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Florence County is packed with history. In Revolutionary War times, General Francis Marion hid in the swampy areas in the southern portion of Florence County, the area that is now featured on the SC Revolutionary Rivers paddling trail.

The Francis Marion Trail takes explorers to many sites of historic importance in the Swamp Fox’s campaign, including Venters Landing, where he took command of the Williamsburgh militia.

During the Civil War, Union soldiers were held at the Florence Stockade, and thousands were interred in what later became the Florence National Cemetery. The Columns Plantation is the site of the reenactment of the Skirmish at Gamble’s Hotel each March. Timrod Park gives a unique perspective on a schoolhouse used by the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy Henry Timrod who composed the State Song “Carolina.” The African American sites at Mars Bluff feature hand hewn cabins built by the enslaved.

With a more modern twist, Florence had an atomic bomb dropped on it in the 1950s, and Lake City Native Dr. Ronald E. McNair perished in the shuttle Challenger explosion. His Life History Center traces his career path.