Marion County, South Carolina

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County Logo, and Francis Marion.
Pre 1600's As most of South Carolina, this area was first settled by the Pedee, Cheraw, and Waccamaw Indians. Native Americans were attracted to the many resources provided by the nearby Little Pee Dee and Great Pee Dee Rivers.[1]
1670-1793 Indigo was the crop to raise. There was indigo growing like a weed in the early years.[2]
1682-1769 - Marion Co. area began as part of Craven County (1 of 3 counties which began back in the Carolinas. Craven co. extended northward from See Wee Creek ( now known as Awendaw Creek).[3]
1664- 1700 the region was very thinly populated to escape notice. [1]
1700's Huguenots arrived and gradually the population grew. Craven County was allowed 2 representatives in the early colonial Commons House of Assembly.[1]
Carolana map on Marion Co..
1735 - John Godbold, Englishman was the original settler. John stopped near Georgetown prospected the tangled forested area. He settled 1/2 mile South of the current county seat, Marion, SC. The trail he travelled upon later became a road used by early settlers, and is now a State Highway. [1]
1735 Later in the year, a colony of Englishmen arrived and colonized Britton's Neck They settled within 20 miles of John Godbold's cabin. These men built a brick church named All Saints. These had names of Britton, Davis, Giles, Fladger, and Richardson. [1]
later 1735 2nd group of Englishmen, with names of Gibson, Murfee, Crawford, and Saunders also built cabins in what is now Sandy Bluff nearby as well as a 2nd church, Prince Frederick's Church. This was soon abandoned due perhaps to malaria, or disease, and is not visible today. [1]
1736 Nathaniel Evans and wife immigrated from Pennsylvania to settle on land on both sides of Catfish Creek, of Welsh Neck colony in Cheraws District. Their cabin was 6 miles north of Marion, SC. Evans had land grants with dates 1746 to 1772 for 1,100 acres of farmland. [1]
1741 - (18th Century) English settlers emigrated into South Carolina, migrating up the Great Pee Dee River. An English Act to ship some indigo plants to America, then indigo began tbe intensively grown on the plantations. This imported indigo yielded good indigo and was more productive thann the Carolina wild indigo. Even when the plantatios ceased to plant the crop for profit, they grew it for personal use on the plantation. [2]
1769 The Circuit/ District, Act of 1769 divided Carolina into 7 jurisdictional districts. They were Charles Town, Beaufort, Orangeburgh, Georgetown, Camden, Cheraws, and Ninety-Six. (present-day Marion County belonged at this time to Georgetown District).[1][3]
1776-82 American Revolutionary War there were virtually insufficient population for a military unit. There were soldiers from the general area in the continental Army and the patriot militia, such as Brigidier General Francis Marion. (the county is named for Gen. Francis Marion.) See the following battles of Blue Savannah and Bowling Green which were fought by General Marion and his men against these Loyalists in this area. [1]
June, 1780 -After the fall of Charlestown Col. Hugh Giles and his Patriot Militia had men from areas such as Georgetown, Williamsburg, Marion, Florence, Horry and Dillon Counties.. Their force was titled Lower Craven County Regiment of Militia, more well known as Britton’sl neck Regiment of Lynches River Regiment. [4]
Aug 12, 1780 The “Swamp Fox” (Lt. Col Framcis Marion, with his 72 irregular cavalry, known as “Marion’s men” routed a group of 250 Loyalists under the command of Major Micajah Gainey that outnumbered him 4:1. This occurred on the Little Pee Dee River where Major Gainey’s men were blocking the road. When charged, the ben scattered ant Major Ganey fell back.. Col Marion fell back to set up an ambush as well. He had the men conceal themselves at Blue Savannah, which was an open sandy area but surrounded by pines. The loyalists rode into the ambush, so that Col Marion could attack with 50 men. Again The Loyalists retreated.[5]
Historic Marker for Francis Marion.
Apr 13, 1781 After crossing the Pee Dee with 70 men Lt. Col Horry encountered tories, he joined some foragers, then charged at McPherson’s Plantation. 2 British were killed and captured 13 British, 2 tories and 2 slaves noth no deaths in his men.[6]
1781 After Major Gainey’s Loyalists were attacked, they pledged allegiance to South Carolina at Bowling Green. After joining with Gen. Marion the group pursued Col. Fanning who had been attacking Drowning Creek, Raft Swamp, Shoe Heel and Little Pedee. Near Bowling Green, Gen. Marion assigned 100 to be spies and scouts under Capt. R Ellison. After 3 days march they found a group of Tories. Following the skirmish they killed and wounded several without losing a man.[7]
1785 -Marion County (Charleston District) was one of the counties which never functioned. It was roughly the area of St. John's, Berkeley Parish. Any records pertaining to this area will be in the Charleston County records. Although early reported some records burned..[1]
1785 Marion County was initially created in 1785 as the county of Liberty in old Georgetown District, one of the original judicial districts created in 1769. In 1798 when courthouse districts were created in South Carolina, the name "Marion District" was first used, honoring General Francis Marion of Revolutionary War fame. the 7 districts were subdivided into "counties" [1]
1800 the original frame courthouse for Marion county was built. It was used until 1823.
1823 a Brick building was built to replace the wooden building. This soon proved too small.
1853-54 - Current court house was built. The building used today, can be found across the square from the statue of Francis Marion.
Marion County Courthouse.


