In 1696, Congregationalist settlers from Dorchester, Massachusetts named their new settlement in the South Carolina Lowcountry after their hometown. The settlement and subsequent town did not survive. However, when a new county emerged in the area from the combination of lands from Colleton and Berkeley counties in 1897, this county was named Dorchester in honor of the original settlement. St. George serves as the county seat.
Dorchester County has played in a significant role in history. The county is home to the nation’s first landscaped gardens, Middleton Place Gardens, which still exist today. Additionally, the county’s town of Summerville served as a summer vacation destination for Southern plantation owners seeking to avoid malaria.
History. Accessed June 02, 2016.