Walterboro, South Carolina

Walterboro, South Carolina

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Walterboro, South Carolina
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Walterboro, South Carolina

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = South Carolina
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Colleton

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 12.9
area_land_km2 = 12.9
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_total_sq_mi = 5.0
area_land_sq_mi = 5.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 5153
population_density_km2 = 400.8
population_density_sq_mi = 1038.0

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 18
elevation_ft = 59
latd = 32 |latm = 54 |lats = 15 |latNS = N
longd = 80 |longm = 39 |longs = 58 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 29488
area_code = 843
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 45-74275GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1251318GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Walterboro is a city in Colleton County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,153 at the 2000 census (10,064 total pop. of Walterboro Urban Cluster). It is the county seat of Colleton CountyGR|6.


Walterboro is located at coor dms|32|54|15|N|80|39|58|W|city (32.904289, -80.666238)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (12.8 km²), all of it land.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 5,153 people (5,516 in 2004 estimate), 2,084 households, and 1,379 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,038.0 people per square mile (401.1/km²). There were 2,362 housing units at an average density of 475.8/sq mi (183.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.13% White, 48.30% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.46% of the population.

There were 2,084 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 years living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 23.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.9% under the , 7.3% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 79.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,200, and the median income for a family was $36,549. Males had a median income of $28,488 versus $19,351 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,150. About 18.6% of families and 22.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.1% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.


Walterboro (originally spelled Walterborough) was founded in 1783 as a summer retreat for local planters looking to escape their malaria-ridden, lowcountry plantations. The original settlement was located on a hilly area, covered with pine and hickory trees and named "Hickory Valley." Two of the earliest settlers were Paul and Jacob Walter. The two brothers owned plantations in nearby Jacksonboro, SC. Paul's small daughter Mary was taken ill with malaria, a common disease amongst the families who built their plantations in the marshy areas of the Lowcountry, suitable to rice production. To save Mary's life the two brothers went looking for a more healthy location in which to live during the summer months when mosquitos abounded and started the town that was later named for them. In 1817 Walterborugh was named the third county seat of Colleton County, and has remained such until the present. This was followed by the construction of a county courthouse and jail in 1821, the courthouse being design by well-known architect Robert Mills (architect). The town quickly spread out from the original Hickory Valley location, its population growth fueled successively by the town becoming the county seat in 1821, the establishment of a railroad line connecting the city with Columbia and Charleston in the 1880s, the establishment of an airfield in the 1930s and more recently the establishment of Interstate 95 in the 1960s, making the town a prime overnight stop on the road to Florida or New York.

In 1942, Walterboro became home to the Walterboro Army Air Field, a sub-base of Columbia Army Airbase and part of the overall network of army air training facilities that sprang up across the US during World War II. The base was established to provide advanced air combat training to fighter and bomber groups. It also hosted the largest camouflage school in the United States, as well as a 250 person Prisoner of War Camp. In 1944 the air field changed commands and became an advanced combat training base for individual fighters, primarily the black trainees graduating from Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. Over 500 of the famed Tuskegee Airmen trained at Walterboro Army Air Field between April 1944 and October 1945 including individuals training as replacement pilots for the 332nd Fighter Squadron and the entire 447th Bombardment Group. The base closed in October 1945 and returned to its origins as a local airfield.

Today Walterboro represents the epitome of natural southern beauty and hospiltality with its elegant old southern oaks, shaded lanes dotted with historic homes dating back to 1820, and a charming downtown that has changed very little in the past 75 years.


Walterboro has many schools in its perimeter. There are four elementary schools in Walterboro: Bells Elementary, Black Street Elementary, Cottageville Elementary, Hendersonville Elementary, Forest Hills Elementary, and Northside Elementary. Three middle schools can be found here: Forest Circle Middle,Ruffin Middle and Colleton Middle. There is one high school in Walterboro and also in the whole county. It is Colleton County High School. There is one private school in Walterboro, Colleton Preparatory Academy. There is one university in Walterboro, the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie. This is a branch of the University of South Carolina.

Rice Festival

The Rice Festival takes place to celebrate the county’s history with the rice crop. The rice crop was the staple crop until the Civil War. After that it still impacted the county. The festival is held at the end of April each year. The 2007 festival will be the 32nd year it has taken place. For each festival there is a parade, pageant, run/walk, and cooking contest. (“Colleton County Rice Festival”)

Great Swamp Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is convert|800|acre|km2|1 of braided-creek hardwood flats bottom-land swamp. It consists of boardwalks, walking trails, bicycle paths, a canoe/kayak trail, observation areas, and a convert|10000|sqft|m2|-3|abbr=on. Discovery Center is planned. When it is completely finished the Sanctuary will be the most significant nature-based facility in the lower part of South Carolina. It is open everyday from dawn until dusk and is free. It is located on Detreville Street in Walterboro. (“Great Swamp Sanctuary”)

lave Relic Museum

The museum houses many of the relics slaves made and used during the period that they were enslaved (1750-1800s). The museum is located on Carn Street. The hours of operation are: Monday through Thursday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (“Slave Relic Museum”)

The South Carolina Artisan Center

The South Carolina Artisan Center is the official Folk Art and Craft Center of the state. The Center is located on Wichman Street. The hours are Monday - Saturday 10am to 5:30pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm. (“South Carolina Artisans Center”)

Other Attractions

*Colleton Museum (North Jeffries Blvd)
*Little Library (Wichman/Fishburne Street)
*Colleton County Historical & Preservation Society (Church Street)
*Old Water Tower (Memorial Ave/Washington Street)


External links

* [ City of Walterboro, SC]
* [ History of Walterboro]
* [ Rice Festival]
* [ Great Swamp Sanctuary]
* [ Slave Relic Museum]
* [ South Carolina Artisan Center]

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