Berkeley County’s roots date back to the late 1600s, when English settlers and Huguenots moved to the area surrounding Charles Towne—modern day Charleston. Berkeley County’s name was derived from two of South Carolina’s Lord Proprietors at that time: Lord John Berkeley and Sir William Berkeley. A Lord Proprietor was a person in the 17th century with authority to issue a royal charter establishing an English colony and government. Over the centuries, Berkeley County’s boundary lines changed more than once. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the County’s current boundary lines were determined.
Berkeley County is also famous for its Revolutionary War connections, not only serving as the setting for 32 of the war’s 166 battle sites, but also two prominent military leaders: General Francis Marion and General William Moultrie. Notorious for his “Swamp Fox” nickname, Marion and his militia were known for hiding in area swamps and launching bloody, surprise attacks on the British Redcoats. Marion is buried at Belle Island Plantation in St. Stephen. One of Moultrie’s most heroic war feats was in keeping the Sullivan’s Island fort, which he constructed from sand and Palmetto logs, out of the enemy’s hands. Marion later went on to serve a successful political career as a state senator and two-term Governor of South Carolina.
In the past decade, Berkeley County has continued to build on its rich history and promise through smart and focused growth, both residentially and commercially. Still being penned, the story of Berkeley County is both distinctive and bright and one both current and future generations alike can take pride in.
- Berkeley Museum
- The South Carolina Room and Local History Resources at the Berkeley County Library System
- Historical Markers
- Historical markers article with map
- GIS printable map of County historical sites
- Berkeley Historical Society
- History of the Library System
- Clerk of Court History
- Berkeley County, SC Plantations
- Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust
- South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust
- Berkeley County Revolutionary War Battles
- American Battlefield Trust – The Liberty Trail (Video)
- Daughters of the American Revolution
- Sons of the American Revolution