A look at the history of Georgetown through the archives of the Georgetown Times:
125 years ago (1896)
South Island Gems from a correspondent: Our fishermen are now engaged in catching sturgeon; soon we will have the toothsome caviar. Mrs. William Lucas and children have returned from a visit of some weeks at her mother’s at Harrietta and our good friend Willie is happy now. Mr. Eddie Simmons and E.T. Robertson were given a royal duck hunt by that generous owner of such fine hunting lands, Mr. E.P. Alexander. Lieutenant Whitford is now with Dredge No. 1, putting up a huge bank for a road on Daisy Bank Causeway. Tommie Lucas was on a visit to his uncle, Mr. William Lucas, and returned via South River; I am told there are lots of attractive ladies on South River.
By unanimous vote of the Arthur Manigault Camp of U.C.V, it was decided to request the ladies of Georgetown County to form an auxiliary chapter to be known as the Arthur Manigault Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The widows, wives, mothers, sisters and lineal descendants the men who served honorably in the navy, army and civil service and those who gave materials to the cause are earnestly requested to form themselves into a camp. Will the old soldiers, so few now left, be disappointed? Surely not.
100 years ago (1921)
Work was begun this week by L.C. and P.R. Lachicotte, of Waverly Mills, of building two ferry boats to be operated by the Waccamaw Ferry Company from a point near Arundel Plantation to Hagley or True Blue landings. The boats will be ready for summer traffic to Pawleys Island. There will be a regular schedule for accommodating those who wish to enjoy the surf and spend a pleasant time on the island.
Letter to the mayor: Dear Sir, the writer is making a flight from New York to Miami in a Wright Seaplane and considering making Georgetown the only stop. (1) Is the Sampit River wide enough to land in the central part of the waterfront? (2) Is there a pier or a slip to which we could tie the nose of our flying boat while filling with gas or oil? (3) Is the River traffic congested? (4) Have seaplanes of the flying boat type entered your port for fuel and supplies? Thanking your Honor, Wright Aeronautical Corp., Robert P. Hewitt, Test Pilot, Patterson, New Jersey. Mayor’s reply: Gentlemen – Attention of Mr. Robert Hewitt: This will acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed communication. (1) The Sampit River is wide enough. Other planes have landed and risen. (2) Yes, you can tie up at the Market Dock. (3) Traffic will not interfere. (4) Yes, very often. Very truly yours, J.W. Wingate, Mayor, Georgetown.
75 years ago (1946)
The Wedge, historic plantation on the South Santee River, has been purchased by Charles E. Woodard of Philadelphia from Mrs. E. Gerry Chadwick. The consideration was not disclosed, but it had been offered for $66,0000 furnished. The house was built in 1826 by William Lucas, successful rice planter. Mr. and Mrs. Chadwick purchased several plantations and incorporated them into the Wedge. These include Palo Alto, Bellevue, Woodville and Middleton. Mr. Woodward, the new owner, married Miss Betty Gadsen, daughter of Christopher P. Gadsen, of 7 Atlantic Street, Charleston.
Mr. Johnstone of Belle Isle Gardens says that many more visitors from the Carolinas coastal section are noted at the Gardens this season than heretofore. He says that those who have not seen Belle Isle before remark of the natural beauty of the Garden and class it with the most beautiful in South Carolina.
50 years ago (1971)
Tom Thomas, an International Paper Company turbine operator and dabbler into shad fishing on the side, caught more than he bargained for Thursday morning on North Santee. Thomas, with Clevie Lambert, both of the St. Delight section, went to fish the four shad nets they jointly own, and in one was a huge 40-pound catfish.
Beautiful Hopsewee, the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is among a number of lovely old plantation houses, town houses, churches and church yards that will be seen during the upcoming annual Plantation Tours sponsored by the Women of Prince George Winyah, Episcopal Church. Recently the home of the Reading Wilkinsons and now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Maynard and their family, Hopsewee stood vacant and ghostly for 40 years following the threat of destruction to all in the path of Sherman as he strode with his men a fiery path to the sea.
25 years ago (1996)
The Town of Andrews played host to hundreds of area visitors over the weekend during the first annual Andrews Gospel Music Festival, featuring Gullah storytelling, sweetgrass basket weavers, old-time gospel singing, sidewalk art and barbecue lunches. . . Rees Mims of the Ashley Cooper Carriage Company is asking the City of Georgetown to allow for the stabling of up to three horses. Currently Mims operates carriage rides in Georgetown with two horses he alternately hauls back and forth from Mount Pleasant on a daily basis. . . Participants for the for the 49th Annual Plantation Tours sponsored by the Women of Prince George, Winyah Episcopal Church came from Norway, England and all over the United States. Church members said next, year’s event, the 50th, will be the biggest and best yet.
At Monday’s Pawleys Island Town Council meeting, Mayor Julian Kelly read an August 1995 letter to Gov. David Beasley’s office, signed by a number of island residents concerned with a “climate of fear” permeating the island. Agents with the State Law Enforcement Division were meeting with Pawleys Island residents this week as they probed into illegal activity by the council.