Traveling north on the ICW from McClellanville, our next destination was Georgetown SC. We moored “Bright Angel” at Harbor Walk Marina in Georgetown. Close to downtown and within bicycle rides of groceries and other supplies. We were able to restock, supply, and reconnect with others we’ve met along the way. Plus make some new friends and explore the area.
While at the dock we met Miss Fran and Cap’n Rod, of Cap’n Rod’s Plantation Tours. Cap’n Rod grew up in the area and taught History. Rod is very knowledgeable and proud of his hometown. Miss Fran was not only very knowledgeable of the area but also kind enough to take me to the lumber yard and also brought a number of transients to the grocery store. We’ve been lucky to have all the help from locals along our journey.
The “low country” of South Carolina is full of history, one morning on a bike ride I noticed many of the homes have plaques that state the circa date they were built. It was not uncommon to see homes from the late 1700’s along the large live oak lined streets. While traveling on Front street, I saw a plaque on a building that identified it as the location of the British Headquarters during the Revolutionary War. I had to think for a minute about that.
Georgetown is the third oldest town in South Carolina, founded in 1729 and became an official port of entry in 1732. Like most of the port towns along the Carolinas. Georgetown boasts that famous pirates frequented the area.
While docked in Georgetown we were joined by another Looper boat, “Jet Stream”, Scott and K.C. Calkin. Jet Steam was about to cross their wake after 5 years of traveling on the “Great Loop”, . We wanted to do something special in honor of their achievement. We booked a tour of the area with Cap’n Rod’s Plantation Tours.
We had a group of 6 plus Toots and
instead of going out with others on the 50′ tour boat Rod picked us up in a 20′ deck boat for a special tour. The confluence of the Waccamaw, Black, and Pee Dee Rivers is at the head of Winyah Bay. This made Georgetown the hub of plantations that produced Rice and Indigo. In the 1840’s there was over 40,000 acres of plantations and 780 miles of canals. The plantations were all operated by slave labor and the canals dug by slave labor. By the 1840’s ½ the rice consumed in the United States came from these plantations.
In Cap’n Rod’s
deck-boat we were able to get into the areas that the large tour boat could not. For over three hours we traveled into back waters and on some of the old canals to see old plantation houses and now wild life refuges. We learned that after the war the plantations could not economically produce at the rate they did before. The industry of the area changed from rice and indigo to wood and paper. Now many of the areas that were once rice paddies are now leased for duck hunting.
It was a great evening.
We had a great time in Georgetown and look forward to stopping again on our travels.