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Colonial Dorchester

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9am-6pm, daily, during Daylight Saving Time. 9am-5pm, daily, the remainder of the year.


11 a.m. - noon, daily

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$3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free

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Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife. Pets are not allowed in or around lodging facilities.

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Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site


Park Manager

Noah Letter

Park Manager

Welcome.  My name is Noah Letter, Park Manager at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site.  I started my park service career as a volunteer at Colonial Dorchester, in 2006, to gain experience in the field of archaeology. Soon after, I took a seasonal position in the park service and became a full-time park ranger a year later in 2008.  My park ranger tenure has brought me to five different SC State Parks in our beautiful state.  I am now happy to say that I am managing the park, where my love for this career began.

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site protects the site of a colonial village, along the Ashley River, that was settled in 1697. This special resource is very unique, beautiful and it is difficult for me to determine my favorite aspect of the park!  Many enjoy this place, including some resident red-shouldered hawks that can be seen watching over the fort.

I would encourage a first-time visitor to see the historic structures that serve as a reminder of our past. Colonial Dorchester contains a fort made out of tabby (a concrete-like material made out of oyster shells), an Anglican Church bell tower and the remains of an 18th-century wharf.

**Our Ultimate Outsider stamp is located on the backside of the information kiosk in the main parking lot.

From 1697 until the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the trading town of Dorchester flourished along the Ashley River, inland from colonial Charleston. Today, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site’s remarkably preserved archaeological remains give visitors a peek into the early history of colonial South Carolina.

Abandoned at the start of the Revolutionary War, the town of Dorchester has all but disappeared, leaving only a handful of original structures remaining. Visitors can stand below the towering remains of the brick bell tower of St. George’s Anglican Church, catch a glimpse of a log wharf during low tide or view the fort made of an oyster-shell concrete called tabby.

Today, visitors to Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site can watch as archaeologists unearth the settlement’s history. Together with abundant historical records from colonial Charleston, the site is helping to paint a clearer picture of life in colonial South Carolina and the rest of the American South.

Want to see more South Carolina parks? Learn more about the history of South Carolina at Charles Towne Landing or try lakefront camping at Hamilton Branch State Park!


1 oyster-shell concrete tabby fort, the best-preserved tabby fortification in the country

1 old brick bell tower of St. George's Anglican Church

1 historical cemetery of St. George's Parrish

1 old log shipping wharf remains that are visible at low tide

1 interpretive trail with kiosks and exhibits to explain the history of the village once there

1 huge archaeological treasure waiting to be uncovered

325 acres just waiting to be unearthed


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