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Round O, South Carolina

Sometimes the name of a town or city is all that's necessary to grab a person's attention. Such is the case with Round O, South Carolina. This unique appellation comes from a Cherokee chief who once co-existed with English settlers in the area.

The settlers found it easier to call the chief Round O, rather than his given name of Chief Attakullakulla, which described a purple medallion tattooed on his shoulder. The Cherokee tribe is long gone from Colleton County, but the community of Round O, near the town of Walterboro, remains.

Round O residents enjoy the simpler and quieter life outside the larger metropolitan areas of the South Carolina Lowcountry. They are, however, within easy driving distance of large cities such as Charleston, and six major colleges are with 50 miles, offering four-year and graduate degrees for those wishing to expand their education.

Some Round O families make a living through agriculture or raising livestock, while others commute to work, and the area is also home to retirees who like the appeal of country living.

Driving into and through Round O consists of passing through one stoplight and then the other, but don't let the size of the town fool you. It has its own Post Office, two churches and plenty of serene wilderness. Its population is estimated at around 750 people.

Not all that much has changed in the Walterboro area since owners of several large rice plantations created the communities for their summer homes in 1784. Many structures and gardens from that era remain, as do the surrounding forests, which provide some of the best hunting and fishing in South Carolina.

The Great Swamp Sanctuary, which offers visitors the ultimate Lowcountry experience of history, culture, recreation and education, is nearby. It is located within the ACE Basin, which includes the Ashepoo, Combahee and South Edisto rivers, and, at 842 acres, is the East Coast's largest estuarine preserve.

And, of course, Round O's moderate climate offers the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities year-round.

Thursday, May 23, 2019  |  12:56 AM