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Discover Local History

Colleton County has a rich and diverse history that is accessible to everyone!

Thanks to past town historians, online access to local records, numerous local historical agencies and an incredible local history collection & archive at the library, it has never been easier to delve into Colleton's past.

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The Colleton County Memorial Library has what you need to learn more about the history of Colleton County and its communities. Here's a quick overview of local history resources at the library:

Our Reference Librarian is on hand to answer questions, help locate resources and recommend research strategies. 

Our South Carolina Room (aka the Local History Room) contains an extensive collection of books related to state and local history, as well as biographies, local maps, local newspaper clippings and more. 

Local yearbooks, club records, business directories, phone books, historic maps and more can be accessed through the library's Archives & Special Collections

Digital Resources (see left) can be accessed at the library and from home computers and include online maps, historical archives, digital collections and more related to Colleton County History. 

Colleton History Organizations

Colleton County Historical & Preservation Society
205 Church Street
Walterboro, SC 29488

The Colleton Museum & Farmer's Market
506 E. Washington St. 
Walterboro, SC 29488

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Modern & Historic     Colleton County Maps Online

1825 Map of Colleton District from Robert Mills' Atlas of the State of South Carolina


1879 Map of April 16th Tornado Track across Colleton & Charleston Counties from the US Signal Corp Annual Weather Reports for 1879


1879 Map of April 16th Tornado Track through residential section of Walterboro, SC from the US Signal Corp Annual Weather Reports for 1879

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from Colleton County, 1898 - 1934 including towns of Walterboro, Cottageville, Williams, Lodge, Ruffin, Smoaks and Hendersonville, look for "Colleton" under "Browse by County" 

Colleton County Topographical Maps, pre-1945 from the Perry-Castaneda Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Cottageville, Edisto Island, Lodge, Walterboro and Yemassee maps available.

Downtown Walterboro, SC, circa 1940s, from the Colleton County Memorial Library Archive's Historic Maps Collection

Colleton County Highway Maps, 1930s - 1980s from the SC Digital Library


Collections of Historic Photographs of Colleton County

Online Resources


Beulah Glover Photograph Collection at the South Caroliniana Library

Colleton County Hospital Photographs, 1955 - 1975 from The Waring Historical Library of the Medical University of South Carolina

Architectural Rendering of Colleton County Hospital, 1950 from the Richland County Library

Historic Colleton County Postcards from the SC Digital Library, look for "Colleton" under "Browse by County."

Postcards from Route 15

A Digital Exhibit - Click image to view.

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**Special Collection** - The diaries of Eliza Bergwin Clitherall describe the early 19th century settlement of Walterborough.
See a transcription of the entries here.
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Researching Walterboro's Historic Jewish Community

Researching Colleton's Historic African American Communities

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Researching Walterboro's World War II History
including the Tuskegee Airmen

Walterboro's Temple Mt. Sinai History from the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina

Walterboro's Temple Mt. Sinai History from the Temple Mt. Sinai Website

Oral History Interviews with Walterboro Jewish American Families from the Jewish Historical Collection on the Lowcountry Digital Library

U.S., Jewish Welfare Board, War Correspondence, 1917-1954 on contains correspondence from the Jewish Welfare Board which served the Walterboro Army Air Base in WWII. Search for the record title (above) and then "Walterboro" within the record set. is available for free on all library computers. 

Walterboro's Jewish Population, a video from Charleston, SC's The Post & Courier regarding the dwindling Jewish population in Walterboro, SC.

1868 Abstract of Voter Registration Reported to the Military Government from the SC Digital Library. Contains lists of registered black voters for communities across Colleton.

List of African American Men who Served in City, County, State or Federal Positions in Walterboro, SC in the Late 19th/Early 20th Centuries

A Guide to the "Colored Notes" Column (1925 - 1958) in Walterboro's The Press & Standard - the first known column written by and about the black community.

South Carolina's Equalization Schools, 1951 - 1960 including Colleton High and Ruffin High, also check out the online exhibit - Equalization Schools: South Carolina's History of Unequal Education from the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative.

The Green Book from the New York Public Library. See issues from 1953 - 1962 for Walterboro entries under South Carolina. 

Walterboro Army Air Field WWII Timeline

How SC Helped Win World War II featuring Walterboro Army Air Field.

"Shaking the Jug, Republic's WWII Fighter - The P-47 Thunderbolt" by Tuskegee Airman Bill Wheeler, referencing Walterboro Army Air Field.

Casimir Gardocki Photograph Collection, Walterboro Army Air Field, WWII from the 510th Fighter Squadron Association featuring images from the 510th's posting at the Walterboro Army Air Field in 1942.

Tuskegee Airmen Who Served at Walterboro Army Air Field

Walterboro Army Air Field Basic Facts & List of Fighter Groups Who Trained at WAAF, 1942 - 1944 from the Colleton County Memorial Library's Vertical File.

FEATURED HISTORIES - All these and more available at the library!

After more than 80 years it's still one of the most popular places in town!

Diary Land Essays, 2007
Check out this great history of the NAACP in Colleton County written by CCML's own Sheila Keaise.
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