Oldest town in South Carolina

South Carolina has played a role in North American history. Many of its cities and towns were the sites of battlefields during different wars, and they are also home to some of the country’s most notable cultural sites.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the oldest towns in South Carolina, their histories, populations, and what makes them so special today. Let’s get right into it.

6 Oldest Towns in South Carolina

6. Moncks Corner

Year founded: 1885
Average population: 7,885
Known for: Being Omar Brown’s hometown

Moncks CornerPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that South Carolina is home to several small towns, and Moncks Corner is no exception. With a population of less than 8,000 people, this town has been around since 1885 when it was first chartered, and has since existed at the centre of Berkeley County.

It’s interesting to note that before this town was colonized by the Europeans, it was originally inhabited by indigenous Americans for thousands of years, particularly those people that belonged to the Edistow tribes. Several smaller tribes, including the Edistow, Catawba, Cherokee, and Etiwan tribes all belonged to the larger Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians, which has since become extinct.

Did you know?

Moncks Corner has been awarded the same trademark in 1999 and 2004. It is the trademark of Capital of Santee Cooper Country.

5. Camden

Year founded: 1786
Average population: 7,788
Known for: Carolina Cup

CamdenPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to being one of the top five oldest towns in South Carolina, Camden is one of the most interesting places in the state. This stunning town was actually a part of a plan for a township that King George II ordered. It was also home to the Battle of Camden that was fought during the American Revolution. This battle was one of the worst defeats during the revolution.

Although this battle was devastating for America, it also put Camden on the map, making it a wealthy and prominent trading town. It’s also interesting to note that during the Civil War in America, Camden was the source for six Confederate generals. In later years, in the 1880s, it was a popular holiday destination for wealthy families.

Did you know?

Camden is home to a vibrant and longstanding Jewish community.

4. Walterboro

Year founded: 1783
Average population: 5,544
Known for: Being the hometown of Bonnie Lynn Fields

WalterboroPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Walterboro is one of South Carolina’s oldest towns. It’s interesting to note that this town’s name was originally spelled Walterborough, but was later changed. It was first located in quite a hilly place called the Hickory Valley; it was so named for the numerous hickory and pine trees in the area. However, although the town was beginning to settle into the hills, some of its earliest settlers wanted to move away from it due to it causing their wives to suffer and develop health problems.

This town is known for the many historical homes within it, many of which date back to 1820! It is also a popular tourist spot for folks that enjoy antiquing. It’s worth noting that Walterboro is a short drive from both Beaufort and Charleston, making it a great place to go on a day trip!

Did you know?

Walterboro was originally founded as a resting place in the summer for local farmers and planters looking to escape the mosquitoes on their plantations.

3. Georgetown

Year founded: 1729
Average population: 9,163
Known for: The Georgetown Harbor

GeorgetownPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Georgetown is another one of the oldest towns in the state of South Carolina. Although it has a population of less than 10,000, this town is known for being South Carolina’s second largest seaport. It handles over 950,000 tonnes of shipments per year!

It’s no secret that Georetown is one of the smaller towns in this state. Its total surface area is less than 8 square miles, 8% of which is made up of water.

Did you know?

Georgetown is home to America’s first branch of the Sigma Chemical Company.

2. Beaufort

Year founded: 1711
Average population: 13,607
Known for: Reconstruction Era National Monument

BeaufortPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Beaufort is the second oldest town in the state of South Carolina. Based on written historical records, this town was the second place that the Europeans landed in after deciding to go to North America.

This town is located on Port Royal Island and is known for being one of the most scenic places in the entire state of South Carolina. It’s important to remember that Beaufort is situated in the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry and the Sea Islands. Visitors to this place have noted that Beaufort has taken several steps to preserve its cultural architecture, particularly to those places that reflect the antebellum period in American history.

Did you know?

Beaufort has commonly been referred to as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands.”

1. Charleston

Year founded: 1670
Average population: 849,417
Known for: Rainbow Row and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

CharlestonPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Charleston is the oldest town in South Carolina! This stunning place was founded back in 1670, and was originally called Charles Town. Although the town was founded in 1670, it’s interesting to note that it was moved from its location on the Ashley River to where it is currently located today.

One of the reasons that this city is so famous is because of its roots and the role that it played in American history. Charleston was known for being a port where slaves were traded. So many slaves were traded in this city that there was a period of time where nearly half the slaves that were sent to America were sent through the town of Charleston. However, the city has since formally apologized for its role in contributing to slavery in America.

Did you know?

Charleston is South Carolina’s most populated city, thanks to the number of people that live in its counties of Dorchester, Charleston, and Berkeley.


In this article, we took a closer look at some of the oldest towns in South Carolina. These towns have each existed for hundreds of years, and have played an incredibly important role in both American culture and South Carolina’s history. We hope that you learned something new from this article, and that you’ll visit these towns if you’re ever in South Carolina!

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