Colleton County was named in honor of Sir John Colleton, one of the eight English lords proprietors, who was granted land by King Charles II. The county’s marshes made the area ideal for rice farming until about the 1920’s. By 1800, Walterboro became a summer colony for rice planters families who sought refuge from the malaria-ridden marshes. The town of Walterboro is named in honor of the Walter brothers: Paul and Jacob.
The downtown area reflects a feeling of community pride, and even includes old fashioned pleasures, like a real five and ten cent store, and an old pharmacy, where one can still sit at a counter and order sodas. Walterboro is a composite of many architectural styles, and one such example is the Old Jail. Today, the old Jail now houses the Colleton County Museum, and Martha Creighton Demosthenes, the museum’s director, joins to discuss the museum’s history, and some of the artifacts on display, which showcases the county’s rich history.