Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site
300 State Park RD | Summerville, SC 29485 | Phone: 843-873-1740 |

History & Interpretation

Click here to download our cemetery self-guided tour
Click here to download our park walking tour.


  • Programs and Guided Tours : Colonial demonstrations are held throughout the year. Please view our programs and events listings by clicking on the left-hand programs and events tab.

  • Archaeology : Archaeology is on-going at Colonial Dorchester. Programs are offered throughout the year, giving visitors an up-close experience. For more information, please view our programs and events listings by clicking on the left-hand programs and events tab.

  • Burial Sites and Cemeteries : The St. George Parrish Cemetery is located on the park near the St. George bell tower.

  • Historical Significance : Colonial Dorchester is 15 miles upriver from Charleston on the State Scenic Ashley River. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The church was built in 1719; the bell tower was added in 1751.

    The fort overlooking the river was built in 1757.

    At the beginning of the Revolutionary War Dorchester was a fortified post for the Americans, its garrison was briefly commanded by Francis Marion, who later became famous as the Swamp Fox. Near the war’s end, the village was a British post, occupied until the approach of an American force prompted the British to evacuate.

    The town was abandoned after the Revolution, and as the surrounding forest reclaimed the site it preserved the town’s archaeological remnants under the surface.

  • National Register of Historic Places : Yes
  • When & How PRT Acquired : In 1960, 20.56 acres were leased from Westvaco and .94 acres was donated by the Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1969, 76.86 acres were acquired from Westvaco and in 1982, another 247 acres were acquired from Westvaco.