The H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine that was the first submarine to sink an enemy warship in combat, was built in South Carolina. The Hunley sank the Union ship USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor in 1864, but the submarine itself was lost at sea shortly after the attack.
Bamberg County, located in the southwestern part of South Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to its founding in 1897. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Edisto, Savannah, and Cusabo tribes, who lived off the land and had a thriving agricultural and hunting society. In the 18th century, European settlers began to explore the area, and by the mid-19th century, it was heavily populated by English, Irish, and German immigrants.

The county is named after William Seaborn Bamberg, a Confederate soldier and prominent lawyer from the area. It was officially established in 1897 when the South Carolina General Assembly decided to divide the neighboring Barnwell County into two separate entities to better serve the growing population. Bamberg County quickly became known for its fertile soil, making it an ideal location for farming. Cotton became the main crop, and plantations dotted the landscape, relying on slave labor until the Civil War abolished this practice.

After the Civil War, Bamberg County underwent a period of reconstruction. With the decline of large-scale agriculture, the county embraced a more diversified economy, with a focus on industries like timber production, tobacco, and textiles. The town of Bamberg, the county seat, became a bustling center of commerce and education, boasting several schools and institutions of higher learning.

Throughout its history, Bamberg County has been a resilient community, overcoming challenges such as the Great Depression and changes in the agricultural economy. Today, the county has modernized industries, including manufacturing and healthcare. It continues to cherish its historical heritage while moving forward with progress and development. Bamberg County remains a welcoming and tight-knit community in the heart of South Carolina.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Bamberg County, South Carolina.

  • 1769 - Bamberg County is formed as part of South Carolina's colonial government.
  • 1791 - Orangeburg District is created, encompassing the area that would later become Bamberg County.
  • 1842 - Barnwell District is formed, including present-day Bamberg County.
  • 1868 - The county is officially named Bamberg in honor of General Francis Marion Bamberg.
  • 1897 - The city of Bamberg is incorporated.
  • 1920 - The South Carolina General Assembly authorizes the construction of a new courthouse in Bamberg.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression brings significant challenges to the county. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) helps improve infrastructure and create jobs.
  • 1950s - The construction of Lake Edgar Brown provides a new water source for the county.
  • 2000s - Bamberg County faces economic struggles as the agricultural industry declines. Efforts are made to revitalize the county's economy.