Experience life, Walterboro Style!
Walterboro and Colleton County offer the beauty of abundant natural resources mixed with the cultural heritage and friendliness of an historic small town.
During the summer of 1784, owners of large rice plantations in what is now Colleton County began searching for a better location for their summer homes. They chose the most ideal spot in the area and named it Hickory Valley.
This small summer retreat grew and eventually took the name of two of its original settlers, Paul and Jacob Walters. In 1817, the City of Walterboro became the county seat and was officially incorporated in 1826.
Much of the grace and charm of the lifestyle of these early settlers can still be found in Walterboro today. The City abounds with fine examples of their architecture, including structures that are noted on the National Register of Historic Places. Passing along the quiet, tree-lined streets of Walterboro’s residential neighborhoods, one almost expects to catch glimpses of its earliest residents relaxing on the broad porches or strolling among the gardens. Ancient, moss-draped live oak trees shade streets lined with quaint houses and churches.
Our quality of life is enhanced by the availability of golf, tennis, and specialty and antique shops located in the central business district. We have an active cultural arts community, which includes a community theater, a cultural arts council and the official South Carolina Artisans Center with fine folk art and crafts. The SC Artisans Center is a retail outlet for juried South Carolina artists. Its educational programs and craft demonstrations provide a cultural and educational resource for the state and a one-of-a-kind attraction for visitors.
For nature enthusiasts, the ACE Basin offers wildlife watching, camping, fishing, swimming, boating, canoeing, and hunting. The Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto River (ACE) Basin represents one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast of the United States.
The Basin consists of approximately 350,000 acres of diverse habitats, forested wetlands, fresh, brackish and salt-water tidal marshes, barrier islands and beaches. The ACE Basin hosts a wealth of wildlife resources, including such endangered and threatened species as the bald eagle, woodstork, osprey, loggerhead sea turtle and short-nose sturgeon.
When you visit Walterboro, you will discover the heritage that distinguishes our quality of living, the natural resources that refresh the spirit and body and above all the friendly hometown atmosphere that epitomizes southern hospitality.
Walterboro and Colleton County Attractions
South Carolina Artisans Center
334 Wichman Street, Walterboro, (843)549-0011. Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun 1pm-6pm. Representing over 200 of the State’s finest juried artists and craftsmen, demonstrations & exhibits.
The Bedon-Lucas House Museum
205 Church Street, Walterboro, (843)549-9633. Thur-Sat 1pm-4pm. Located just steps away from Walterboro’s first settlement in Hickory Valley, it was constructed in 1820. In 1996, the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society raised funds to purchase and restore the building.
Highway 61, Cottageville, (843)835-5912.
This honey bee farm, petting zoo, cafe and gift shop is an experience that all should have. See honey bees at work from a screened observation area.
The Colleton Museum & Farmers Market
506 East Washington Street, Walterboro, (843)549-2303. Tues 12pm-5pm; Tues-Fri 12pm-5pm; Sat 10am-2pm
Colleton County Courthouse
101 Hampton Street, Walterboro. Completed
in the fall of 1822, the outside walls are three bricks (28″) thick. The first nullification meeting in South Carolina was held here in 1828, when Robert Barnwell Rhett called for the immediate secession of the state legislature in protest of Federal tax laws. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Forde Doll and Dollhouse Collection
500 Hampton St, Walterboro, (843)542-9498. For the Miniaturist and Doll Enthusiast. The Forde Doll and Doll House Collection features a rare exhibit of more than 50 doll houses, room boxes, toy kitchens, paper dolls and antique dolls all on permanent display.
Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary
Detreville Street, (843)538-4353. Comprised of over 800 acres of braided creek and hardwood flats. The sanctuary offers an asphalt bike/ walking trail, a canoe/kayak-looped trail, a beaver pond, a duck pond, a butterfly garden, wildlife food plots, and feeding stations. Bridges, boardwalks, and a natural walking trail, including a portion of Charleston to Savannah Wagon/Stagecoach Road. A 10,000 square foot Discovery Center is planned. The Sanctuary is open from daylight until dark every day and there is no charge. Information may be obtained by calling (843)549-2545.
Hickory Valley Historic District
Church and Whetsell Streets, Walterboro Designated a historic district. Originally settled by Lowcountry planters, the area was home for some of the town’s founders & prominent families. Most homes were built between 1821 & 1929.
Walterboro Library Society Building
80 Wichman Street, Walterboro. Now headquarters of the Colleton County Historical & Preservation Society, the “Little Library” was built in 1820 when the Library Society was established. The small frame building is an excellent example of Federal architecture. Listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Pon Pon Chapel
The ruins are situated on what was once the Parkers Ferry Road, 1 mile from SC 64. One of two chapels of ease established by an Act of the General Assembly in 1725 to serve St. Bartholomew’s Parish. This chapel burned in 1801 & 1832. It was known as Burnt Church after 1832. The ruins today are enough to distinguish the chapel’s gracious features.
Slave Relics Museum
208 Carn St. Walterboro, Call for appointment. (843)549-9130. A center for research & preservation of historical documents, artifacts, photographs and memorabilia housed in a restored historic home. www.slaverelics.org
Tuskegee Airmen Monument
LowcountryRegional Airport, Hwy. 17-A. During World War II, the Walterboro Army Airfield served as a training ground for the Army airmen including a group of the Tuskegee Airmen. A monument honoring the bravery & dedication of the Tuskegee Airmen was placed in Walterboro Army Airfield Memorial Park at the site of the original airfield in May 1997. Also was the site of a POW camp & base hospital.
Self-guided Tour of Historic Walterboro
Walterboro, (843)538-4353. Designed to walk you through a reminiscent portion of Walterboro’s past blended with the lovely Southern charm of today’s lifestyle. Much of the grace & charm of the early settlers’ lifestyle remains tangible, as evidenced by Walterboro’s architectural styles. The city abounds with fine examples of 18th Century structures. Four buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, several more seek registration. Brochures available at the Walterboro Welcome Center.
Walterboro Welcome Center
1273 Snider’s Hwy, Exit 53 off I-95
(843)538-4353. Drop on by and we will welcome you to Walterboro and Colleton County… gateway to the ACE Basin and the Front Porch of the Lowcountry! Come to visit or stay for a lifetime. Many of our visitors do just that. Inside the center you will find lots of informational brochures, beautiful pictures and helpful advice from the friendly staff.
Westvaco Nature Trail
Hwy 17. Jacksonboro. In addition to local flora and fauna, see historical landmarks such as the King’s Highway, (dating from the 1700’s) former rice fields, and an old phosphate plant site.