"B" is for Beech Island

Oct 24, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

"B" is for Beech Island [Aiken County; population 4,834]. Named for the beech trees growing in the wetlands of the nearby Savannah River swamp—and possibly a dead river island—Beech Island began in the 1680s as the Indian trading post, Savano Town. In 1716, the British constructed Fort Moore at Savano Town to protect the upcountry trade routes and to guard the western entrance to the colony. With the creation of New Windsor Township, offers of free land attracted European immigrants. Among them were a group of Swiss settlers recruited by John Tobler. These Swiss settled on the rich farmland along the Savannah River and began Beech Island's agricultural economy. In the 1850s, local landowners formed a farmer's club for the diffusion of agricultural knowledge and scientific farming in the Beech Island area.