Situated adjacent to Lake Marion in the northeastern section of the county, Santee received its name from an Indian word meaning "The Rivers." Santee began to grow, because U.S. Highway 301 and 15 pass through. When the flooding of the Santee Cooper Lakes was completed in 1940-41, the area began to add new business interests, mainly tourism, to its basic agricultural economy. What began as a very convenient overnight stop between New York and Florida, is that and much more today. Santee has a multitude of restaurants, motels, service stations, and sports related businesses. Santee State Park, located on Lake Marion, contains cottages, meeting halls, campsites, picnic areas, lighted tennis courts, playgrounds, nature trails and of course, swimming, fishing, sailing and boating. For the fisherman, there are boat dealers, tackle shops, fish camps, boat ramps and everything the angler needs. Santee is as well-known for golfing as for fishing. The area is a veritable golfers paradise, with beautiful courses beside the waters of Lake Marion or nestled among the gently rolling hills. Hunters will welcome the challenge of hunting birds and game in their natural habitat. For the nature lover, a visit to the National Wildlife Refuge just north of Santee, where native animals and birds can be seen, is a must! For those who are less athletically and outdoorsey inclined, there are great shops of all kinds, from an outlet mall to small and large specialty shops. The area boasts new residential developments on the lake and around golf courses, as well as a retirement community in the heart of Santee. The Santee Fun Festival in September includes many family activities, including games, live entertainment and a parade.
Elloree was founded in 1886. The town is named for an Indian word meaning, "Home I Love." It is located in the eastern part of Orangeburg county and is surrounded by some of the best farmland in the state. The community is well organized with a community center, a branch of the county library, athletic fields and a town Park. Santee State Park is only five miles away on Lake Marion and offers fishing, camping, boating, swimming and other activities. The Elloree Trails, a flat race for thoroughbred horses, is an annual event of nationwide interest among owners of fine houses.
The first home in Eutaw Village was erected in 1836, "On high ground in the healthy pines." Planters on the Santee River seeking refuge from the humidity and mosquitoes found the pinelands of Eutawville near enough to allow occasional trips to their homes. They chose an area near Eutaw Springs. Since "Eutaw" in Cherokee means "pine tree," the name was appropriate for their summer village. The famous Battle of Eutaw Springs on September 8, 1781, was the first major Revolutionary Battle in South Carolina. A British commander camped 2300 soldiers and was attacked by the Southern Army. Both armies lost nearly thirty percent of their men. Although the battle ended in a stalemate, both sides claimed victory. The Eutaw Village Festival provides a time to enjoy a parade, arts and crafts, bands and food. Fishing tournaments draw thousands of visitors to town. Boat racing, bluegrass music and a National Catfish Stew Cook-off are other annual events.
Santee Cooper Country is a popular destination for tourists seeking fun and adventure in the sun. Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie offer some of the finest fishing to be found in the U.S. Bream, crappie, catfish, white bass, largemouth bass and striped bass are caught here and these lakes produce many record catches.
There are 270 holes of golf in Santee Cooper Country. The courses are scenic and the mild climate permits golfing year round.
Santee State Park on Lake Marion offers swimming, fishing, camping, picnicking, boat tours, nature trails and nature programs, tennis, boat rentals and cabins.
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POINTS OF INTEREST
Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Edisto Memorial Gardens
Santee State Park
Stanback Museum & Planetarium
Branchville Railroad Museum
Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery
Eutaw Springs Battleground
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