Article and Images about Phosphate Mining in Beaufort County
The South Carolina Historical Magazine vol. 109, #4 dated October 2008 (but running about a year behind in publication) carries an interesting article by part-time Beaufort resident, Marty Davis. Come to the BDC to read "Coosaw Rock Alchemy: A Short History of River-Phosphate Mining in Beaufort County," by John Martin Davis, Jr., pp. 269 - 294.
To whet your appetite to learn more, Davis states that:
"The South Carolina phosphate boom... is often described as a Charleston phenonmenon....While phosphates were found near South Carolina's major port, the bulk of the rock mined in the state and the profits generated by it came from Beaufort County. But few fortunes in Beaufort grew from that industry. The county was left with devastated lands... -- and unemployed workers.... In it's short life, the phosphate industry provided the state of South Carolina with millions of dollars in tax revenue. For Beaufort, however, the story is much grimmer. It is one of exploitation and abandonment."
Among the companies mentioned is the Pacific Guano Company based on Chisolm Island. We are fortunate to have photographs by one of the company's engineers, Conrad Donner, posted online as digital images in the Lowcountry Digital Library. Use the "Browse by Subject" button and select "Phosphate Mining," "Phosphate Industry," "Pacific Guano Company," and "Chisolm Islands" as search terms to see the phosphate mining related images in "Phosphate, Farms, and Family: The Donner Collection." Enjoy!