Home Sweet Home - Summerville, SC

Whether you grew up in the Low Country, or recently moved to the area or are just passing through, you’ll find the town of Summerville charming. Home Sweet Home looks back into the history of people and places that laid the foundation for this great Southern town. You’ll find out about the oldest Pharmacy in South Carolina and the history of various homes and churches. Summerville has a rich history that explains why so many people are proud to call it home, even today. This book is a must read for anyone with an interest in the history of quaint, southern towns, such as Summerville.

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Welcome to: MYSCHISTORY.COM

My South Carolina history was very interesting to study… all the books, newspaper articles, conversations, people, promotional materials, family and friends and websites.

As you read myschistory, you will notice all the articles are connected to either Summerville or Colonial Dorchester.  When we moved to South Carolina several years ago  we made Summerville our home. I appreciate the people who live here. It is our home with a great history!

Now, let me be the first to acknowledge that everything you find on this site may not be 100% accurate. A date maybe wrong or a word misspelled, or maybe an incident never happened. I have tried to always be factual, but …If I have made a mistake, please let me know. You may email or call me. I hope you enjoy each and every article .

Now, you’ve got a lot of reading, so you better get started!


Woodland’s Mansion

Woodlands was built in 1906 by Pennsylvania Railroad baron, Robert W. Parsons. Parsons bought 100 acres of land just outside Summerville and constructed his family’s winter home. The Parsons family sold the property in 1939 to Alan White, a respected botanist...

Catherine B. “Kitty” Smith Springs

She was born Catherine B. Smith in 1834. Her mother was Martha Smith [1800-1849] a full-blooded Indian, and her father was white making Catherine a mulatto. This heritage would later influence her decisions and soften her heart to those around her who were less...

Health Resorts in Summerville

1889-1930s Summerville has always considered itself a healthy place. We’ve had our ups and downs but we always seem to come out on top. Probably the darkest days were during the Civil War her in America. The south lost the war and things were changed all round. The...

The Teacherage

The house at 127 West Fifth South Street was probably built around 1877. The property was surveyed for Mr. B. S. Rhett of Charleston in that year. At the time this house was built, the only building nearby was the “Paradise Hotel” across the street. From Rhett the...

JAMES HENRY HAMMOND

James Henry Hammond was born on November 15, 1807.  But wait a minute, let’s back up and look at his parents. The descendents of the Hammond family settled in Massachusetts back in 1634.  It wasn’t until 1802, that a representative of the Hammond family came to...

Thomas Wannamaker Salisbury

Thomas Wannamaker Salisbury was born October 26, 1877, in Lebanon, South Carolina, near Ridgeville.  His story is one of rags to riches in Summerville, South Carolina.  His dad, Thomas Wannamaker Salisbury, was born in Lebanon, South Carolina on February 6, 1836.  He...

The Timrod Library

After the 1750s, the library in old Dorchester shut down. It wasn’t until the 1900s when you could check out a book in Summerville. A group of young Summerville women formed a “Chautauqua Reading Circle.” At certain times the ladies would meet and swap books with each...

The Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall is located at 201 W. Carolina Avenue in Summerville and is the oldest public building, still standing, in Summerville.  It was built at the beginning of the Civil War in 1860. In 1860 a vote was taken to elect anaother intendant.  The people elected...

Milton P. Skinner

This property at 705 South Main Street in Summerville goes way back in history.  In 1935 Attorney-at-Law Legare Walker traced the title back to the land owned by Richard Wainwright in 1791.  It was then sold to Dewar and his heirs.  In May 1831 this parcel of land was...

Francis Marion, Swamp Fox

Francis Marion’s grandparents were Benjamin and Judith Baleut Marion, and Anthony and Esther Baleut Cordes. They were Huguenots, driven out of France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. These two families, the Marion and Cordes, left France in 1685 and...

St. Paul’s Church

The beginnings of St. Paul’s goes back to Dorchester (see Colonial Dorchester State Park). Dorchester, South Carolina was originally founded by Puritans or Congregationalists back in 1696. But in 1706 the Colonial Legislature passed the Church Act declaring the Church...

Summerville Presbyterian Church

On December 20, 1695, the ship “Friendship” arrived in Charles Town. About a week after landing, a couple of men from the ship went north on the Ashley River. They went to Newington Plantation and talked with Lady Rebecca Axtell about acquiring land for a church. She...

General William Moultrie

Dr. John Moultrie was born in Scotland in the year 1702.  John grew up and married Lucretia Cooper.  John was a physician and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh.  They were descendents of an ancient Scottish family.  John had heard about the new colony’s,...

Thomas B. Gelzer

THOMAS B. GELZER JR. 427 Sumter AvenueThomas B. Gelzer Jr. was born on May 12, 1798. He was named after his dad, Thomas Gelzer Sr. We know he had a younger brother whose name was John E. Gelzer. Thomas B. was 19 when John was born in 1817. Thomas B. grew up around,...

Azalea Park

Mid-town, Azalea Park is a must see for everyone visiting Summerville. In the springtime it’s beautiful with blooming azalea bushes. Flowers are starting to bloom and grass has taken on a new coat of green. The weather is outstanding. Temperatures are usually...

Summerville Charter

It was in August 1847 when village leaders Henry Arthur, William Boyle, George Heape and Edward Hutchinson petitioned the South Carolina legislator to create the town of Summerville. Here it was, the first part of December and no word had been heard yet. But on the...

Elvira N. Benjamin

The cemetery at St. Paul’s Church in Summerville is where you will find many of Summerville’s early residents. I recommend you take a day and visit the grave sites. In the back of the church you will find the grave for Elvira N. Benjamin. According to...

Earthquake of 1886

In 1865 at the end of the Civil War, the village of Summerville found itself in uncharted waters. Even though the southern states didn’t think they would lose the war, they did. Their way of life had changed. There was no more slavery in the United States. The...