Old Santee Canal Park...

Steve discovered this very interesting 195-acre park, which commemorates the area's rich history and habitat. Among its attractions are the Stony Landing House, built in 1843, and four miles of boardwalks that meander through the quiet backwaters of Biggin Creek and its surrounding swamp, an interpretive center and a history museum.

A great history lesson was had at the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center which tells the 12,000-year story of the region. Exhibits and artifacts filled in some blanks we had in our South Carolina history and focused on Brig. Gen. Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox), American Indians, Colonial life, the Civil War, early medicine, rural electrification, early education and the Francis Marion National Forest. What made it even more intriguing is that it was so site specific. When there was a relic displayed, it was found right where we stood.
 In the early days of this nation, as settlers from South Carolina moved inland from the coast, it was essential that they get their agricultural products, principally cotton and indigo, to Charleston, S.C., for export, since there were no manufacturing plants in the young country. Roads were practically nonexistent, and the best method of transportation was by rivers in the Santee River system. However, boats small enough to navigate the tributaries and on the Santee River were often lost on the open sea voyage from the mouth of the Santee to Charleston. Of necessity, our forefathers determined that something had to be done to prevent the loss of cargoes and often the lives of those transporting the fruit of a year's hard earned labor via the Santee River to Charleston.
The park's centerpiece is its Interpretive Center that chronicles the area's history as far back as 4000 B.C., including the 1863 construction of the Little David, a semi-submersible Confederate torpedo boat used in the Civil War.
The Center also had indigenous animals, found in the creeks. Thankfully, this was the only alligator we came in contact with.
 After learning all we could indoors, we strolled the boardwalk.

We continue to delight in all we are seeing and learning on our Grand Tour of America.

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