The City of Georgetown, SC
When I first moved to Georgetown, more than 30 years ago, I was in so much awe of the town’s beauty. I remember thinking then how I wanted to always appreciate, not just the beauty, but also the history of this magnificent place.
There’s so many historical buildings and sites to look at it. I took a few pictures of the buildings and some of the people who help to make this town so great.
Georgetown sits on a map of rivers. It became a seaport of sorts in 1729. The old courthouse, one of the first structures erected, is still in use almost 300 years later. The old colonial banking house which was established in 1735 is now used as a museum. It was built a few years after the courthouse.
The town earned it’s wealth with a vast number of rice plantations. Georgetown produced, not just lucrative rice paddies, but indigo. We produced more indigo and rice than any other city in the world. Later, we turned to lumber for our wealth.
The Rice Museum is above the Clock Tower. This building was established in 1842. The hardware store, next door to the Clock Tower, was established by Harold Kaminski in 1869. At one point, in the early 1800’s, the Rice Museum was a sheriff’s department. The old jail cells were housed in the back and still have the iron wrought gates over the windows. This area was also known as the “market commons” where slaves were brought for sale, trading, and so forth.
They’re both very historical. Tourist can go in and take a tour to learn a lot of the town’s history. Georgeown's trolley car frequents the historical district as well. Your tour guide will be quick to offers tours filled with stories and folk lore about Georgetown.
Thomas’ Café has been a functioning restaurant selling Low Country meals since the early 1900’s. The Strand Theater (across the street) has been around since before then. Many of these historical buildings were destroyed in the great fire of 1871 and almost destroyed again, in 2013 (we lost three or four buildings in the fire of 2013).
I love the old fountain. I was told by some of the townspeople that it used to be in the middle of town but was moved to it’s current location following the 1871 fire. It tiers off to water the horses, the people, and then small animals. Behind the fountain someone has painted a mural of the buildings before the 2013 fire. Roz’s Atlantic House Restaurant is in that row of buildings on Screven Street.
All along the Sampit River Front Street is filled with so many pieces of beauty. The Harborwalk, River Room Restaurant, Sidewalk Cafés and other establishments play host to this scene. A walk down Front Street can be just as tiring as it is amazing. However, there's plenty of rocking chairs and benches along the way to rest on, if you're so inclined. Aunny’s restaurant, also caters to Low Country dishes which is near the Kaminski House Museum.
The old bonding house and post office is now home to the mayor’s office and the mayor, Jack Scoville. It sit’s right next door to the Kaminski House (Museum). I strolled the property and took several pictures. The tour-guide shared with me that the driveway with the flower pots was once the spot where the kitchen to the main house was located. It had burned down some time ago. The carriage house is now public bathrooms and the servant’s quarters are a gift shop.
The Kaminski’s had a beloved dog, Frank. The story is because the Kaminski’s had no children of their own, Frank was their child. When Frank died (the dog on the white plate) they gave him a full dress funeral and buried him on the property in a little doggy coffin.
I’ve included pictures of our two oldest cemeteries. One is the Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church, established in 1721 - The old Jewish cemetery, Beth Elohim, established in 1772, is across the street.
I snapped a couple of pictures of Front Street from across the Sampit River which meets Winyah Bay. The Bay is the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean with a mixture of fresh and salt water.
I’ve included pictures of Phil Brady, “a genealogical historian,” Penny Thomas Barbour (both are town criers), Andrea Johnson of Aunny’s and others who make up the town’s people.
I will be going through Georgetown talking to many different people. Anyone whom I find of interest I will be posting stories about them. Come back frequently and read about these awesome and fascinating townspeople of Georgetown, SC as I pay homage to them. They are my friends, neighbors and fellow townsmen and this is my home.