Sunday, November 28, 2010

Visit to Rivers Bridge State Historic Site, South Carolina. First Impressions


Table of Contents

South Carolina’s State Park System includes the preservation and interpretation of sites of historic significance as well as those of natural beauty. I don’t know much about this part of the Park System’s mission. But there are quite a few historic sites throughout the State. You may recall, for example, our visit to that remarkable Dorchester site some months back.

02 RBSHSWell, a stroke of luck made it possible for me to visit another of these historic sites while enjoying Barnwell State Park and its environs. An old friend from Lake Wateree State Park, Mr. John White, was recently transferred to Rivers Bridge as park manager and interpretive ranger.

You may recall mention of John White just prior to last year’s Southeast United States Indian Mound Tour. In addition to being a park ranger, John is a combination of historian and archeologist. [You’ll learn more about that during his interview.] John has forgotten more about American Indian pre-history than I’ll ever be able to read. He patiently provided me with all sorts of information and suggestions as I was planning that long trip.

And, I discovered during this visit, he’s also a long-time student of American military history, with emphasis on the battles of the Civil War. So, his assignment to Rivers Bridge State Historic Site is ideal. 

03 RBSHSThe Rivers Bridge site is about 25 miles from Barnwell State Park. A beautiful drive along those South Carolina secondary roads that I’m always raving about.

The closer one gets to Rivers Bridge, the more frequent the historic site markers become along the road. All sorts of things. But I was surprised by the number of very old church sites. Either the population in this area was much larger than I thought, or these were quite small congregations! Be sure to stop and have a look at a few of them.

04 RBSHSI’ve yet to meet a South Carolina Park Manager who wasn’t sincerely convinced that her or his Park was the most beautiful in the System. John White was no exception. He told me on the telephone that I would see the most beautiful Park in the South Carolina system when I visited. Well, no surprise there!

05 RBSHSBut visit Rivers Bridge when you’re in the area and you’ll see what he means. Not only is it an area of great historic significance. It really is a beautiful site. The sort of natural environment where human intervention has enhanced rather than distracted from the overall effect. Whoever laid out this Park knew what they were doing!


Still, this is an historic site. Perhaps because of that it has more than the usual number of these interpretive plaques throughout the area open to the public. They’re clearly written and informative. If Park Manager White or one of his colleagues isn’t available to guide your tour, you can do quite well on your own by following these plaques.

07 RBSHSAnother point worth mentioning about Rivers Bridge State Historic Site. The paths are clearly delineated, wide, and smooth. Ideal territory for those of us who aren’t quite as mobile as we once were. And easily accessible for wheeled conveyances.

08 RBSHSSo, add Rivers Bridge State Historic Site to your travel agenda in South Carolina. There’s plenty to see here. And to learn. Stay tuned, as Park Manager White takes us on a brief video tour of some of Rivers Bridge’s most important features.

Here’s a brief look at some more of what Rivers Bridge State Historic Site has to offer:


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