An archaeological treasure, the park rests on the site of Dorchester, a trading town that flourished on the Ashley River inland from Charleston from 1697 through the Revolutionary War.
Intact remains of the old town include the brick bell tower of St. George’s Anglican Church, a fort made of the oyster-shell concrete called tabby, and part of a log wharf visible at low tide.
When the town was abandoned after the Revolution, the forest and later a community park protected the site, leaving remarkably undisturbed evidence of village life just beneath the surface.
Today, visitors to Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site can watch as archaeologists unearth the settlement’s history. Together with abundant historical records from Charleston, the site is helping to paint a clearer picture of colonial life in the American South.