Unique Names of Places in Eutawville
By Emily Smith Glenn
EUTAWVILLE was known in the 1830's by Santee River plantation .summering folk as Eutaw village, or simply The Village. The "higher ground in the healthy pines," a couple of miles west of famed Eutaw Springs, was chosen as a summer refuge from the humidity, "vapors," and mosquitoes of their low-land homes. "Vapors" (fog), they thought, caused the epidemics of "swamp fever." Summer houses and social activities were cnJoyed from May "when the chinaberries bloomed," until the first killing frost in November.
The town of Eutawville was incorporated in 1888. Its population has grown to about 500 souls (1970), and it still maintains a certain plantation flavor. When the Santee-Cooper Project developed Lake Marion (1940's), thousands of plantation acres were inundated; old homes, churches, and cemeteries were destroyed with little salvaging and people scattered. Some settled in Eutawville and remodeled, or at least made livable, the rustic summer homes. This writer lives in one.
EUTAWVILLE'S STREETS AND AVENUES:
State Highways 45, 453, and 6 serve Eutawville, but 45 runs east and west tlirougli the heart of town as Porcher Avenue, named for the Porchcr family that owned much of the property within tlie town limits.Other town streets named for early plantation, summer home and property owners include Couturier, Sinkler, Gaillard, Dawson, Palmer, Gourdin, Gadsden, Barkley, and Fowler.
There is also Factory Street, named I think because of the Coca-Cola Bottling Works and a glass factory here. One can still find thick green butties with Eutawville, South Carolina, imprinted on their bottoms in collections around here. Springs Road or Highway 6 leads to the Springs and on to Moncks Corner.
Little Belvidere is a Negro settlement, or community, on Hwy. 45 just outside the eastern town
limits of Eutawville. When the Sinkler plantation, Belvidere, was to be inundated by Lake Marion, the
"Big House" was dismantled, the tenant houses moved to the present location, and given with the land to the former Belvidere workers. They named their new community Little Belvidere.
Green Town is a thickly populated Negro community partially within Eutawville's western town limits. It acquired its name in the 1800's for a Mr. Green who owned and sold the property. Names remembered are Cipto Green, Thomas Green, and Andrew Green.
Possum Town is a mostly Negro community on the southern edge of Eutawville town limits. No one seems to know the origin of its name.
"Yes'm, I likes to fish in de Railroad Pond down to de Springs."
"No railroad runs near Eutaw Springs, Sam, for that's two to three miles east, and away from the
station in Eutawville."
"Nobe'm, but de ol' rail bed do. Dat been de spur to Ferguson, y'know. Dey tik de rail w'n de lake
move in. De water shaller on it, but de sides is deep 'n got fish. Yu still cud tell way 'tis, cuz de bresh row tick on it."
Backwaters and seepage have made innumerable pools and ponds in the lowlands bordering Lake Marion. Fish are in many, though they have not been stocked. Underground streams are given credit for distributing fish eggs. Railroad Pond is one, and is crossed by the Old River Road within short walking distance from Eutaw Springs.
Ferguson's Landing, on the Santee about six miles from Eutawville, was named for the family operating the ferry there in the early 1800's. From about 1890 to 1912 a huge lumber mill was operated on the spot by the Beidler Lumber Company of Chicago, Illinois, and served by a privately built and owned spur line from the Southern Railroad, junctioning in Eutawville at the Southern station.
A good-sized town of several hundred people sprang up at the mill site and was naturally named
Ferguson. There were board-walk streets, nice homes oa neat lots which were inclosed with paling fences; also there were three goodsized hotels, a public school, and a I'nited States Post Office.
But after the mill closed in 1912, the spot was gradually deserted. Most of the area is now under Lake Marion, and Just enough land is left and used, mostly by fishermen, to retain its name.
The Quarters, West Northwest and partially in Eutawville, is a very old Negro community said to
date from The Village days when plantations folk allowed some of the "help" a summer vacation from
the lowlands. Names in connection with the quarters are January James and Ben James. (Often pronounced "Jeemes.")
The Nothing Road comes from nowhere and goes nowhere, yet it is quite regularly used. It is, really, about a three-mile section of famed Nelson's Ferry Road which was "lopped off' on either end here by the waters of man-made Lake Marion. Its sand-clay bed is kept in good condition; and it passes either by, or goes through, a part of Ash Hill, Walnut Grove, Belmont, and The Rocks plantations.
