S.C. Encyclopedia

HISTORY: South Caroliniana Library

HISTORY: South Caroliniana Library

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  The South Caroliniana Library building was completed in 1840 as the central library building for South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina). It was the first freestanding college library building in the United States, predating those […]

by · 12/11/2017 · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY:  South Carolina barbecue

HISTORY:  South Carolina barbecue

S.C. Encyclopedia  }  South Carolina barbecue is slowly cooked, hand-pulled or shredded pork that is flavored with a tangy sauce and usually served with side dishes such as rice, hash, coleslaw, sweet pickles, white bread, and iced tea. Barbecue often is served on festive occasions such as holidays, family reunions, weddings, church and community fundraisers, football tailgating parties, and political meetings. It varies widely across the state with respect to cooking methods, cuts of pork, sauce type, and side dishes served. Barbecue is often the topic of friendly debate since many South Carolinians have strong preferences for particular types that reflect the cultural character and identity of specific regions or places.

Traditionally the pork is cooked in an open pit fueled by hardwood coals. The pit usually is a rectangular cement block structure of variable length, about three feet high and five to six feet wide, with either iron or steel rods across the narrow width. Openings at floor level allow for refueling and air circulation control.

HISTORY Edisto Memorial Gardens

HISTORY Edisto Memorial Gardens

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  Edisto Gardens were established in the 1920s when azaleas were planted to beautify five acres in the city of Orangeburg. “Memorial” was added to the garden’s name in 1950, and a large fountain at the entrance honors the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and in Vietnam. Located on the Edisto River, the gardens feature Horne Wetlands Park, where a boardwalk, boat dock, gazebo, and educational interpretative shelter allow visitors to appreciate the flora and fauna of a free-flowing black-water river surrounded by old tupelo and cypress trees.

From an album cover featuring Ernie Heckscher at the Cotillion Ball, 1959, via Wikipedia.

S.C. HISTORY: Debutante balls

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  The debutante ball as a rite of passage for young girls probably evolved from a seventeenth-century European custom in which aristocratic families presented their daughters at court to help them find suitable husbands. While a debutante may be presented to South Carolina society at an individual ball, tea dance, or other party given by her parents, the social events that accompany the debutante season across the state usually revolve around the official debutante balls held by organizations created specifically for that purpose.

The grande dame of these ball organizations in South Carolina is Charleston’s St. Cecilia Society. Officially organized as a musical society in 1762, St. Cecilia turned to purely social events in 1822, and ever since then its ball has been considered the most exclusive in the state. The second organization appeared in 1889, when a group of Columbia women decided to develop the Assembly Ball as a social event modeled after the St. Cecilia, with the stated purpose of giving “their daughters a dignified background, and a fitting, yet attractive opportunity for them to be presented to society.”

Medals of Honor awarded by the three branches of the U.S. military.  Left to right are the Army, Coast Guard/Navy/Marine Corps, and Air Force. (Source: Wikipedia.)

HISTORY: S.C. Medal of Honor recipients

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  Approved by the United States Congress in 1862, the Medal of Honor is America’s highest award for military valor. Thirty native South Carolinians have been awarded the medal for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” above that of their comrades in arms. On rare occasions the Medal of Honor has been awarded for individual exploits taking place in peacetime. Among them is Shipfitter First Class George Huber Wheeler of Charleston, who received the award for extraordinary heroism during a fire at Coquimbo, Chile, on January 20, 1909.

Hunting Island lighthouse

SC ENCYCLOPEDIA:  South Carolina’s lighthouses

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  South Carolina’s 180-mile coastline is replete with bays, inlets, and harbors. To assist shipping and aid navigation, lighthouses and beacons have dotted the South Carolina coast for centuries. The earliest warning lights were probably bonfires lit to aid ships entering the harbor at Charleston. South Carolina’s first lighthouse, built in 1767, stood on Middle Bay Island (now a part of Morris Island) in the Charleston harbor.

When the federal government assumed responsibility for all lighthouses in 1789, South Carolina had only one—the Morris Island lighthouse. That year Paul Trapier donated land for a lighthouse on North Island at the mouth of Winyah Bay. The Georgetown lighthouse was completed and lit in 1801.


HISTORY: Marjory Wentworth, poet laureate

S.C. Encyclopedia  | Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on June 3, 1958, Marjory Heath Wentworth is the daughter of John Heath and Mary Tully. She received a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in anthropology and political science in 1980 and an M.A. in literature and creative writing from New York University in 1984. On June 27, 1981, she married the filmmaker Peter Wentworth. They have three sons.


HISTORY: Bennie Lee Sinclair, poet laureate

S.C. Encyclopedia  | Bennie Lee Sinclair was born on April 15, 1939, in Greenville to Graham Sinclair and Bennie Ward. While she was in the first grade, her first published poem appeared in a teachers’ magazine. Overwhelmed by the attention she received, she stopped writing poetry and returned to it only after the deaths of her father and her brother. A 1956 graduate of Greenville High School, Sinclair entered Furman University, where she received her B.A. in English and later received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996. In 1957 she married Thomas Donald Lewis.

by · 10/23/2017 · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia