Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Community
Yemassee, South Carolina
Yemassee is a town rich in local history. In the late seventeenth century, when Englishmen began to settle coastal Carolina, a number of tribes, mostly of Muskogean stock, inhabited the area. Of those tribes, the Yemassee was the most extensive and powerful. Its territory stretched along the coast from southern Georgia to the region of the Edisto. Its two major centers of power lay between the Savannah and Combahee rivers at Pocataligo and Coosawhatchie, villages which to this day retain those names.
Toward the end of the Civil War, Sherman’s army came through the area on his infamous march to the ocean from Atlanta, Ga. All of the churches in the area were destroyed except for the Presbyterian Church which was used as a hospital by the union army. You can still see blood stains on the floor on the still standing church. The house where Somerset Maugham wrote the Razor’s Edge is located in this area. There is also a house which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect. The house is unique in its design of having no right angles. The house is located on Auld Brass Plantation and has been refurbished.
Between 1914 and 1964, the Marine Corps utilized the railroad depot at Yemassee, S.C., as the gateway to Parris Island Recruit Training Depot. Over nearly half a century, more than 500,000 recruits passed through the train station at Yemassee. Half of those came through during World War II. In 1942, the Marine Corps leased from the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, a facility to house incoming recruits. The barracks and historic train depot still stand today.