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Facts, trivia on S.C. and Charleston

on Wednesday, 14 October 2015. Posted in Columns, Opinions

How well do you know your state? All South Carolinians know, or should know, that South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, and that South Carolina troops fired the first shots in the War Between the States at Fort Sumter.

  • The fort on Sullivan Island was great for protecting troops during the war, since the walls were made of Palmetto logs which were so spongy that cannonballs bounced off.
  • Did you know that after striking out on its own the state printed its own money (Confederate) and created its own postage stamps.
  • The first game of golf played in the U.S. was played in Charleston.
  • Also, Charleston was home to the first public college, the first museum and the first playhouse ever in the United States.
  • Drayton Hall near Charleston, built in 1738, is the oldest preserved plantation house open to the public. It remains in nearly perfect original condition.
  • About 10-15 magnitude 3 earthquakes happen per year in South Carolina, but nothing has rivaled the Charleston Earthquake of 1886. It was the largest quake to ever hit the Southeastern United States, at a magnitude of 7.2.
  • The first symphony orchestra in America was sponsored by the Saint Cecilia Society of Charleston.
  • North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge is the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge, spanning the Charleston Harbor and connecting historic Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
  • The largest old growth floodplain on the continent is at Congaree National Park.
  • According to folklore, if you go to Marion and drink water from Catfish Creek, you’ll become infatuated with the area and want to stay forever.
  • It’s illegal to fish with a yo-yo or dynamite in South Carolina.
  • Sweetgrass basket making not only originated in the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities, but today Mt. Pleasant is the only modern suburb where this type of basketry is still practiced.
  • Summerville is the birthplace of sweet tea. They have a ‘Sweet Tea Trail’ that guides you through all things sweet tea and southern hospitality.
  • Wadmalaw Island is home to America’s only commercial tea plantation, American Classic Tea. They host complimentary factory tours and trolley tours of the plantation are $10.
  • South Carolina produces more peaches than anywhere in the country, except California. And they call Georgia “the peach state?”
  • Sumter has the largest Gingko farm in the world.
  • The first US Senator that was ever elected by a write-in vote was South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond (R) on Nov 2, 1954 with 139,106 write-in votes.
  • The world’s largest collection of outdoor sculptures is at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet.


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