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So you think you know about South Carolina?

on Tuesday, 31 January 2017. Posted in Letters to the Editor, Opinions

By Phil Noble

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for all things South Carolina – our history, politics, people, culture, places, food – everything. And since we are such a wonderful – and weird – state, there is an awful lot to know and there’s always something new to find out about.

Well, I have found my new favorite website on the whole world wide web (i.e. the www. part of internet addresses). The site is www.OnlyInOurState. com and then you select South Carolina. Here is the greatest collection of information, stories, pictures, maps, videos, articles, etc. about our state. And, what makes it so much fun is that the folks who do the site have a quirky sense of humor.

If you sign up to get their emails, you’ll get four or five fun features in your inbox every day. And, I guarantee you that with every day’s email, you’ll learn something new about this wonderful place that we are lucky enough to call home. Here is a sampling of their latest:

11 Oddball Houses in South Carolina That Make You Look Twice

Someone Flew A Drone High Above South Carolina And Captured The Most Breathtaking Footage

The South Carolina Restaurant That’s One Of The Most Unique In America (it’s in Charleston)

13 Things Everyone Who’s Moved Away From South Carolina Has Thought At Least Once

Footage Captured At This Abandoned South Carolina Hospital Is Truly Grim (Bull St. in Columbia)

Not Many People Realize These 9 Little Known Haunted Places In South Carolina Exist

Most People Have No Idea Just How Unique This Village In South Carolina Truly Is (it’s Daufuskie Island)

Shhh… These 7 Hidden Places Are South Carolina’s Best Kept Secrets

9 South Carolina Sandwiches You Have To Try Before You Die

There’s A Waterfalls Trail In South Carolina And It’s Everything You’ve Ever Dreamed Of

5 Incredible South Carolina Day Trips You Can Take By Train

The Hidden Park That Will Make You Feel Like You’ve Discovered South Carolina’s Best Kept Secret

Here’s The Ultimate Guide To The 13 Most Disturbing Places In South Carolina And They’ll Haunt Your Dreams

The Oldest African Village In America Is Right Here In South Carolina And It’s Amazing

The 12 Towns You Need To Visit In South Carolina In 2017

These 9 Restaurants Serve The Best Bloody Mary In South Carolina

The Haunted Hike In South Carolina That Will Send You Running For The Hills

So now that I’ve got you interested… here’s my most recent favorite: South Carolina Was the First to Do These 18 Things:

First European settlement in 1526 – Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon brought 600 people with him to make a settlement somewhere around present day Georgetown. Within a year, most of them were dead including Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon. The ones who lived went back to Santo Domingo.

We made the first ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean – A small settlement of French Huguenots made the first ship that they sailed from Port Royal to France after being left by their leader.

We had the first library in America – November, 16, 1700, the first library was established in Charles Towne on St. Philips Street. This library was in operation for 14 years.

The first professional female artist – Henrietta Dering Johnston came to Charles Towne in 1707 and was the first professional female artist of the time. She was also the first female artist who worked mostly in pastels.

First opera performance – On February 18, 1735, the opera “Flora” was performed in Charles Towne’s courtroom.

First fire insurance company – The Friendly Society for the Mutual Insurance of Houses Against Fire was founded in Charles Towne on February 3, 1736.

First scientific weather recordings – April 1737, Dr. John Lining took recordings of the weather from his home three times a day and wrote them down.

First musical society – In 1762, the first musical society known as The St. Cecilia Society was founded in Charles Towne.

We exported the first cotton to England – In 1764, it was noted in London’s custom house that 8 bales of cotton arrived from Charles Towne.

We had the first museum – It was decided by a committee in 1773 to establish a museum. It was established and was never shut down.

First black Baptist church – It was founded in Silver Bluff in 1773.

We produced the first eminent architect – Robert Mills was born and raised in South Carolina. Throughout his life, he created some very beautiful and marvelous pieces and homes that are still standing today… including several court houses, and in Washington, DC the Treasury and Patent Buildings and the Washington Monument.

We had the first golf club – September 29, 1786: Scottish merchants opened the South Carolina Golf Club in Charleston. It stayed open until 1800. (It was in my neighborhood of Harleton Village.)

We planted the first crop of tea – In 1802, the French botanist Francois Andre Michaux planted the first tea on what is now known as Middleton Place.

The first fireproof building – Construction of the building began in 1823 and was completed approximately four years later. It has been designed by our very own Robert Mills to house our state records for safe keeping.

First regular train service – On Christmas Day, December 25, 1830, they made their first full run carrying people where they needed to be at 15-25mph.

The very first municipal college – In 1836, the College of Charleston came under municipal rule becoming the very first municipal college.

The first patent for the refrigerator – May 6, 1851, Dr. John Gorrie received a patent for a mechanical refrigerator.

Okay, so maybe South Carolina had a head start and another state might have claimed these if we hadn’t had the good fortune of being one of the first settled colonies, but that’s the luck of the draw.

And, we still did it first!

Phil Noble has a technology firm in Charleston and writes a weekly column for the S.C. Press Association. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and get his columns at www.

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