South Carolina: Clarendon County

Clarendon County (pop. 34,971) was named for Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674), lord chancellor and advisor to King Charles II of England.

Grandfather of two English monarchs

Clarendon County is southwest of Florence County. South Carolina’s largest lake, Lake Marion, has most of its northern shore in the county.

Lake Marion was created by the construction of the eight-mile, earthen Santee Dam on the Santee River in 1941, providing hydroelectric power for rural electrification in the region.

Fishing is popular on “South Carolina’s Inland Sea.”

The 15,000-acre Santee National Wildlife Refuge, along Lake Marion, has forests, marshlands, and open water.

A major refuge for migratory birds

The heaviest 24-hour snowfall ever recorded in South Carolina was 24 inches on Feb. 10-11, 1973, in Rimini, Clarendon County.

The scene on U.S. Highway 301 in 1973

The county seat of Clarendon County is the city of Manning (pop. 4,108),

Clarendon County Courthouse (1909)

Peggy Parish (1927-1988), author of the Amelia Bedelia books for children, grew up in Manning. The name of Amelia’s “Uncle Alcolu” was taken from the name of a nearby town.

Tennis great Althea Gibson (1927-2003) was born in the Clarendon County community of Silver.

She first won her women’s singles at Wimbledon in 1957.

NEXT: ORANGEBURG COUNTY

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2 comments on “South Carolina: Clarendon County

  1. Mary Schlick says:

    I love the fancy history of these southern counties! And Pennsylvania itself was named for your ancestor James Logan’s employer! Logan, a non-Quaker, had to man the gun to ward off pirates on William Penn’s boat!!! Keep this stuff coming, it is all fascinating! AM

  2. Gina Sorani Kuntz says:

    I loved Amelia Bedelia!! Thanks to the inspiration of your post, I looked up some information about the author, of whom I knew nothing. Just in case anyone else is interested, here’s what I found:

    “I hate reading but your books are changing my opinion.” This letter, from a young Peggy Parish fan, comes as no surprise to the teachers and librarians who have put her books in the hands of children over the years. Ms. Parish wrote nearly three dozen children’s books-many of which include her most famous character, the literal-minded maid named Amelia Bedelia.

    Peggy Parish knew what children like to read. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in English, she taught school in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and, for over 15 years, at the well-known, progressive Dalton School in New York City. It was at Dalton that she began to find ways to release her creative ideas and energy, Though she never took a writing course, “writing stories for children came naturally.” Her first book, published in 1961, was followed with Let’s Be Indians and in 1963 with her unforgettable Amelia Bedelia.

    Always involved with education in some way, Peggy Parish did television pieces on preschool education and children’s books, wrote children’s book review columns, and led numerous in-service training workshops for teachers. In discussing her ideas about education, she said, “Children’s rights are taken away from them when they enter school. What I try to show teachers is that all the skills needed to read can be taught outside of textbooks. Today’s children are not going to read what they are not interested in. And if a positive attitude toward reading is not developed during the first three years of school, it is virtually impossible to develop it later.”

    After living in New York for many years, Peggy Parish returned to her native South Carolina. She died in November, 1988 from a sudden aneurysm. But Ameila Bedelia did not die. Her nephew, Herman Parish, honored Peggy’s life in his book, Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia, by writing in its dedication: “For Peggy Parish, the real Amelia Bedelia.”

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