A History of St. George, South Carolina

Dorchester County Court House - St. George, SC (2007)

St. George is the County Seat of Dorchester County. There are two theories concerning the origin of the name: (1) In colonial times the section was included in the Parish of St. George's, Dorchester. (2) The town was built on land belonging to James George, the first settler, who had a log store. Prior names: George's Turnout, George's Station. When the town was incorporated the name was given as St. George.

St. George, home to the World Grits Festival, is located off of I-95 at exit 77 and just a few miles from I-26 on U.S. Highway 15. This lowcountry community is a picture-perfect setting for a small rural southern town. The town's World Grits Festival was the original idea of businessman John Walters. The owner of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store first thought of the idea for a "Grits Festival" when he noticed the large quantity of grits his store was selling. A check with Jim Dandy and Quaker Oats Company headquarters confirmed the fact that more grits are sold in the low coastal plains of South Carolina than anywhere else in the world.

Both suppliers enthusiastically supported the idea of creating the festival. Each April, fifty-thousand people attend the festival. There is a corn shucking contest, square dancing, grits eating contest, a falling in the grits contest, softball tournament, bands, arts & crafts, and plenty of grits meals. The festival wouldn't be complete without the crowning of Miss Grits. Proceeds from the festival are used to expand the recreational and cultural facilities of the community.

Established in the Colleton District (county) as St. George's Parish, the town was granted a U.S. Post Office on April 1, 1804, and its first Postmaster was Mr. William Harley. In 1831, the name was officially changed simply to St. George's. On January 11, 1842, the original Post Office was closed down. In 1847 (exact date unknown), St. George's was granted another Post Office. In 1897, Dorchester County was created from Colleton County, and St. George was named the County Seat (no possessive 's'). Its Post Office has been in continuous operation ever since 1847.

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved