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Colonial Dorchester

Colonial Dorchester  Image
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35°

Clear Sky

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HOURS

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

OFFICE

11am-noon, daily

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ADMISSION

$2 adults; $1.25 SC seniors; age 15 & younger free

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PETS

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.

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site  No Wifi

No Wifi Available

BY THE NUMBERS

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

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site

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History And Interpretation


  • Programs and Guided Tours: Colonial demonstrations are held throughout the year. Please view our programs and events listings by clicking on the left-hand programs and events tab.

  • Archaeology: Archaeology is on-going at Colonial Dorchester. Programs are offered throughout the year, giving visitors an up-close experience. For more information, please view our programs and events listings by clicking on the left-hand programs and events tab.

  • Burial Sites and Cemeteries: The St. George Parrish Cemetery is located on the park near the St. George bell tower.

  • Revolutionary War: Yes
  • Historical Significance: Colonial Dorchester is 15 miles upriver from Charleston on the State Scenic Ashley River. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The church was built in 1719; the bell tower was added in 1751.

    The fort overlooking the river was built in 1757.

    At the beginning of the Revolutionary War Dorchester was a fortified post for the Americans, its garrison was briefly commanded by Francis Marion, who later became famous as the Swamp Fox. Near the war’s end, the village was a British post, occupied until the approach of an American force prompted the British to evacuate.

    The town was abandoned after the Revolution, and as the surrounding forest reclaimed the site it preserved the town’s archaeological remnants under the surface.

  • National Register of Historic Places: Yes
  • When & How PRT Acquired: In 1960, 20.56 acres were leased from Westvaco and .94 acres was donated by the Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1969, 76.86 acres were acquired from Westvaco and in 1982, another 247 acres were acquired from Westvaco.