Paul's daughter, Mary, was "sickly" and in order to get her into a healthier environment, the brothers went in search of a summer home for their families. They named the place they found "Hickory Valley." Two other Walter brothers, John and Isaac, and other planter families joined them here in the summer months. All the original homes were built of logs, with log chimneys and shingled roofs. Paul Walter built the Bethel Presbyterian Church on what became known as "Walter Hill."
Click on Postcard for larger view
Walterboro became the county seat of the Colleton District in 1817,
and in the fall of 1822, the first term of court was held in the new
courthouse. The town was officially incorporated in 1826.
A private Academy which also was used for Episcopal Church services,
existed in Hickory Valley prior to 1825. On the site where the elementary
school now stands was The Old Academy, which was a four room schoolhouse.
It was finally moved down the street, across from the old high school,
to make room for a larger grammer school. Other private academies
were later established in Walterboro, but free schools did not exist until
The first store in Hickory Valley was built in the early 1800s by Siman Verdier. It was used for many purposes, such as religious services and entertainment.
Hubster's Bakery was on Washington Street.
A Mr. Grizellewas brought from France by Mr. Verdier to make shoes and boots for the Negroes on his plantation. Mr. Grizelle also was the proprietor of a meat market, from which he would announce fresh meat to his customers by blowing a large conch shell. He bought a "market bell" for his second store
Dr. James J. Klein built a small drugstore in his back yard in 1845. It was the first drug store in Hickory Valley, and one of the earliest in South Carolina. The original building was torn down and moved to the corner of Washington and Railroad Avenue (now Memorial), where the family lived in rooms over the store.
Dr. John M. Klein operated the store from the time of his father's death, around 1897, until he died in 1928. In 1938, the drugstore was purchased by Dr. Jim vonLehe, who erected a modern store with offices behind it.
In 1822 Ezra Miller owned a large store
on the corner of Wichman and Miller Streets. He also had a tannery
and shoe factory near Ireland Creek, a cotton gin (with a partner),
and, in 1826 the first steam saw mill in Walterboro. Later, he had
the first wagon freight service between Walterboro and Charleston.
According to Mary Beulah Glover, this story from the Charleston newspaper
reads, "Credit for getting the first locomotive on the rails of the New
South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company should go to E. L. Miller, a
Charleston merchant and one of the road's directors. A miniature
model, built under his personal order, demonstrated the practicality of
the locomotive in a public trial Bebruary 1830, and the full sized Best
Friend was built as his personal expense and purchased by the railroad
only after it had been tested and approved."
A railroad was later built from Jacksonboro through Walterboro to Green Pond, where passengers caught another train to Charleston or Savannah. Francis Y. Glover was one of the early railroad stock-holders.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF WALTERBORO
Colleton County Courthouse
LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION ON WALTERBORO