In 1705, Englishman James Child established a ferry service on his property named Strawberry Bluff, a large headland overlooking the Cooper River near the present-day town of Cordesville in Berkeley County. The only upper Cooper River crossing of its time, this simple craft became a major source of transportation, connecting the eastern and western branches of the waterway, thus dramatically reducing travel times and easing much of the area’s isolation. The ferry was of great importance during the Revolution, used to transfer goods, livestock, and rice from the plantations in the area to Charlestowne. In this photograph, the riders may be headed to church, or to town—once they were safely across the river, travelers would have access to The Broad Path, a direct route to Charleston. Although by the 1920s the ferry had ceased to operate, remnants of its docks remain on private property on each side of the river today. Visitors can walk to the dock near Strawberry Chapel and view the route settlers would have crossed more than 300 years ago.
Photograph (Strawberry Ferry, Berkeley County, Photograph 1001.22) Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia