The History of Florence, SC

From railroad junction to metropolis, this city has certainly grown over the years.

Florence began as a railroad junction in the mid 1800s. It was a major rail center for the movement of men and military supplies during the Civil War. The Florence Railroad Museum, housed in a renovated box car and caboose, is filled with countless historical artifacts and photos from that era.

Florence was also the site of the stockade to house Union soldiers during the Civil War. Many soldiers died of war injuries and disease, thus the Florence National Cemetery was established in 1865. The first woman to be buried in a National Cemetery, Florena Budwin, was interred there.

The War Between the States Museum contains artifacts from various battles, camp sites, photographs and household items from the 1860s. In addition, there is a gift shop as well as a library of rare manuscripts. The War Between the States Museum is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Florence Veterans Park located at the Florence Civic Center honors those who have served in the armed forces.

There were numerous Southern Plantations throughout the area back then. The last working plantation in the Pee Dee is The Columns, built in the 1850s solely with materials found on the 1500 acre plantation. It is still owned by descendants of the original owner and is open by appointment for tours of ten or more.

Imagine Gen. Francis Marion and his men hiding out in the dense forests and swamps in the Pee Dee. The Francis Marion Trail Commission has recently marked more than a dozen sites where the Swamp Fox frequented.

Here are some self-guided driving tours developed by the Francis Marion Trail Commission for you to follow:
Pee Dee Tour
Clarendon Tour
Berkeley Tour

You can also visit the sites by paddling - check out the SC Revolutionary River Trail.