Ash Hill plantation (Ashill, on some very old plats) is about four miles from Eutawville on the Nelson's Ferry Road. In the 1800's it was owned and operated by John G. Caillard, son of Peter of The Rocks plantation. Today it is a housing development, owned by Fred Connor, Jr. No one seems to know exactly why it is so named, unless its area of fine, grayish, silt-like soil suggested the appellation to early settlers.
Long Pond or Miss Anna's (Anne Sinkler) Bottom, a large strip of bottom, or lowland, contains a pond of about 25 to 30 acres, and overall longer than wide. Santee-Cooper's Lake Marion, seepage has lengthened it now to cover approximately forty acres. Officially it is known as Long Pond but is often referred to by natives as Miss Anna's Bottom because a lady by that name owned the lowlands and the pond. This section is about one mile from Eutawville and crossed by Highway 6.
St. Julien Plantation is one mile north of Eutawville on State Highway 6. In 1737 King George II, ruler of Great Britain, Ireland, and France, granted these lands in Upper St. John's Parish to Joseph St. Julien, and from him the plantation gets its name.
During the first half of the Nineteenth Century St. Julien plantation passed into the possession of
Thomas William Porcher of Walworth Plantation, about five miles east of Eutawville. Porcher built the "big house" and appropriate outbuildings on St. Julien in 1854 for his son Julius who had married Mary Fanning Wickham of Hickory Hill, Virginia. They had two children, Samuel Porcher and Ann Wickham Porcher.
Julius Porcher was called to Service at the beginning of the War Between the States, and was killed in action at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863. When Julius went to war, Frederick Connor, great-grandfather of the present owner, supervised the operation of St. Julien for the Porcher family. He lived on the place in a "dog-trot" house, i.e., a one-story building with a fairly wide, open front-to-back hall that was possibly the forerunner of the modem "breeze-way."
While there, Connor planted in the shape of a huge "J," the mile or more lane of live oaks which leads from the house to the River Road, or main highway. Today these over-100-year-old, moss-draped oaks form a magnificent, cathedral-like arch over the wide avenue.
In 1887 the title to St. Julien was given by Thomas William Porcher of Walworth to his grand-children, Samuel and Ann. Ann Wickham Porcher, daughter of the Confederate soldier, Julius, had married Charles St. George Sinkler of Belvidere plantation; and soon after the title transfer, Charles St. George Sinkler and wife Ann Sinkler took over the management of St. Julien.
In 1906, however, St. Julien was sold to G. M. Norris. He gave it in 1922 to his son, Frederick
Keating Norris, who operated St. Julien successfully until his retirement in 1955; then lie, in turn, gave the 1,000-acre place to his son, Fred K. Norris, Jr., the present owner. Fred tree-farms and crop-farms the entire acreage.
The Big House, built in 1854 by Thomas William Porcher of all heart pine, is still occupied and well-preserved, though through the years its architecture has been somewhat altered by additions. The enclosed flower garden behind the house contains today (1971) four unusually large Japonica Seedlings, the branches of one measuring 105 feet in circumference, thirty-five feet in diameter, twenty-five feet in height, and the trunk at the base nine feet in circumference.
Blue Hole Plantation in the mid-1800's belonged to a family of Snowdens. A part of it was very
swampy, and in the swamp there was a deep hole full of water that made a fair-sized pool. In the deep shadows of the thickly overgrown cypress swampland, the pool had a blue cast which gave the hole, the swamp, and the plantation their names: Blue Hole, Blue Swamp, and Blue Hole Plantation.
It seems that after the war of the 60's, Mr. Snowden sold Blue Hole Plantation with its swamp and hole to a Porcher family. On a chance visit to Blue Hole one day, Mr. Snowden found Mr. Porcher cleaning out the hole and building a containing wall for a well.
Mr. Snowden said, "Porcher, if you find a silver goblet in that hole, it belongs to me. During the War our family silver was hidden here, and all has been retrieved except one goblet."
A day or so later Mr. Porcher found and returned the goblet which bore the Snowden insignia, and
today it fills its rightful place among the collection of Snowden heirloom silver.
-Emily Smith Glenn