Marion County, is latitude 34 north, and longiture 3 west from Washington. A line beginning at a stake on North Carolina line, 1 1/2 miles from Mclnnis' Bridge over Little Pee Dee River, then runs a southwest course across the Great Pee Dee River to Lynch's Creek (river). This divides it from Marlborough Co., on the east side of the Great Pee Dee, and from Darlington Co., on the west side of the river. From the point the line intersects Lynch's River — Lynch's River is the line down to its intersection with the Great Pee Dee River on the west side, then down the Great Pee Dee River to its confluence with Little Pee Dee ; then up the Little Pee Dee to connection with Lumber River; up Lumber River to intersection with the North and' South Carolina line. From there a line to the beginning stake above McInnis'Bridge..

Shortened Version description of Boundaries - north by Marlborough Co., NW by Darlington Co., on the west and southwest by Lynch's River; south by Great Pee Dee; on east by Little Pee Dee and Lumber River and on north and North east by North Carolina.[8]
Climate -Mild climate
Precipitation - evenly distributed rainfall adapt Marion to a wide range of farm products.
Crops - Cotton, tobacco, and corn are its principal crops through versatility of Marion's soil
Soil - sandy loam (predominating) to clay
County Fair - a woman exhibited from her farm - 240 products and byproducts from one farm.
Topography - level surface, large open fields (hundreds of acres); terracing is unnecessary makes it easy to use tractors.. The land undulates gently in the upper portion of the county, and near the rivers and inland swamps.This provides drainage, but not enough to produce damage to the cleared land with excessive rains washing.
Trees - Heavily forested. fields are surrounded by wooded areas. Pine, Small gum are available for such a business
Marion county's annual timber cut is 67,000,000 board feet with a capital employment of $2,500,000 and 1,200 employees (with $1,000,000 annual wages).
Drainage - cheap drainage and conserve moisture
Growing days from late spring to killing frost are 240; with 2crops to be raised on the same land; corn after oats, or tobacco followed by peas.
Type - Coastal plain
Size -529 square miles area

Protected areas

  • state farmed fishing and good hunting grounds. Nearness to the coast where duck and large game abound increases this pleasant sportsmen's pursuit.


In 2000 there were 35,466 people in the county with a population density of 72 people/sq. mi. In 2010 there were 33,062 people with a population density of 67.6 people/sq. mi. Racial makeup of the county was 41.69% White, 56.35% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 1.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $26,526, and the median income for a family was $32,932. Males had a median income of $26,133 versus $18,392 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,878. About 18.90% of families and 23.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.30% of those under age 18 and 23.50% of those age 65 or over. 2010 U.S. Religious Census showed Marion County with the highest concentration of followers of the Bahá'í Faith of any county in the United States, at 5.5%.[9]

  • 3 large brick mills run successfully. Excellent brick-clay deposits exist
  • Water - Tests have shown that the waters of the Little Pee Dee River give year -round water supply ample for the county and offer excellent paper mill possibilites
  • Marion county'sannual timber cut is 67,000,000 board feet with a capital employment of $2,500,000 and 1,200 employees (with $1,000,000 annual wages).

  • Small gum and pine are conveniently available for such a business
  • County health unit composed of a doctor and two nurses gives health care


7 accredited high schools, offer every child its inherent right to an education.
South Carolina College
  • Marion leads in yield of tobacco an acre with average of 670 pounds, and in total production of tobacco it ranks fifth.

County Resources

  • Neal and Dixon Warehouse
  • State farmed fishing and good hunting grounds. Nearness to the coast where duck and large game abound increases this pleasant sportsmen's pursuit.
  • The Marion Academy Building, built in 1886, is home to the Marion County Museum
  • Marion Academy Building is site of the original Harvest of the Arts Festival celebrating the area's quality of life.
  • Marion Foxtrot Festival pays tribute to the city's heritage with concerts, an arts and crafts fair, storytellers, tours of historic buildings, and more.


  • Future I-73
  • US 76
  • US 301
  • US 378
  • US 501 (BUS)
  • South Carolina SC 9
  • South Carolina SC 38
  • South Carolina 41 (ALT)
  • South Carolina SC 57
  • South Carolina SC 576
  • South Carolina 908
  • South Carolina 917


  • Writer, Virginia Durant Young (1842-1906) - native of Marion County
  • Writer, Gwen Bristow (1903-1980) native of Marion County

Land Grants

  • Evans land grants with dates 1746 to 1772 for 1,100 acres of farmland in Marion County area.

Cities and Towns

  • Ariel Crossroad
  • Brittons Neck
  • Centenary
  • Friendship
  • Gresham
  • Rains



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