Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Waccamaw River

The Waccamaw River, one of five rivers that flow into Georgetown's Winyah Bay, begins in the swamps of North Carolina.  The old river city of Conway, SC has a walk that follows the banks through pretty scenery and some of the river's history, 
history that includes Native American camps, Civil War sites, indigo and rice fields and plantations, ferries, steamboat builders, and more.



 The "black" color of the water, really a rich brown, doesn't mean the water is dirty.  It is stained by the tannin from the trees in the swamps it flows through.

Before reliable roads were built, the Waccamaw, along with four other rivers, provided the only transportation for people and goods for the county.  The government built a steamboat works on the river to build the boats which had their paddle wheels on the sides rather than the rear to navigate the bends in the river.


Also along the banks and built out over the water are old warehouses for the crops the steamships were to pick up -- rice, cotton, peanuts, fish, oysters.  The steamships were about 125 feet long and could carry 150 tons of freight.  
Up the bank from this warehouse sits an old peanut warehouse, built in 1900.  It has been minimally restored and the day we were there they were getting ready for a wedding reception inside.  

 Green peanuts from the farms around were stored in the warehouse before being loaded on railroad cars.  Kids selling fresh boiled peanuts for five cents a bag were common on the streets of Conway at harvest time.

At one time the warehouse was also a tobacco warehouse, a lumber warehouse,
 and a plant food factory.
When we finished our walk we were hungry and found this little cafe just up from the river.  
Fish and chips for me and a burger for the writer!



  1. The number of rivers here in Georgia and South Carolina always surprises me. Have you tried boiled peanuts? About the nastiest thing I think I've ever tasted.

  2. You're finding an amazing amount of history. It's good that records were kept.

  3. Interesting reading the history in that area.
    Things are done so differently these days.

  4. Another great post, where I learnt such a lot.

  5. Nice post to learn about the history of your surroundings.

  6. Lots of interesting facts in this post. I've never heard of boiled peanuts but I don't think I want to try them.

  7. Cynthia interesting place to visit and I always admire your architecture which is completely different from Europe

  8. Fish and Chips!! What a interesting place to visit. :)

  9. Oh, I love those old signs. They grew indigo there? So was there a lot of indigo dyed fabric around? That would have been a really interesting place for a wedding reception, peek inside with your camera next time please :-)

  10. What an interesting post. I have never been to NC or SC, but certainly appreciate the history you've been finding and sharing. The river looks picturesque. I like boiled peanuts, but fish and chips . . . yum!