Berkeley Co. committee sheds light on American Revolution history

Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 2:54 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY S.C. (WCSC) - A committee in Berkeley County is working with those passionate about American Revolution history to educate and engage the community and tourists on important landmarks in the area.

South Carolina’s 250 Committee is a state commission that aims to celebrate and promote the state’s role in the American Revolution, according to the committee’s website. A resolution was adopted by Berkeley County Council back in April that created a branch of the committee in the county.

In Berkeley County specifically, the mission is to research, identify, mark and map American Revolution sites throughout the area. So far, eight out of the 31 historical sites have been identified or marked.

Keith Gourdin, a 250 Committee member, has worked for years prior to the committee to identify and verify the history behind sites in Berkeley County.

“What we are trying to do is to bring this out as an educational tool, also to identify historical sites within the county because there’s so much rich history in Berkeley County and especially pertaining to the American Revolution,” Gourdin said.

Over 50 historians, educators and community members who are passionate about the importance behind the sites are working to research what needs to be recognized.

After fact-checking the information, the committee’s next step is to identify the land with a historical marker. To identify more historical sites, the 250 Committee is in need of grant money to pay for the cost of signage.

“My desire is to bring out the history that is here in Berkeley County,” Gourdin said. “I feel like it’s our responsibility and especially like for me, as an old guy, to make sure that I don’t take a lot of this information to the grave with me, but rather have it written down and identify all the sites that I know about it and can put together for our kids and grandkids.”

By identifying important American Revolution sites, it encourages tourists visiting battlefields in other states to visit South Carolina, according to Berkeley County Tourism Director Rachel Knight.

“Unlike any other county that I’ve seen, people can come together and drive around at their leisure to see what piques their interest or to see this specific site or this specific person that was here in Berkeley County,” Knight said. “I think it’ll be a really, really great tool for tourism.”

Berkeley County’s tourism website includes information about battlefield tours. The Liberty Trail that goes throughout South Carolina includes a few sites from Berkeley County, which can be found at battlefields.org.

“It’s just an exciting time in Berkeley County to see this rich history almost, you know, come alive again in a new light and a modern light, but also keep the significance and the history tied to it relevant in today’s society,” Knight said.