The Old Georgetown Road, one of the most scenic roads in Charleston County, has now been recognized as one of the nation's most historic. A 6.6-mile portion of the road between the South Santee River and S.C. 45 has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

How historic is the King's Highway (as it is also known)? President George Washington traveled the highway during his Southern tour of 1791. Thomas Lynch Jr., one of South Carolina's four signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born nearby.

Selden B. Hill, the director of The Village Museum at McClellanville, says it might be the longest remaining unpaved portion of the 1,300-mile colonial King's Highway that stretched from Charleston to Boston.

Mr. Hill did the research for the application to the National Park Service for the road's historic designation.

The route of the King's Highway is now largely that of U.S. 17. In Charleston County, the highway developed from an Indian path.

The Parish of St. James-Santee Episcopal Church is located along the highway. And Hampton Plantation is by its northern terminus. Both are national landmarks.

Indeed, there are a variety of historic sites in the neighborhood, as Mr. Hill observes in his column on our Commentary page.

Though lightly traveled, the Old Georgetown Road could get some unwelcome new cross traffic in the near future - if an electrical transmission line is constructed across the Santee Delta to McClellanville. Three of six optional routes are near the historic road.

It's another good reason to find a better route - one from the south that won't disturb the natural habitat of the Santee Delta or the notable historic sites there.

SCE&G officials have agreed to work with Central Electric Power Cooperative and Berkeley Electric Cooperative on an alternative plan that would avoid the Delta.

The co-ops should take the utility up on its offer, recognizing that there's something about a transmission line carried by 75-to-100-foot pylons that wouldn't complement either the historic landscape or the unspoiled natural habitat of the Santee Delta.