Table of Contents for This Series
- Research on the Park and trip planning
- Arrival and first impressions of the Park
- A final look around Givhans Ferry State Park
Off late Sunday morning for Givhans Ferry State Park, South Carolina. As you can see on the map above, there are plenty of routes between Northeast Columbia and Givhans Ferry. That’s in addition to the obvious super highway route down I-26 to south on I-95. Judging from the maps, it looks as though Route 601 may be the most interesting choice. I’ll give 601 a try on Sunday.
Click the screen clip above for the Park’s official website. As usual, lots of good information there about the Park’s history, facilities, and activities. This is another Civilian Conservation Corps-built Park. One with a most interesting history.
The best source of information on the area’s earlier history I’ve been able to find, at least on the Web, is the detailed article by Carol N. Rackley on the Dorchester County SCGenWeb page. Click here to access that multi-page article. Complete with bibliography.
Ms. Rackley mentions construction of a temporary fort at “Edisto Bluff,” during the Yemassee Indian War of 1715 to 1717. The fort was built to protect South Carolina’s inland plantations from attack by river, on or near the high marl bluff at the nearby turn in the Edisto River.
Constructed of tabby, the Fort was abandoned in 1718, if I read Rackley correctly. You may recall that we discussed tabby as a building material during a September 2009 visit to Botany Bay, near Edisto Beach State Park. Click here to access that article, and Dennis Adams’ excellent explanation, if you’re unfamiliar with tabby. I hope to look for the site of that Fort while at Givhans Ferry next week. Tabby lasts!
The ferry here across the Edisto River originally was called “Wort’s Ferry,” according to Ms. Rackley’s sources. It became “Givhan’s Ferry” in 1789, upon petition by owner, Phillip Givhan. Ms. Rackley also provides an interesting discussion of the name “Givhan” in her article. Including the possibility that the “h” may have been added to the original name of Givan or Given to indicate Huguenot faith.
More recently, the State of South Carolina assumed ownership of the Givhan’s Ferry tract of land in late 1934. Soon thereafter CCC crews began to build the State Park we’re still able to enjoy today. Givhans Ferry State Park opened officially on June 1, 1937. Seventy-three years ago.
In addition to seeing the historical sites associated with the land upon which the Park was built, I look forward to dipping a paddle in the Edisto River at the nearby landing. My inflatable ElderKayak has been too long dry. So it’s coming along in the car this trip.
Read a wonderful article by clicking here by Leslee Johnson-Allen on paddling the Edisto River in this area. Be sure not to miss the slide show at the end. Great photos. Oh, and click here to read the detailed SCtrails.net description of the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Water Trail in Colleton and Dorchester Counties.
So, can you see why I look forward to this visit to Givhans Ferry State Park next week? It should provide excellent opportunities for RV camping, kayaking, and sightseeing. I’ve called and e-mailed the Park in the hope of catching the Park Manager for an audio interview. Let’s hope.