Skip links

South Carolina (SC): State Guide and Fun Facts

When was South Carolina Founded? 1670

Who Founded South Carolina?King Charles II

First inhabitants: Catawba, Pee Dee, Chicora, Edisto, Santee and Chicora-Waccamaw Native American Tribes

Square Miles: 77,121

US Rank: 17th

State Flower: Yellow Jessamine

State Bird: Great Carolina Wren

State Motto:
Latin: ”Dim Spiro Spero. Animis Opibusque Parati”
Translation: While I breathe, I hope. Ready in Soul and Resource.

Capital City

Columbia – Columbia is the capital of South Carolina, as well as the state’s largest city, with 129,333 residents in 2009. Early settlers in South Carolina chose Columbia as the site for the capital because it is located geographically in the center of the state. It was decided that the city would serve as the capital in 1786, and governmental proceedings began to take place shortly thereafter. The area experienced steady growth, becoming an official village in 1805 and a city in 1854.

What is South Carolina famous for?

1. Boiled Peanuts – Boiled peanuts, originally called goober peas in the south, are South Carolina’s official snack food. To prepare this fine snack, boilers use under grown peanuts and boil them in very salty water. The boiling continues for up to 12 hours, depending on the batch size or the ripeness of the peanuts being used. When finished, the peanuts are salty and soft, somewhat resembling the texture of cooked beans.

2. Myrtle Beach – South Carolina is the destination for millions of tourists every year. The area known as Myrtle Beach is an enormous beach and golf community, with the most miniature golf courses per square mile in the world. Other attractions in the area include seafood restaurants, shopping, bars, nightlife, an aquarium and the Carolina Opry.

3. Charleston – Often confused for South Carolina’s capital city, Charleston is a city located on the scenic coastline of the state that has a number of historically significant buildings and areas. The city was founded in 1670 and was the first in the nation to enact a historical preservation ordinance, so much of the cities history remains apparent today. Fort Sumter, although in ruins, remains a destination for visitors to witness and learn about the site where the Civil War began.

What is South Carolina’s economy?

1. Services Industry – South Carolina’s most important services are wholesale and retail trade, largely due to the tourism industry in the state. Other retail sales that contribute to the state’s revenue include autos, food, restaurants, discount stores and woven goods.

2. Agriculture – The top farmed products in South Carolina are young chickens, turkeys, beef cattle, calves, chicken eggs and hogs. The state also produces and manufactures honey. In the crop category, the leading output includes shrubs, flowers and plants. Other crops are tobacco, soybeans, cotton, corn, wheat, peanuts, hay, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, beans, sweet potatoes and pecans.

3. Manufacturing – South Carolina is responsible for the manufacture of cotton textiles, wools and clothing. The second largest product that the state produces is wood, pulp and paper products.

South Carolina Historical Landmarks

1. Colonel Robert Brewton House – Built in 1720, this house is located in historic Charleston and is the city’s oldest standing example of a “single house”. The construction of the Brewton House was unique in that each of the framing members were numbered prior to their site delivery. The construction team that built the house followed a set of plans, matching the roman numerals on the plans to the supplies of wood at the site. This was a new way of building in 1720 and is an early predecessor to prefabricated houses, which became popular in the 20th century.

2. Burt-Stark Mansion – This house, located in northwest South Carolina was the location at which the Council of War cabinet members met on May 2, 1865. It was at this meeting that the leader of the Confederates, Jefferson Davis, was convinced by fellow confederate members that the war had been lost. After this meeting, the Confederate Cabinet, Jefferson David, 3,000 soldiers and the Confederate Treasury went their separate ways. The war was surrendered almost two months later, on June 24.

3. Fireproof Building (County Records Building) – In 1827, architect Robert Mills completed the construction of a building in Charleston, South Carolina. He called it the Fireproof Building, and it was to house all the county records. The responsibility of designing a building that could not burn was heavy, but Robert Mills was chosen because of his attention to designing buildings with fireproof qualities. The building survived an earthquake in 1886 and remains today as the home of the South Carolina Historical Society.

4. First Baptist Church – The First Baptist Church was actually the second First Baptist Church built in Columbia, South Carolina. Built in 1859, it was the location at which the state of South Carolina unanimously decided to secede from the United States, which ultimately led to the beginning of the American Civil War. When the North army attached Columbia, they immediately sought out the first First Baptist Church, assuming it was the location at which the state decided to secede. They did not realize that the actual First Baptist Church was located elsewhere, and thus the building was spared.