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South Carolina
Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places


Time Zone: South Carolina is in the Eastern Time zone


The state is divided up into three major divisons: Appalachian Mountain, Piedmont and the Coastal Plain. The Blue Ridge is where the highest elevations are in the northwestern corner of the state. The Piedmont rolls out toward the flatter coastal plain. About two thirds of the state is made up of the Coastal plain. The coastal area has many islands which become more common as you go south.

Total area - 34,726 square miles
Total land area - 30,109 square miles

width - 200 miles
length - 260 miles

Latitude - 32°4'30"N to 35°12'N
Longitude - 78°0'30"W to 83°20'W

Highest Point: Sassafras Mountain at 3,560 feet above sea level
Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean at sea level
Mean elevation: 350 feet above sea level


The largest portion of the economy is from manufacturing, particularly in the textiles. The second largest is tourism, which continues to grow each year. The popularity of the state as a retirement haven has helped this business grow. Though agriculture has been renewed by rehabilitation of the soil, it has not primarily an agricultural state. Geologically the state's highest mineral yield is gold with other resources including kaolin, vermiculite, sand, gravel and granite.


Coming here in 1521, Spaniard Francisco Cordilla was the first European to explore South Carolina. Five years later, Vasquez de Ayllon followed trying to establish a settlement near Winyah Bay. The settlement was quickly abandoned due to poor conditions. The French then tried to settle the area with Jean Ribault in 1562, but this attempt ended in the same way. Finally in 1670, the English had better luck. Charles Towne was founded at Albemarle Point. It was named in honor of the reigning English King. The area grew quickly and within 10 years moved the present site of Charleston

The Civil War struck the area hard. South Carolina seceded from the Union on Dec. 20, 1860, the first southern state to do so. The War began four months later. The reconstruction period was especially difficult and slow for South Carolina. The lack of able-bodied men to farm and raise crops led the state to turn more to the textile industry to rebuild. World War II brought heavy industry to the state which also brought more growth and diversification for the economy.

Need help on the highways of South Carolina? Dial *HP
State Highway Emergency Patrol (SHEP) can offer you the assistance you need, including notifying emergency personnel.

1790 - 249,073
1800 - 345,591
1810 - 415,115
1820 - 502,741
1830 - 581,185
1840 - 594,398
1850 - 668,507
1860 - 703,708
1870 - 705,606
1880 - 995,577
1890 - 1,151,149
1900 - 1,340,316
1910 - 1,515,400
1920 - 1,683,724
1930 - 1,738,765
1940 - 1,899,804
1950 - 2,117,027
1960 - 2,382,594
1970 - 2,590,516
1980 - 3,121,820
1990 - 3,486,703
2000 - 4,012,012
2005 - 4,255,083 (estimate)

Population Density:
2000 - 133.2 persons per square mile

Per capita - $18,795 (1999)
Median Household - $38,003 (2003)




The Governor's Mansion
Built in 1855, the mansion was chosen in 1868 as the official residence for the state's governors

Guided tours of the Governor's Mansion are free of charge. To learn more about the mansion or to make arrangements for a tour, call (803) 737-1710.

The South Carolina State Capitol
P.O. Box 142
Columbia, SC 29202
(Main St. At Gervais St.)
Phone: 803-734-2430 

South Carolina official state website
South Carolina has 46 counties, 47 state parks and 4 state forests.

South Carolina State Parks
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-734-0156
FAX: 803-734-1017
Toll-free: 1-888-88-PARKS

State Education page
Clemson University
University of South Carolina


Fort Jackson in Columbia
Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter



Discover South Carolina - official State Tourism site


South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
1201 Main Street, Suite 1700
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803.799.4601

South Carolina Historical Society
100 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: (843)723-3225
Fax: (843)723-8584

Cherokees of South Carolina

Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina
Room 215
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC
Phone: 843.953.3918



South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum
301 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-737-8095

McKissick Museum Folklife Programs
Phone: 803-777-7251


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This page was created 3 September 1998

This page was last updated 20 September 2006 at 10:39 pm

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