Georgetown County, South Carolina

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Georgetown County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. In 2000, its population was 55,797; in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that its population had reached 60,983.[1] Its county seat is Georgetown.[2]

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,035 square miles (2,680.6 km2), of which 815 square miles (2,110.8 km2) is land and 220 square miles (569.8 km2) (21.27%) is water.

Georgetown County has several rivers including the Great Pee Dee River, the Waccamaw River, Black River, and Sampit River, all of which flow into Winyah Bay. The Santee River, which forms the southern boundary of the county, empties directly into the Atlantic. The Intracoastal Waterway also crosses the county and Winyah Bay. The rivers and the bay have had a decisive effect on human development of the area, especially as the city of Georgetown has an excellent seaport and harbor.

Georgetown County is a diverse county with four distinct areas:

1. The Atlantic coastline, also called Waccamaw Neck, including the communities of Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island and DeBordieu are part of The Grand Strand which includes Myrtle Beach to the north. The Georgetown County part of the Grand Strand used to be quaint and somewhat wild, but is exploding with development today. Condos line the shoreline at Litchfield, and many of the old cottages at Pawleys are also being demolished for more upscale homes. DeBordieu is a gated community.

Empty beachfront has disappeared and wild areas are also rapidly vanishing. A few wilder areas are being saved. Huntington Beach State Park preserves a little bit of coastline and coastal marshes in the northern section, with nearby Brookgreen Gardens keeping a historical rice plantation and some forest. Brookgreen Gardens, with a nature center and many outdoor sculptures is a very popular tourist spot. The University of South Carolina and Clemson University maintain the Belle W. Baruch research site at Hobcaw Barony on Waccamaw Neck. The islands around the outlet of Winyah Bay are designated as the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve. This area is home to the northernmost natural occurring hammocks of South Carolina's signature sabal palmetto tree.

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