South Carolina Picture Project

Four Holes Swamp Bridge – Dorchester, South Carolina


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This small park wedged within the junction of United States highways 78 and 178 in the Dorchester County town of Dorchester commemorates events that occurred here during the Revolutionary War. Also called Four Hole (singular) Swamp – the origins of the name are unclear – this blackwater river is comprised of several braided channels and is a tributary to the Edisto River. A causeway was built here as the result of an act passed in 1753. Patriot Colonel Henry Hampton seized the causeway on July 14, 1781 to intercept Lord Rawdon as he retreated from Orangeburg.

Four Holes Swamp Bridge Marker

Darrell Parker of North Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A bridge also was built here in the 1770s and was the site of conflicts between Patriot militias led by Colonels Wade Hampton and William Harden and Loyalists.

Four Holes Swamp Park

Darrell Parker of North Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The cannon, seen above, was made in Leicester, England, in 1762, and used to defend the causeway during the war. The artifact was unearthed in 1921 by a road crew, recovered from six feet underground. The causeway and road were paved in 1928.

Four Holes Swamp Sign

Darrell Parker of North Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The park sits in front of the parking lot of the Department of Public Works, the former site of Harley’s Tavern. William Harley operated the tavern within the post office, which he also ran. The post office opened in 1803. Nearby Harleyville is named for his grandson, William W. Harley.

Harleys Tavern Marker

Darrell Parker of North Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Also located near this site and within Four Hole Swamp is the Francis Beidler Forest, which contains the largest stand of virgin bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) in the world.


Four Holes Swamp Bridge Info


Address: 2120 East Main Street, Dorchester, SC 29437
GPS Coordinates: 33.142670,-80.352090


Four Holes Swamp Bridge Map




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