City Directories and History: (Old Dorchester State Park; Fort Dorchester) Old Dorchester consists today of the ruins of the church tower, which was built about 1750 and the tabby fort constructed in July 1775. House sites and other structures remain as ruins. Originally the town was the third largest in South Carolina. It consisted of a bridge, two wharves, “a boat building place,” a church and about forty houses. The town of Dorchester was established in 1695 by New Englanders of Massachusetts Bay. St. George’s, an Anglican Parish, was erected 1717. A brick church begun in August 1719 was enlarged in the 1730s. The tower was built before 1753 and in 1766 had four bells. Burned by the British in the American Revolution, the church was partially repaired and used afterwards, but as the congregation moved away it fell into decay. Fort Dorchester began as a brick powder magazine enclosed by a tabby wall in 1757. During the American Revolution, Dorchester was a strategic point. In 1775, the magazine was fortified and the garrison commanded by Capt. Francis Marion. British troops occupied the town in April 1780. They were driven out by cavalry and infantry under Col. Wade Hampton and Gen. Nathaniel Greene on December 1, 1781. The town gradually declined after the Revolution. It was abandoned by 1788. Listed in the National Register December 2, 1969.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.
For further information see the Old Dorchester State Park Visitor’s Guide. (File Size 3.35MB)
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