In the late 1600s, English and French Huguenot planters settled this area. The Lords Proprietors referred to the area around Charles Towne as Berkeley County, with the name Berkeley coming from John, Lord Berkeley and Sir William Berkeley.
Several national figures, including Revolutionary War General William Moultrie, once called this county home. The elusive Swamp Fox, General Francis Marion, tormented British legions as they occupied much of South Carolina. He emerged from these swamps, attacking with his small band of marauders, then retreating like a ghost into the misty backwaters of his homeland where the Redcoats could never find him. Additionally, 32 of the 166 Revolutionary War battle sites in South Carolina are located in Berkeley County – making Berkeley County home to the largest number of Revolutionary War sites in the world!
Moncks Corner grew up around a railroad intersection and depot in the 1860s. The depot provided the local farmers and lumbermen a way to get their products to market and for homeowners and businesses to receive mail and supplies. After WWII, rail travel and freight shipping declined with an improved highway system. Trains stopped using the depot as a stop in 1975. Fortunately, Moncks Corner kept this important part of railroad and local history by renovating it and evolving it into the town's Visitor and Culture Center and gift shop. It is also a favorite place to hold events.
Mepkin Abbey is a Trappist monastery located on a former plantation on the bluffs of the Cooper River. The monastery has been located here since 1949 and offers visitors a free and exceptionally peaceful experience. The gardens are breathtaking, church visits and guided tours are available by appointment, and the gift shop has lots of specialty gifts along with gourmet mushrooms grown on the Abbey's farm. History Trivia: The site of Mepkin Abbey was land previously owned by Henry Laurens, a Congressional Constitutional president who was once help prisoner in the Tower of London and finally released after he was exchanged for the infamous British General, Lord Charles Cornwallis. The plantation was later owned by publisher and philanthropist Henry R. Luce and his wife Clare Booth Luce, who commissioned a famous architect Loutrell Briggs to create the magnificent gardens that still hold their grandeur today.
Walking into the Berkeley County Museum, your footsteps will echo on the 150-year-old heart pine floor that was originally in a railroad warehouse in Darlington, SC. Located within the Old Santee Canal Park, the museum houses exhibits and artifacts that tell 12,000 years of the area's history. Exhibits focus on Brig. Gen. Francis Marion (The Swamp Fox), American Indians, Colonial life, early medicine and education, rural electrification and the Francis Marion National Forest. The most recent display describes the rich history of "Moonshine" in Berkeley County, once considered the moonshine capital of the state. Also of note is the replica Little David, a civil war era submersible torpedo boat that was built under an oak tree at nearby Stony Landing. One night in 1863, the David attacked the Union ship, USS New Ironsides, and extremely damaged the vessel.
Old Santee Canal is a 195-acre park located on the site of the first true canal in America. It is also a part of the former Stony Landing Plantation, an important site for trade and transportation since the colonial times. The park offers tours of the 19th century plantation house, four miles of trails and an impressive 11,000 square foot interpretive center that showcases cultural and natural history exhibits, an interactive computer, live snake exhibits and more!
Black's Camp is a full-service fish camp with guided or self-guided fishing expeditions. Accommodations are available on site, as well as a restaurant. So even if you're not a fan of fishing, stop by for one of their famous burgers!