"S" is for St. John's Berkeley Parish

Dec 12, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for St. John's Berkeley Parish. One of the ten original parishes created in 1706, the parish of St. John's Berkeley stretched northwestward from the upper reaches of the Cooper River to the Santee River through modern Berkeley and Orangeburg counties. The first Europeans settled in the area in the 1690s and by 1705 included Huguenots, English, Irish, and Barbadians. By 1720, enslaved Africans outnumbered whites three to one as the production of rice in freshwater inland swamps replaced the earlier dry cultivation. The parish church, called Biggin Church, was erected in 1712. It burned twice in the eighteenth century and was rebuilt, but after an 1886 fire, was left as a ruin. With the abolition of the parish system in 1865, St. John's Berkeley Parish became a part of Berkeley County.