Historical Markers in
Florence County, South Carolina

A National Cemetery System A National Cemetery System All Gave Some – Some Gave All Alone With Memories American Legion Post #1 / 2nd Lieutenant Fred H. Sexton Atomic Bomb Accident at Mars Bluff, March 11, 1958 Brooke Rifled Cannon, VI.4-inch Brooke Rifled Cannon, VII-inch Browntown Burch's Mill: South Carolina’s First Civil War Nears It’s End Carillon Christ Episcopal Church Church Street/Main Street Civil War Union Burials Dahlgren, IX-inch Desert Storm Dewitt Bluff Ebenezer Church Florence Depot (1852) / Wilmington & Manchester RR Florence National Cemetery Florence National Cemetery Florence National Cemetery Florence Stockade Monument Florence Veterans Park Francis Marion Memorial Highway Gold Star Family Monument Greater St. James A.M.E. Church Guns of the CSS Peedee H.H. Singletary Building Hannah Henry Timrod Hewn-Timber Cabins Home Safe Hopewell Presbyterian Church Jamestown Korea Lake City Marion at Port’s Ferry / Asbury at Port’s Ferry Moses S. Haynsworth Mt. Zion Methodist Church Mt. Zion Rosenwald School Ney School / Back Swamp School Palmetto State Bank Robbery Pisgah Methodist Church POW✯MIA Purple Heart Recipients Red Doe Roseville Plantation Roseville Plantation Slave And Freedman's Cemetery / Clarke Cemetery September 11, 2001 Ship’s Bell The Assassination Of Rep. Alfred Rush The Cruiser Pee Dee, C.S.N. The Marine Corps League of Florence, SC U.S. Navy Monument United States Air Force Memorial United States Army Monument United States Merchant Marine Monument US Coast Guard Monument Vietnam Veterans Monument W.T. Askins House Whitehead Infirmary William Gee William H. Johnson Birthplace William R. Johnson House / The Columns William W. Harllee Wilson School / Wilson High School Witherspoon’s Ferry / Johnsonville Witherspoon’s Ferry: Francis Marion Takes Command World War I Memorial World War II Memorial World War II Memorial Young Farm
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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.
Florence County, located in the northeastern part of South Carolina, has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Pee Dee and Cheraw tribes. European exploration and settlement began in the early 18th century, with the arrival of traders and settlers from England and Scotland.

In 1888, Florence County was formally established after being carved out of neighboring Darlington County. The city of Florence, which would become the county seat, was incorporated in 1890. Early economic development in the county was driven by agriculture, particularly cotton farming, and the construction of railroads, which connected the region to larger markets.

The history of Florence County is marked by key events that reflect the broader historical context of the South. During the Civil War, the county witnessed significant military action, including the Battle of Florence in 1865. The war brought destruction and hardships, but the area gradually recovered in the postwar years.

In the 20th century, Florence County experienced growth and diversification in its economy. The rise of manufacturing, particularly in textiles and tobacco, brought about industrialization and increased employment opportunities. Over time, the county evolved into a regional center for healthcare, education, and cultural activities, with institutions like McLeod Regional Medical Center and Francis Marion University playing vital roles in the community.

Today, Florence County continues to thrive as a vibrant and dynamic part of South Carolina. Its history can be seen through its architecture, museums, and landmarks, preserving the legacy of its past while embracing the opportunities of the present and future.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Florence County, South Carolina.

  • 1888: Florence County is formed from parts of Darlington and Marion counties.
  • 1911: The city of Florence is established.
  • Early 1900s: The textile industry booms, bringing economic growth to the county.
  • 1940s: The Interstate Highway System is developed, connecting Florence County to other parts of the state.
  • 1970s: The healthcare industry becomes a major employer in the county with the opening of McLeod Regional Medical Center.
  • 2000s: Florence County experiences population growth and urban development.