to construction schools for African-American children. They completed 5,400 schools in states around the South. Thousands of children attended these schools between 1912 and the late 1950s when schools became integrated. In 2014, the school, located at 205 Ann Street, was given in trust to the Town of St. George and work began on the restoration and preservation of the building.
Before you start your journey exploring St. George stop by the Klauber Building at 225 Parler Avenue for tips and directions.
You’ll see many beautiful vintage homes driving around St. George, including the 1912 Badham House, pictured here.