Yemassee, South Carolina
Yemassee is a town rich in local history. In the late 17th century, when the English began to settle coastal Carolina, a number of tribes, mostly Muskogean, 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 Pocotaligo and Coosawhatchie, villages which to this day retain those names.
Toward the end of the Civil War, Gen. William Sherman’s army came through the area on his infamous march to the ocean from Atlanta. All 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 church. The house where W. Somerset Maugham wrote “The Razor’s Edge” is in this area, and there is also a house that was designed by noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright that is unique in that its design has no right angles. That house, on Auldbrass Plantation, has been refurbished.
Between 1914 and 1964, the Marine Corps used the railroad depot at Yemassee 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 a facility from the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad to house incoming recruits. The barracks and historic train depot still stand today. Go to www.townofyemassee.org to learn more.