Downtown Walterboro – Walterboro, South Carolina
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Walterboro was established as a village as early as 1784 when several Lowcountry planters built summer retreats here. The town’s earliest settlers initially called the community Hickory Valley until changing its name to Walterborough in honor of its founders, brothers Paul and Jacob Walter. The town became the county seat of Colleton County in 1817; some sources claim it became the county seat in 1822, the year the courthouse was completed. Walterboro also received its first United States Post Office in 1822. Archibald Campbell served as the town’s first Postmaster. In 1829 the post office changed the town’s spelling to the more simplified “Walterboro.”
In 1820 Walterboro received a library, which still stands today as the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society. The addition of the library gave the town a reputation for valuing education, which in turn attracted more people to the hamlet. In the 1880s the Atlantic Coast Railroad added a rail line to Walterboro which further vitalized the community. By 1915 the town’s street lamps had been updated with electricity.
A plaza, seen above, was added to the downtown area in 1985 as part of the city’s redevelopment project. Led by then-mayor Elton L. Culpepper, the plaza features a concrete waterfall, benches, and an open space. A veterans war memorial, pictured below, stands on the plaza’s left wall.
The inscription on the veterans war memorial says:
Short and tall, rich and poor,
black and white, farmer and
shopkeeper – they came from every
walk of life. The men and women
of Colleton County have always
answered the call to defend the
flag and protect our freedom.
They have done this without
hesitation during times of conflict
and peace. They gave their all
for God and country. We owe them
a great debt.
Today Walterboro is a modern community with an historic flair. It is home to more than 5,000 residents who take advantage of the town’s many offerings, including the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market. The South Carolina Artisans Center is also located in Walterboro, showcasing more than 300 South Carolina artists and demonstrations.
As Colleton’s county seat, downtown Walterboro boasts many historic buildings, including the Old Colleton County Jail. Restaurants, churches, and antebellum homes also pepper the streets of downtown Walterboro, giving the town its nickname, “The Front Porch of the Lowcountry.”
Last but not least, Walterboro is noted for its water tower, one of just three remaining standpipe towers in South Carolina, as shown in the image above; its base also served as the local jail. (The others include the Allendale Water Tower and Belton Standpipe.)
Downtown Walterboro Info
Address: East Washington Street, Walterboro, SC 29488
GPS Coordinates: 32.902857,-80.664192
Downtown Walterboro Map
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