Way back Wednesday: The History of Pineville

Way Back Wednesday

Courtesy:
South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – It’s Wednesday and that means it is time to explore the history that surrounds the Lowcountry. This week we take a trip to Berkeley County to learn about Pineville!

Named for it’s named for its “religiously preserved” pines, Pineville was established in the 1790’s. According to the Historical Marker Database, James Sinkler built the first summer house in the area in 1793; the area became a village in 1794 after John Cordes, Peter Gaillard, John Palmer and Peter, Philip, and Samuel Porcher built houses near Sinkler’s.

“By 1830, Pineville had more than 60 houses, a chapel, an academy, a library, and a race track. Federick Porcher wrote in 1858, “the prestige of its ancient fame remains.” Union troops burned most of the village in 1865, except the chapel, library, post office and Gourdin House (ca. 1820).”

The Historical Marker Database

The South Carolina Department of Archives explains that the area was established as a way for Berkeley County’s “wealthy planter class” to avoid catching fevers at their low-lying plantations in the summer. To combat the heat, the new houses were constructed in wooded areas surrounded by pine trees.

“In the mid to late nineteenth century, Pineville was a densely-settled village that included as many as one hundred buildings, including an academy, racetrack, library, churches, and residences. Much of the town was burned by Union troops at the close of the Civil War in April 1865. In the years following the war, much of the land that made up the village was converted for use as farmland.”

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Today, Pineville is an unincorporated community in Berkeley County located off Highway 45. The area is described as a small community of less than twenty structures. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

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