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The Dispatch Thursday February 27, 2003 Vol. 8, No. 9 Walterboro, SC

“County seeks more black tourists”

Alta Mae Marvin, regional coordinator with the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and Clemson Extension, along with Corridor Board member Michael Allen with the National Parks Service, recently completed an update of “Touring the African American Trail of Charleston, Dorchester and Colleton Counties.”

The 24-panel map and guide helps visitors discover 31 sites related to African American culture and history, from the Tuskegee Airmen Monument in Walterboro to the Hampton Plantation Historic Site in McClellanville and Zion Baptist Church on Edisto Island.

The trail offers an authentic look at the traditions, way of life and impact of African Americans in this area. Museums, communities, tourism locations, restaurants, shops, and national, state and county parks are all part of the experience of traveling the Trail.

“We hope this guide will be used by residents, schools and visitors as a learning tool that will help them discover and explore the contributions African American have made in the development of our region, our state and our nation,” said Allen.

Site on the trail in Colleton County include St. Peter’s AME Church, the SC Artisans Center, the Colleton Museum, St. James the Greater Catholic Church, and the Slave Relic Museum located on Carn Street. The trail and brochure were compiled with the assistance of a number of partners. They include the National Parks Service, the SC National Heritage Corridor, Clemson Extension, the SC Sea Grant Consortium, the Avery Research Institute, the SC African American Heritage Council, and Cracker Barrel restaurants.

The SC National Heritage Corridor spans 14 counties along the state’s western border, from Pickens and Oconee counties to McClellanville in
Charleston County. Designated by the US Congress in 1996 as one of only 23 designated National Heritage Areas, the Heritage Corridor serves to open doors to South Carolina culture, natural resources and history.

The Corridor has brought together private citizens, non-profit groups, and local, state and federal governments to enhance the economic development of rural areas though heritage tourism. State tourism officials predict that, once completed, the Heritage Corridor will generate increased visitor expenditures in the 14 counties by as much as $83.6 million annually.

For more information on the Heritage Corridor or to receive a copy of the brochure, contact Alta Mae Marvin at 549-2595 or email her at amarvin@clemson.edu.