Featuring photos from the collection of Jim P. Bryan
In March of 1663 Charles II of England granted a charter to the colony of Carolina. By the 1730's Carolina had both French and English settlers as well as a township plan designed to ring the settled areas of South Carolina, serving as a defensive perimeter against the Indians as well as the Spaniards. Within the first year of colonization, enslaved Africans arrived in South Carolina via the West Indies. Charleston was the common destination for slave ships between 1700 and 1775. Forty percent of the Africans imported in the North America slave trade came through Charleston.
Events in South Carolina in mid 1780 following the battle of Cowpens as well as other large battles turned the Revolutionary War; however, the war was not yet won. The last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in South Carolina in November 1782. In March 1776 South Carolina became the first southern colony to draft a state constitution. The years following the war were occupied with rebuilding the widespread destruction and changing the way planting was done for rice and indigo, the main crops. By 1808 cotton had become the main crop in South Carolina. Charleston was the leading manufacturing center in South Carolina. In 1827 the South Carolina Canal and Railroad was chartered.
Robert Mills, architect, 1781-1855, and surveyor, Thomas Anderson, created and published a map of Barnwell District in 1825 (Library of Congress Catalog Number 2006636533). The map indicates small areas of settlement in Barnwell District.
In 1810, the South Carolina General Assembly conveyed a 1000 acre land grant to Benjamin and G. Washington Allen, land that includes the area currently occupied by the town of Allendale. Originally the town of Allendale was located several miles away where a post office was established in the summer of 1849. Paul Allen was the first postmaster. That site is only farmland now.
The Port Royal Railroad completed a rail line through the area in 1873, and the town was moved to its current location. In that year, the town was incorporated by the South Carolina General Assembly to occupy a circular area with a 3/4 mile radius with the railroad depot at its center.
Allendale County was formed from parts of Barnwell and Hampton counties in 1919. It included the towns of Allendale and Fairfax, already thriving centers of business at that time. The county is mostly farm land and includes a number of historical plantations.
For most of the 19th Century and into the 20th Century, cotton was the main crop in this part of the state.
Steam powered river boats moved cargo as well as passengers up and down the Savannah River.
A very early view of Main Street in Allendale looking north. The Hotel Gildare is on the right. If the camera could pan to the right, you would see the Allendale train depot, the geometric center of town. Later images of this same view would show telegraph poles down the center of Main Street. Before it became Rt. 301, Main Street was a wide, tree-lined boulevard.