The Wachesaw Heritage

The lands along the Waccamaw River in coastal South Carolina are rich in history.  For more than ten thousand years, nomadic Indians moved quietly along the broad floodplains, leaving only faint traces of their existence.  In the early 1700's, European settlers carved trails through the wilderness and established a new beginning for their descendants, who would create empires from rice.

Wachesaw Plantation, once the site of two 19th-century rice plantations, is located on the edge of the Waccamaw River near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina,  Today Wachesaw Plantation is a private residential golf community, but remnants of its past continue to be carefully uncovered.  The developers of Wachesaw have managed to capture much of its unique southern heritage through archaeological research and restoration.

The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina has been conducting in-depth archaelogical studies of the Wachesaw heritage since 1983.  Under the guidance of Dr. James. L. Michie, Project Director, the investigations have revealed a near continuous occupation by man for at least 9, 500 years.

Excerpts taken from "The Wachesaw Heritage" written by Dr. James. L. Michie.  Copyright 1988 and published in cooperation with the Wachesaw Historical Society.

"Much of Wachesaw's land remained unaltered for nearly a century after the Civil War.  The 20th-century activities at Wachesaw Landing effected much of the historic and prehistoric record, but remarkably, enough information remained to learn a great deal about the former inhabitants.  Richmond Hill faired much better; it was more intact.

Wachesaw. like no other place on the Waccamaw Neck, has shown us a complete record of the past.  It has shown us all of the changes that occurred in the prehistoric period, at the beginnings of the historic period, and finally, during the development of two plantations.  Much of this rich heritage has been preserved for the benefit of those people associated with Wachesaw.  The past is very much alive."

Personal reflections by the late Dr. Michie as a footnote to "The Wachesaw Heritage".

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